NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If you’ve ever taken a close look at your budget, you have probably noticed how much of your spending simply goes to waste. We’re not talking about expenditures such as lattes or eating out at restaurants, but rather money that is leaving your wallet for no justifiable reason.
We talked to some personal finance experts to shed light on some of the most common ways consumers waste money.
You may be overpaying for your homeowners insurance without even knowing it, which is why it makes sense to shop around and check out the going insurance rates each year.
“The insurance company that gave you the best deal last year may not have the best rates this year. With housing prices far lower than they were a few years ago, make sure you aren't paying for home insurance on inflated real estate values,” says Sally Herigstad, CPA and author of Help! I Can't Pay My Bills.
On the flipside, if home prices are increasing, Herigstad advises consumers to make sure the home insurance amounts also increase.
2. Phone minutes
A quick phone call to your wireless provider will tell you how many minutes you use each month, compared with the total number of minutes in your plan.
If you find that over the past few months hundreds of minutes are going to waste, simply downsize to a smaller and cheaper plan — it’s that simple.
In addition to the possibility of paying for minutes you don’t use, if you have a smartphone you might be paying for more data than you need.
Andrew Schrage of MoneyCrashers.com says wasted data can cost up to $300 annually. “The solution is to track your monthly usage and look for a cheaper plan. If you're concerned about overage charges, your provider will usually have an app available for download that can track your data usage in real time.”