Frugal Living

Simple Ways to Plug the Hole in Your Wallet

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Nobody likes to waste their hard-earned cash, but every year people throw money away because of a lack of planning, laziness, failure to keep track of their spending or by neglecting to cover themselves in case the worst happens.

If you think you might need to plug the metaphoric hole in your wallet, here are a few simple things you can do to take back control.

Subscription Services

It may sound obvious, but you shouldn’t continue to pay for subscriptions you don’t use. Many streaming services offer free periods to encourage sign-ups, but forgetting to unsubscribe at the end of the trial results in quiet but regular subtractions from your bank account.

By the time you get around to canceling the service, it’s likely you’ll have already said goodbye to weeks or perhaps months’ worth of fees, so it’s important to keep track of them. When subscribing to new services, particularly those offering a free or discounted period, set a reminder in your phone to review or cancel before the first full charge is made.

Once a year, make a list of all your subscriptions and how much you use them – you may find that some aren’t such good value after all.

Gym Membership

Many of us have fallen victim to the unused, overpriced gym membership. Goals such as getting fit and losing weight quickly give way to excuses and avoidance and before you know it, all you’re left with is an expensive monthly reminder of your good intentions.

Be honest with yourself about how much you’re likely to use a gym membership. If you’re only taking one class a week and some treadmill time, swap your membership for a class pass and run at the local park.

It may even be cheaper to purchase some home gym equipment in lieu of your monthly payments – and the added convenience of having it at home may mean it gets used more frequently.

Remember, it’s possible to exercise and improve your health without spending a lot of money. Find what suits your budget and schedule and say goodbye to costly gym fees.

Mobile Phone

Sure, it’s nice to have the latest model phone, but the cost of paying it off can really add up. In most cases, it’s much cheaper to buy your phone outright and use a prepaid or BYO phone plan. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll be free to switch to a better deal without being locked into a pesky contract.

If paying for a new smartphone upfront isn’t practical, it’s still worth looking at your current plan and deciding whether it’s still the right one for you. Chances are you’ve been with the same provider, and possibly the same plan, for some time and there may be better offers around.

When it comes to budgeting, a little effort can really add up. Boost your savings efforts by reviewing what kind of deals you’re getting and cutting out the things you don’t need.

Health insurance

If you don’t currently have a family, couples’ or singles’ private health insurance policy, now is the time to get it.

If you ever happen to find yourself in the position where you require medical care but don’t have an appropriate level of health insurance, with the average cost of a hospital stay in the United States now more than $10,000, all your good efforts scrimping and saving everywhere else could very quickly go down the drain if you fall ill and aren’t insured.

While it’ll cost you a little up-front, it could save you a heap down the track so it’s well worth the investment.

The key message here is not to set yourself back by paying for things without thinking it through and to mitigate the risk of having to shell out large sums of cash for unforeseen expenses by insuring yourself where it matters. By making a few small changes now, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of good financial management for a lifetime!

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