Take a look at the list and see where you can FIND some money!!! I must admit that I am guilty of doing some of the things on the list.
There are all sorts of ways to cut spending and boost your savings, and there are just as many ways to sabotage your own finances. In addition to missing out on money-saving discounts, making unwise shopping decisions, and purchasing unnecessary items, you might also be throwing your money down the drain for no real reason at all. Often, all it takes is a little effort and organization to fix the problem. But first, you need to be aware of all the ways your money is being wasted. The list could go on and on, of course, but here are 10 ways consumers repeatedly throw their money away.
1. Never redeeming gift cards
Even if you don’t want your gift card, at least give it to someone who will use it. American households also average $300 in unused gift cards, and nearly half of recipients do not use the full value of the card. Don’t be the person letting these dollars go down the drain.
2. Letting Groupons expire
According to Yipit, roughly 15% of Groupons go unredeemed by the time the expiration date rolls around. Make a note of your daily deal coupon’s expiration date to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. And if your Groupon does expire, you can still get some value from it. The digital coupon should retain its face value at the organization for at least five years.
3. Buying tickets and not showing up
4. Paying late fees
Even small late fees add up quickly. This can include everything from overdue library books to Redbox DVD rentals to late payments on utilities or credit cards. To avoid incurring late fees on your credit card,CreditCards.com suggests paying far ahead of your due date, changing your payment due date if possible to coincide with your payday schedule, scheduling automatic payment, or setting a reminder for yourself. If you are hit with a late fee after all, call customer service and ask to have the charge waived. On your first offense many companies are willing to let the late fee go.
5. Paying banking fees
It seems like every year banks come up with new ways to nickel and dime their members. Between minimum balances, fees for checking accounts, and ATM fees, these charges can add up. No one should have to pay for basic banking services. Many are having better luck avoiding these unnecessary fees after joining a local credit union. Credit unions typically offer free checking accounts and savings accounts with better interest rates. If you find yourself frequently out of cash and paying charge after charge from ATMs, instead get into the habit of getting cash back from debit purchases when you are out grocery shopping.
6. Not returning unwanted goods
It’s easy to let unwanted items or gifts just sit there in the closet, but with a little effort, you could be getting money back in your pocket. Even if you are past the return date, give it a try anyway. You may be able to at least get store credit. For online purchases, many retailers even cover the cost of shipping for returns. CBS News compiled a list of stores with generous return policies, such as Walmart, Target, Costco, and Kohl’s. Some retailers will even take returns without a receipt.
7. Failing to ask for a refund
Consumers who are dissatisfied with their service often don’t take the time to voice their concerns. Those people that do, however, could end up with a full refund or at least a discount. If you have a bad experience with a hotel, auto mechanic, cell phone carriers, or hairdresser, to name a few, don’t be shy about speaking up.
8. Never disputing mistakes on a bill
If you think your bill may be incorrect, it’s worth disputing the charges with the company. At most respectable businesses, the error will quickly be corrected.
9. Forgetting to follow up on a rebate
The sneaky thing about mail-in rebates is they are designed to be so complicated that consumers either forget to mail them in or do so incorrectly.
10. Not claiming money that’s yours
Every year, unclaimed money is reported by the government, and rightful owners are encouraged to step forward and claim their funds. Find more information about unclaimed money from the government atUSA.gov.
I started with nothing and have been blessed with enough focus, commitment, follow-through, and the ability to not make excuses that I have done extremely well in my life. So I recently did a show on GrantCardoneTV.com on How to Make YourFirst Million, which was streamed on Periscope and Meerkat and viewed by over 10,000 people live.
Here are the takeaways from the show:
- Never Been Easier—It has never been easier so don’t make it so difficult. There is so much money in the world today and so many ways to get yourself known. The first thing you have to know is that it’s out there and it’s not that hard. In fact, everyone will be a millionaire in their lifetime: $50,000 per year x 20 years equals $1-million.
- Saving Won’t Do—The old ideas of saving every penny is not the way today. You can’t simply save your way to the first million without becoming very old. At which point the money probably won’t matter to you. It is said that if you avoid spending $5 a day on coffee and snacks it will save you $73,000 over your lifetime. I want to bank millions. You won’t get to millions if you are focused on $5. Quit the little thinking and trapping yourself over saving $70k over a lifetime when it has never worked for anyone. Make enough money so you can use it while you are youthful.
- Live Below Your Means—This is correct and you should live below the money you are making. Not because you are depriving yourself, but because you are seeking to use the extra money to start a second flow not to be a consumer but a player. No one has ever done business with me because of the suit I wear, the watch I have on my wrist, or the car I drove. Live below your means until you don’t have to anymore.
- Tax Angles—Push every tax angle you can find and I mean push it. Learn the IRS tax code and use it to your advantage. Quit bitching about taxes and learn how the code can benefit you. The code was put together to give preference to earners. For instance, I while being an employee, I joined multiple MLM companies so I could take advantage of write offs like the home and car. These were, and are, legitimate ways for me to reduce my tax bill and possibly make some more money—plus I have a chance to surround myself with great people.
- Mature From Income to Investor—The way to get rich is to make investments, but you can’t do that if your income doesn’t allow for you to set aside money to invest. The only reason to make and save money is so you can one day invest it. Two things about investing; a) only invest money in projects you know will score and b) never give up your income.
- Boss Up— Start acting like a boss in your life and quit acting like money doesn’t matter or that you don’t care. Quit acting poor and quit acting like you are a spectator. Boss up in everything and especially in the money department. When the bill comes for dinner, boss up and pay the bill, don’t bitch out. When you see the price of a computer you need don’t back away handle it. The cost of goods is not the issue boss up and produce in your life. If you don’t start acting like a boss you won’t throw down and invest when it’s time to. Act like a boss, not like a little whiner.
- Automate a Pay-Yourself-First Program—Set it up with your employer to have money withdrawn from your check each week and have that money deposited into a sacred future investment account. This is one thing I started doing when I was 26 years old that provide me with money to make my first big investments. It kept me ‘broke’ because basically the investment account was funded before rent and utilities so I was always without money to lose or waste. This also forced me to continue to hustle and produce new revenue.. This is the step that will make #5 possible.
- Be in a Hurry—Be the hare, the turtle, so you can become the millionaire! The old idea was to be patient is over – fast is the new big. The only thing that comes to those that are patient are the crumbs left behind by those in a hurry. Be fast, be consistent and be in a hurry always to get what is yours!
- Millionaire Math—Do the math on what it takes to hit a million. If you make $50,000 a year and can figure out how to put away 40% of it (that is my saving target) it will take you 50 years x $20,000 per year to get there. So you can see you need more income. If you don’t do the math you won’t even have a realistic understanding of what it takes. The old saying is people lie, emotions deceive but numbers always tell the truth. Math is a universal language and necessary for you to get where you are going.
- Do Not Diversify—I know the diversification concept is popular, but it’s wrong. If you are going to bank a million before you are old and tired you need to pick one or two investment you KNOW are winners and go all in on it. Almost 90% of all my savings has been invested into income property (apartments) over the last couple of decades. I knew that no technology could disrupt this and that a weaker economy only made the business better. So I went all in on the thing I understand and that gives me the most chances of hitting Million dollar paydirt.
- Multiple Flows—If you don’t get multiple flows happening you will never create financial freedom. Don’t confuse #10 with multiple flows with don’t diversify. These are not conflicts and you need to fully understand the difference in them. Before you jump into the second flow of income create something parallel or a similar flow to your first one and never abandon the first flow.
- Don’t trap your money in Homes IRAs, or college. I know it’s not popular to say these things as they have been sold to you as sacred but these are the traps. Show me someone that became a millionaire and financial freedom because of a home purchase or going to college or even the popular IRA. Flipping homes, by the way, is not buying homes—that is a real estate play. Wall Street has convinced you to do these things to trap your money and control it for a lifetime.
You can be a millionaire and you should have your financial targets to be a millionaire up until the point that you become one. If you want to be a millionaire then learn how to get yourself focused on it, stay focused on it and throw away all of the old ideas about how to get there. And then do everything possible to get there as fast as you can.
When you become a millionaire you may not be any happier but I assure you that you will have a different bounce in your step and confidence. If I can help you or answer any questions post them in comments below. I am blessed to have gotten where I am and I want to help as many people achieve the same financial freedom.
Be Great—Get Rich—You deserve financial freedom.