Sneaky expenses are small, seemingly insignificant amounts of money that add up over time. They’re often the hardest expenses to track and budget for, but they can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Here are 10 sneaky expenses that are eating away at your budget:
Subscriptions are a great way to access goods and services, but they can also be a major budget drain. Streaming services, meal kits, and fitness apps are just a few examples of subscriptions that can add up quickly.
To avoid overspending on subscriptions, take an inventory of all the subscriptions you’re paying for. Cancel any that you’re not using regularly or that you can find cheaper alternatives to.
2. Bank fees
Bank fees can also add up over time. Monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, and overdraft fees are just a few examples of bank fees that can eat away at your budget.
To avoid bank fees, consider switching to a bank that offers no-fee accounts or rebates on ATM fees. You can also avoid overdraft fees by setting up overdraft protection or by signing up for a text alert service that will notify you when your balance is low.
3. Late payment fees
Late payment fees are another sneaky expense that can add up quickly. When you miss a payment on your credit card, utility bill, or other account, you may be charged a late fee.
To avoid late payment fees, set up automatic payments for all of your bills. This will help you ensure that your payments are always made on time.
4. Unused memberships
Do you have a gym membership that you barely use? Or are you still subscribed to a magazine that you never read? Unused memberships are a waste of money.
Cancel any memberships that you’re not using regularly or that you can find cheaper alternatives to.
5. Warranty fees
Many products come with warranties, but these warranties are often more expensive than they’re worth. Warranties typically only cover defects in materials or workmanship, and they often don’t cover accidental damage or normal wear and tear.
Consider skipping the warranty and saving the money. If something goes wrong with your product, you can always try to repair it yourself or buy a new one.
6. Impulse purchases
Impulse purchases are another sneaky expense that can add up quickly. When you see something you like at the store and buy it without thinking, you’re making an impulse purchase.
To avoid impulse purchases, make a list before you go shopping and stick to it. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry or tired, and don’t carry too much cash with you.
7. Convenience fees
Convenience fees are charged for things like using a credit card to pay a bill or buying tickets online. These fees can add up quickly, especially if you use them frequently.
To avoid convenience fees, try to pay your bills in person or by mail. You can also avoid convenience fees on online purchases by using a debit card or by paying with cash on delivery.
8. ATM fees
ATM fees can also add up quickly, especially if you use ATMs that aren’t affiliated with your bank. To avoid ATM fees, withdraw cash from ATMs that are affiliated with your bank or that offer free ATM withdrawals.
9. Energy waste
Energy waste is another sneaky expense that can add up quickly. When you leave your lights on when you leave a room or leave your thermostat at a high setting when you’re not home, you’re wasting energy.
To reduce energy waste, turn off lights and appliances when you’re not using them, and set your thermostat to a lower setting when you’re not home.
10. Hidden fees
Hidden fees are fees that are charged without your knowledge or consent. For example, some banks charge a fee for transferring money between accounts.
To avoid hidden fees, read the fine print carefully before you sign up for any service or product.
By identifying and cutting back on sneaky expenses, you can save a lot of money over time. Take some time to review your spending habits and see where you can make some cuts.