How these 6 Minor Budget Leaks Lead to Major Financial Waste

You’re carefully planned budget may not be that perfect if it’s filled with small financial holes. However minor they may seem, a few bucks here and there could result in major money waste over time. That’s why it’s important to review your monthly spending and plug those budget leaks so you stop throwing away money! Here are the 6 simple financial move to follow now that will result in over $3,000 in savings this year. (Notes from today’s interview on FOX & Friends Weekend.)

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Cancel That Unused Membership. A whopping 67% of gym memberships go unused. If you fall into this statistic, get real about your commitment and cancel that membership. With monthly health club fees running at an average of $58, you stand to save nearly $700 a year. Opt for a punch pass to pay-as-you-go instead or set up an at-home gym. Likewise, get rid of other monthly memberships you don’t use like magazine subscriptions or video streaming service–do you really need cable, Netflix and Amazon Prime?

Get a Free Home Phone. Many people like having a landline for emergencies in addition to a cell phone, but with average home phone service fees running at $40 a month, it’s a lot of money to spend on a phone you don’t use often. Switch to a free phone provider like Ooma for crystal clear connections using your high-speed Internet and enjoy savings of $480 every year without giving up the security of a landline.

Lower Your Data Plan. 85% of mobile users purchase more data than they use which costs an extra $20 per month on average. Monitor usage over the next month by reviewing third-party apps like Onavo Count and 3G Watchdog. By reducing data allotment and switching to a lower plan, you stand to save $240 a year on your mobile bill.

Eliminate Useless Bank Fees. Bank fees add up and you may be throwing away more money than you’re saving. According to Bankrate’s annual checking survey, checking account holders who don’t meet minimum balance requirements pay an average of $14.76 per month in maintenance fees. Transfer your checking account to a local credit union to wipe away such useless fees for an annual savings of $178.

Reduce Food Waste. The National Resources Defense Council estimates that Americans waste $165 billion a year on uneaten groceries. Planning meals will help reduce excess groceries that end up in the trash. Use a meal-planning service like the Fresh 20 for help developing lunches and dinners for the whole week. The service mixes and matches just 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients per week and builds a shopping list so you stop overbuying food. Meal planning that uses overlapping ingredients will help you reduce food waste, resulting in over $500 in savings every year!

Don’t Be Too Lazy to Coupon. An average family can save up to $1,000 per year by spending just 20 minutes a week looking for coupons, says the Promotion Marketing Association’s Coupon Council. I hear a lot of consumers complain about the time it takes to find and clip coupons. You don’t have to sit over the Sunday circular though: Apps like CouponSherpa provide coupons right to your smartphone for savings on groceries, department stores and restaurants and Yowza provide grocery deals right at your fingertips.

Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who regularly contributes to leading national and regional news stories. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Dr. OZ, Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News with Diane Sawyer, and been quoted in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Better Homes & Garden and many others. Andrea also enjoys writing articles for various personal finance and lifestyle websites and blogs. Andrea is passionate about sharing ideas and tips to help you live on less without having to sacrifice. She says making a few small tweaks to daily and monthly spending is all you need to do to achieve your dreams within your means. Follow Andrea on Facebook and Twitter for daily savings tips and check back for new videos, magazine stories and blog posts all about saving money!

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