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Seven in 10 Americans believe their finances will improve in 2022, according to the recent Fidelity New Year’s Financial Resolution Study. This confidence comes as a shock after the economic roller coaster the country experienced during the pandemic. The National Endowment for Financial Education shows that, for the most part, Americans are feel better about their finances today than they expected earlier in the pandemic. One thing is certain: the pandemic has reminded everyone, regardless of their financial situation, of the realities of a “rainy day”.
Just because things are improving doesn’t mean it’s time to ease the financial responsibility. In fact, New Years is a great time to redouble good habits. So with that in mind, here are some things to stop wasting money on in 2022.
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There are a lot of things you shouldn’t pay too much for, but one of the most important is the money itself. Money shouldn’t be expensive. But if you got a loan a long time ago, or didn’t do your research, you might have to pay high interest rates. If you have your student loan with your parents as a co-signer, but now pay yourself, remember that your initial monthly payment was probably based on your parents’ income. If yours is much lower, consider refinancing with a lender who will offer you a lower rate or a longer repayment plan. If you have a high credit card balance, consider transferring it to another card that offers a lower rate or even zero APR for the first year.
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It sounds too good to be true when you find an adorable dress or sweater online for $ 15. Technically, that’s too good to be true, as much of this fast-paced fashion deteriorates after some wear or a run in the washing machine. If you need to replace your clothes frequently, even the cheapest items are technically not a bargain. Investing in clothes made with quality materials can mean keeping the clothes on for longer and saving money in the long run. Remember that thrift shop for clothes is good for your wallet and for the planet.
This last cocktail
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You know the one. You felt perfect before. You only had a drink or two at a party. The plan was to stay within legal driving limits, have plenty of water, and cut off the alcohol consumption early in the night. But then you just catch one more. Then you have to pay for a taxi to the house. The drink itself could have been expensive. And a hangover from a nightcap the next day can wipe out your productivity, which could mean wasted extra money.
Excess of food
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Cooking at home saves you a lot of money compared to a restaurant meal or delivery. However, there is still a unnecessary way to cook at home. If you buy so many groceries that many expire before you can eat them, it’s a waste of money. The most economical way to eat at home is to shop for groceries frequently so you can buy exactly what you need, finish that off, and return to the store when you’re ready. Filling up on perishables can mean money is going in the trash.
Hot spots and high data
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FOMO around Social media updates and immediate response to emails are real and can get expensive. Many Americans pay for larger phone plans than they need for fear they will never be disconnected. You can save a lot of money by switching to a plan with less data and no hotspot. If you’re just waiting until you can connect to Wi-Fi at your home, business, or friend’s house, you can save money on high data plans and wireless hotspots. The truth is, you probably don’t need to be connected 24/7.
Credit and current account charges
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Fees are another way that the money itself can become expensive. First, there are the ATM fees, which can be steep depending on where you are. Staying organized and remembering to take out enough cash when you’re at your bank can help you avoid them. Then there are the overdraft fees, which can be avoided by setting up simple notifications in your account, and the late fees, which can be avoided by set invoices in automatic payment. If you are traveling abroad, you might pay high foreign transaction fees. However, you can apply for a credit card that does not charge an overseas transaction fee. If you read the terms of your existing cards, you may find that you already have such a card.
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If you have chosen not to have a car to save money, then commit to this strategy. Ordering a rideshare service every time you want to go somewhere adds up and could consume all your savings from not having a vehicle. With a little organization and planning, you can save money on transport. For short distances, consider giving yourself more time to get there and just walking. It’s good for you and the environment. For longer distances, see if you can take a ride with a friend going in the same direction.
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There are many times when insurance helps – and many times it isn’t. Always read the fine print. For example, currently most travel insurance plans will not accept claims regarding COVID-19 issues. This is a huge factor, given that COVID-19 is one of the leading causes of trip cancellation. Some dental plans have a maximum benefit you can expect to receive each year, and it’s surprisingly low. For example, some plans will only pay up to $ 750 in fees for one year. This is after you’ve already paid the $ 35 per month. So, you will likely pay over $ 400 per year in premium and, in the end, only receive $ 750 in benefits. This benefit would not even cover a few cavity fillings. Always weigh the pros and cons and know an end-to-end insurance plan before you buy.