5 Bad Financial Decisions You Need to Stop Making

Everyone’s looking for ways to save money – but it’s often much easier than you think. You don’t necessarily need to drastically overhaul your lifestyle; sometimes it’s as simple as cutting back in basic ways.

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1. Not reading the fine print

We’re bombarded with so much information every day, it’s no wonder we often overlook the little details. But reading the fine print before you sign anything finance-related is an absolute must! Some of the ways businesses like to hit you up for extra money include early repayment fees, ongoing fees, increasing interest and late payment fees, just to name a few. Though contracts can sometimes be contested, with your signature on a document you’ll have a much harder time proving that the full T&Cs weren’t properly explained. Paying attention to the little details can save you a lot of money

2. Buying your lunch at work

Everyone knows eating out isn’t cheap, but it’s probably costing you even more than you realise. Let’s say you spend $10 a day on lunch. That’s $50 every week already gone. Multiply that by 48 (allowing for a few weeks of leave each year) and you’re looking at a whopping $2400 a year on food alone – and that’s before you even factor in additional purchases like coffee, snacks or your regular food shopping. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, bringing your lunch from home can help you save a substantial amount of cash.

3. Putting off medical appointments

Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? After all, medical appointments can be a big hit to the hip pocket. But getting checked out now can save you money in the long run. For instance, would you rather pay a dentist $100 now for a thorough clean and check-up, or potentially thousands for fillings further down the line? Spending now can save you a lot later on down the line – not to mention that it’s hard to put a price on good health.

4. Leaving the lights on

Leaving lights, appliances and other electronic equipment on while you’re not using it can give you a seriously nasty shock when your next energy bill arrives. So being energy-conscious isn’t just wise from an environmental perspective – it’s also good for your finances. Speaking to your energy provider and finding out their peak and off-peak times can save you money too – many people also aren’t aware that their energy provider may charge different rates depending on the time of day gas or electricity is being used.

5. Paying too much interest on your home loan

Paying interest is a fact of life on certain loans – but that doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about it. If you’re currently on a low variable interest rate with your bank, you may be able to lock it at that rate for a certain number of years. Similarly, if you’re currently on a higher, fixed interest rate, you may be able to renegotiate to a lower rate while the Reserve Bank’s interest rate is low. Talk to your bank – they will be able to discuss the various pros and cons of both approaches with you in detail. The difference between a few percentage points can mean thousands more in your pocket in the future.

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This information is general in nature and may not be relevant to your individual circumstances. Please consult a financial advisor for more specific details.


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