A recent study revealed that one-third of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. In other words, they have no emergency fund and can’t cover their expenses for more than a month if they lose their job. This is troubling on many levels: it means people are in dire financial straits, which could lead to bankruptcy or foreclosure; it means people are not able to live the lives they want to lead; and it means the economy is not as strong as it could be.
One of the reasons so many people are struggling is that they are not aware of all the expenses they are incurring. In this post, I will discuss three hidden expenses that people often don’t think about
Before we start…
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You might not realize it, but those little monthly subscription fees can really add up. Whether it’s a gym membership, a streaming service, or even a magazine subscription, these expenses can quickly eat into your budget. To avoid this, take a close look at your monthly subscriptions and see if there are any that you can live without.
Looking to save money on your budget? Check out these three hidden expenses to avoid: subscription fees. Gym memberships, streaming services, and magazine subscriptions can quickly add up, so take a close look at your monthly expenses and see if there are any that you can live without. By downsizing your subscriptions, you’ll be able to free up some extra cash each month.
Here are some smart tips to help you save money.
First, cancel any unused subscriptions and see if there’s a cheaper alternative for the ones that we do use! For example instead of paying an expensive gym membership or working out at home every day try going on runs outside with your dog- it’ll be just as good but free (or close enough).
Another idea would be sharing Netflix/Amazon prime between friends so everyone gets their own viewing experience without having too much overlap in spending; this way each person might enjoy things like Game Of Thrones while others watch something different which saves quite bit down REAL quick!!
Bank fees (bank fee, credit card fee,, etc)
Financial fees can quickly eat into your budget if you’re not careful. To avoid them, try to find a free or low-cost checking account and pay off unnecessary ATM withdrawals with direct deposit so there are no pesky bank charges tacked onto every transaction!
Some typical of financial fees are ATM withdrawal fee, overdraft fee, bank account maintenance fee, credit card late payment fee, and annual fee. You can avoid these charges by using a checking account that doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee, finding a bank that has free ATMs, and/or setting up direct deposits so you don’t have to make ATM withdrawals.
One simple way (but not always easy) to avoid financial fees is to make sure you’re always aware of when they’re charged. For example, credit card late payment fees are typically assessed if your bill is paid after the due date. So, if you know you’re going to be late on a payment, try to at least make partial payments so you don’t end up getting hit with a hefty fee.
Lastly, make sure to always read the contract carefully before signing anything- this includes credit card applications, cell phone contracts, and any other agreement where you might be inadvertently agreeing to exorbitant penalties! Don’t fall into promotion, bonus or cashback programs and other marketing traps- these usually have very unfavorable terms and conditions.
Investment fee (commission, maintenance fee, etc)
Investment fees can also be a huge drain on your long term investment return, so it’s important to be aware of them and find ways to minimize them. For example, many brokerages charge a commission each time you make a trade. You can avoid these commissions by using a discount broker or investing in low-cost index funds, or look harder to find the best low-cost brokerages in your country.
When investing in the stock market look for index funds that have low expense ratios as well as invest through mutual funds rather than individual stocks because it will reduce risk over time while still providing returns similar to those obtained from owning individual shares of one company’s portfolio (not necessarily!). Normally the fund or investment firms would make it difficult for you to find their management ratio, you may have to look hard for it, but it’s worth it to keep the fees down
In Canada WealthSimple is a great option for Canadian investors who only invest in Canada market, while Questrade, in my opinion, is the best for Canadian investors who look to invest in both US and Canada market thanks to its fair commission structure.
Likewise, in the US, firms like Vanguard and Fidelity offer a wide range of low-cost mutual funds and index funds. Robinhood is also a commission-free broker that offers a wide variety of stocks and ETFs to invest in.
Maintenance fees are another common type of investment fee, and they can be avoided by choosing a no-fee mutual fund or ETF. By keeping an eye out for these types of fees and using low-cost investment options, you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run, and still enjoy your everyday latte while you’re at it.
Whenever investing your hard-earned money, it’s important to be as cost-effective as possible so that you’re not losing out in the long run. By being mindful of the different types of investment fees and taking steps to reduce them, you can save yourself a lot of money and allow your portfolio to grow with less.
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