Shopping strategies

When you want to save money you most likely turn to the obvious; you clip coupons, shop the sales, and cut back on unnecessary expenses. But are there other less-obvious ways for you to save? How about all the things that waste money that you didn’t even know were wasting money? Check out these four money-wasting habits you didn’t even know you had.

Shopping at Convenience Stores

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Image via Flickr by 401(K) 2013

Convenience stores may be easier to get in and out of when you forgot to get one or two items from the grocery store, but you are going to pay the price for that convenience. Did you know that the prices of items in convenience stores are typically 11% higher than the prices in grocery stores? That’s right; you are paying more when you don’t have to. So, plan better, and make lists for your trips to the grocery store. That way you won’t be tempted to waste money on convenience.

Prepaying For Items

Think back to all the times you have prepaid for something. Did you use the item or items you bought? There is a good chance you didn’t because you forgot about it or misplaced your voucher or some other silly reason. Your intentions were good because you thought you were getting a deal. However, because you didn’t follow through with using the product, you just threw money away. Next time think twice about prepaying and only do this when you are positive you will use the items in the future.

Gas-Eating Cars

This next money waster you may have considered, but probably thought you didn’t have a way to avoid — your gas-guzzling car. Although you may not be able to go out and buy a new car that is more fuel-efficient, you can find other ways not to waste so much gas. Avoid taking your car out multiple times in one day to run errands. Instead, plan your errands around work, or picking kids up from school. Consider using alternate transportation such as the bus, cabs, walking, or biking. This is especially a good idea during the warmer months of the year when you can walk or bike.

Poorly Functioning HVAC Systems

Old HVAC units not only frustrate you when they start to fail, but they overwork and waste a lot of energy in the process. You may not think much of that, but when you start seeing your utility bill go up, you might think twice about how you are unnecessarily wasting money. If you have a newer and energy-efficient HVAC unit make sure you have it regularly tuned up so that it will continue to be energy-efficient. But, if you have an older HVAC system, consider replacing it before it costs you a ton of money in repairs as well as on your utility bill.

Break these habits and start saving the money you were wasting — it will surprise you how quickly your savings adds up. In fact, it might just inspire you to look for more ways to save.

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