Five money traps you should avoid each month

Are you always on the prowl for a better deal? Looking for ways to save money?but without having to cut back on quality?

People often overspend in ways they don?t even realize. From service plans that aren?t being used to buying too many bulk items, it is easy to throw away money without even knowing it. If you want to better balance your budget and keep more money in your pocket, keep an eye out for these five money traps:

1. Bulk shopping in the grocery store. Avoid bulk shopping unless you?re sure you?ll use the whole package. Yes, the price is cheaper when you buy in bulk, but is your household actually consuming the food products before they go to waste?

If you?re throwing away spoiled foods frequently, you?re probably buying too much. To make the most out of discounted bulk shopping, go shopping with a friend or neighbor. Split the cost of the goods and carpool to the store. This way, you?ll both be saving money.

2. Shopping the cou?pons for items you don?t need. Don?t use a coupon unless an item is on your shopping list. Manufacturer coupons are a great way to save money on an item?if you need the product, that is.

Only clip coupons for the items you have on your list. If it?s not there, that coupon isn?t saving you any money. In fact, it?s costing you money. To make better use of coupons, combine them with store discounts for bigger savings on the items on your list.

3. Paying for more than you need. Take a good look at your service contracts like your wireless bill. Are you using all the services you?re paying for? No-contract plans like Total Wireless ensure you get everything you need and nothing you don?t. This plan offers unlimited talk, text and 2.5 GB of data on America?s largest and most dependable network – all for a low price.

And, for just $10 you can purchase 1.5 GB of Carry?over(TM) data that never expires with active service.

4. Throwing away what can be reused. Take stock of what you?re sending to the curb in your garbage or recycling containers. How many reusable plastic food containers and paper towels do you throw away each week?

Try using cloth towels instead of paper ones, and cleaning and reusing plastic containers. You?ll never need to buy plastic storage containers again, and as your towels start to fray and show signs of wear and tear, just send them to the garage where they?ll be perfect for washing the cars or checking the oil.

5. Setting up automatic payments. Don?t schedule automatic payments for non-essential expenses. Scheduling automatic payments from your checking account or credit card is certainly a time-saving tool, and it should be used for specific bills that you must pay each month to avoid giving away money on late-fee charges.

But for superfluous payments such as a gym membership or movie-streaming subscription, it makes it harder for you to analyze if the service is something you need?or want?each month.

Consider physically writing out a check or paying these bills online each month, so that you can reflect on how much you actually used the service, and if the price was worthwhile for you and your budget.

A careful review of how you?re spending your money might shine light on areas where you?re throwing money away. So take a careful look and see if any of these tips can help you save some money, or at least put it to better use. (BPT)

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