7 Ways Many People Throw Their Money Away

In your wildest dreams, you wouldn’t tear up a ten dollar bill and toss it into the trash. Yet, say personal finance gurus, there are many ways the average person routinely throws money down the drain – from letting money-saving coupons expire to making unwise buying decisions – without so much as a second thought.

Check your habits against these seven common money mistakes the average person tends to make:

  • Not redeeming gift cards – According to recent studies by giftcardgranny.com, more than $41 billion in gift cards went unused in the past five years. Keep your gift cards in a prominent place where you will be reminded to use them.
  • Letting Groupons expire – Some 15 percent of Groupons go unused, say Yipit pollsters. Some of these digital coupons, even when expired, retain face value for up to five years. If you can’t use yours, you may be able to sell or swap it.Businessman Throwing his Money Around
  • Buying tickets and not showing up – Things come up last-minute all the time, but if you’ve bought advance tickets to a concert or sports event and can’t use them, give them to friend who may one day return the favor.
  • Paying late fees – Even small fees add up. If you missed a payment for the first time, many creditors will waive the late fee – but only if you ask them to do so.
  • Paying bank fees – Banks seem to come with new ways to nickel-and-dime their customers all the time, and those minimum balance, checking and ATM fees can rally add up. Credit unions typically offer free checking. Avoid ATM fees by getting cash back when purchasing groceries.
  • Not returning unwanted goods – No point in keeping a gift or purchase you don’t really want. Many stores will refund or exchange even without a receipt.
  • Failing to ask for a refund – Dissatisfied consumers often don’t take the time to speak up. Those who do may end up with a full refund or a discount. If you have a bad experience with a hotel, service person or restaurant, to name a few, stay calm and polite but don’t be shy about voicing your dissatisfaction.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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