10 Things you should avoid wasting money on in 2020

If you review your spending budget closely, you will realize that you are paying lot of costs that are really not justified. The cost of maintaining the service is more than the benefits you derive. Here are 10 things you should actually avoid wasting money on. Let that be a resolution for the New Year. After all, rupee saved is a rupee earned.
  1. MAB charges to banks: Minimum Average Balance (MAB) charges are a major source of revenue for banks. The problem is that you are paying for it. Every bank stipulates the minimum balance you need to maintain in your savings account, which could be Rs10,000 or even Rs1 lakh depending on the nature of the account.  If the MAB is not maintained, the bank imposes a charge and debits it to the account. Such charges range from Rs250 to Rs1,000 per month and when you add the GST and other charges, it amounts to quite a bit. Either opt for a zero-balance account or respect the MAB.
  2. ATM / DD / IMPS charges: Nowadays, most banks are putting limits on the number of withdrawals. You are allowed to withdraw from other bank ATMs only 2-3 times in a month. Any withdrawal beyond that attracts a steep charge. In addition, if you make a demand draft or an immediate transfer by IMPS, it attracts commission. The best way to transfer is via NEFT, which is quick efficient and is available round the clock.
  3. Late fee on cards and EMIs: When you delay payment of card dues even by a day, there is a late charge and if you have 4-5 cards then your laxity can cost a lot. Ensure to keep 2-3 cards and make payments at least 3 days before the due date so that you get the credit well on time and avoid late fees. These can add up to quite a bit.
  4. Scrap unused subscriptions: This is so common! We opt for automatic renewal of magazines and other online subscriptions but hardly use them. Such unused subscriptions are best cancelled. Secondly, if you are getting 4-5 newspapers at home, it is time to cut down. Most of us don’t have the time to read one newspaper and who wants 24 hours old news?. The smart phone offers you news apps in real time!
  5. Feature enhancements: If the new Samsung or Apple model has come with new features and a fancy price, give it a skip. The same phone will be available at less than half the price after a year. Don’t be in a hurry to upgrade to the next level of smart phones, digital watches or flat screens. They add little value.
  6. Grocery shopping offline: Visiting a supermarket is lot of fun but it also has a cost. You pay for the goods and also for the ambience, the display and the property. No doubt, you will find that ordering groceries online is 20-25% cheaper. Most supermarkets are only a means of enticing you to spend more and end up with a fatter bill.
  7. Loading up on bargain offers: It is crazy to buy things you don’t need just because they are on sale. Even a bargain sale comes at a cost and that is not for products you don’t need. If you have already done your clothes shopping, don’t just add on because there is a sale. These are costs best avoided.
  8. Dining out for peer pressure: People end up eating out often just to keep up with peer pressure. You keep a tab on what your neighbours are doing and your children discus the latest restaurants in school. Eating out is expensive and unhealthy. Dining out means loading on carbs; which you will have little opportunity or inclination to burn. Eating out for fun is OK, but not as an obsession.
  9. Outsourcing tasks you can do yourself: Indians love to create as many jobs as possible. From drivers to maids to cooks to house-helps, we don’t like to do anything ourselves. The do-it-yourself IKEA culture is yet to catch on because labour is cheap. Things are changing in bigger cities as labour is more demanding. You will be better off doing these tasks yourself than relying on helpers.
  10. Letting discount coupons expire: If you calculate how many reward points and gift coupons you failed to redeem, you may have wasted a bunch of low hanging fruits. Redemption points and coupons would have saved you a lot of costs, which you missed out. Keep a timetable and use these accumulated points before expiry. That is a big cost you end up saving.

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