You think you’ve got your budgeting down pat, but your bank statement reflects otherwise. Here’s how to spot 5 common money leaks – and fix them!
Hefty loan repayments
Credit card bills, personal loans and mortgages can send you flying into the red if they make up more than 40% of your monthly income. Terminate some credit cards, or consolidate your debt.
Your daily coffee habit
On average, a cup of artisanal coffee sets you back $4. If you have one every weekday, this works out to $80 in potential monthly savings if you ditch the takeaway coffee habit! Save the fancy joe for your weekend brunch and opt for the free office-pantry brew from Monday to Friday.
Multiple cash withdrawals
Too many trips to the ATM will leave you with little saved by the month’s end. The moment your pay is credited into your account, transfer 10% of it to another savings account – and don’t withdraw from it.
Recurring fall-below fees
Just paying $2 a month – the standard penalty for most savings accounts here – could cancel out any interest you’re earning on your balance. Accounts with attractive interest rates often come with a higher minimum deposit. Switch to one with a more manageable amount if you must.
Unaccountable small transactions
If you notice transactions that you never made, check with your bank to find out if you’re a victim of identity theft – a growing concern these days. The thieves’ modus operandi is to siphon small amounts (like $3 or $5) from victims over a long period of time, to avoid detection. Sneaky.
(Expert source: Ryan Ong, contributor to personal finance portal www.moneysmart.sg)
By Lee Xin Hui, Her World, February 2015