What would it feel like to check your bank account and find a pile of money? It could happen, and it doesn't have to involve a second job or convincing your family to fast two days a week. Woman's Day offers tips on how to stop wasting money on nonessentials, including:
¢ Brand loyalty: We all have our favorite brands, but paying double for things that don't really matter adds up to one big waste of money. Instead, opt for the store or generic brand. Generic alternatives could be exactly the same and cost half the price.
¢ Fat checking account: Keeping a tidy $5,000 balance in your checking account may make you feel better, but you're wasting money if you are not earning interest on the balance. Talk to your bank representative about attaching an online savings account so that you can simply move funds back and forth.
¢ Failure to return: It doesn't fit right, the color is wrong, but who has time to trek back to the store? You do. Failing to return shopping mistakes can cost you hundreds. If you still have receipts for all the "new with tags" you are harboring, try to get a refund, or at least a store credit.
¢ Piling on late fees: Late fees on credit card accounts, mortgages, car loans and property taxes are so high they'll take your breath away. Instead of paying at the last minute, call the companies to have your bills automatically paid, or use your bank's online bill-paying service.
¢ Not taking your employer's match: If you're eligible for your employer-matching 401(k) but you're not signed up, you're throwing away thousands.