Three Ways to Be Smarter With Your Money
Even with good budgeting and an attention to where your money goes, you might be surprised to find out how much money you waste. Consider these three ways to keep from throwing your money away.
Stop Wasting Food
According to the National Resources Defense Council, the average American family throws out about $2,300 worth of food each year. This represents a large chunk of a family’s food budget. To keep this waste down, try to only buy in fresh food what your family will eat in the next few days. You are able to eat food past the “sell by” and “use by” dates. These are manufacturers’ suggestions, but you can use your own discretion to judge if your food is still edible. If you have food about to go bad, freeze it immediately for later use.
Save on Healthcare
Whenever you have a choice, take a look at the cost of your health care. Try to stay in network to reduce your out of pocket costs. Take advantage of free or low-cost screenings, immunizations, and check-ups. Switch to generic drugs to reduce your prescription costs. Finally, ask your employer if you are eligible for a flexible spending account, which lets you save on taxes while paying your health care bills.
Stop Throwing Away Money on Interest
One of the biggest ways to waste your money is to get into debt. Paying for something with a credit card or a loan always means that you will pay more for that item, unless you are paying off your bill in full each month. Interest does you no good—it just increases the cost of the things you buy. Be honest with yourself and ask if you can wait to save up for what you intend to buy instead of buying it now and paying for it later.