The little stuff really starts to add up

wazupdoc

Registered Member
#1
I recently took stock of all the little expenses I normally take for granted and realized I was actually spending a fortune being nickled and dimed. For example:

ATM fees. These add up to a lot of money, particularly if you are being charged by the bank your withdrawing money from AND your bank. If paying an ATM fee is unavoidable I always withdraw the maximum allowable amount, thereby reducing the need to visit an ATM again for while.

Buying coffee vs. getting a thermos and brewing it yourself. A coffee at Starbucks can set you back upwards of $4. If you drink one five days a week that's $80/mo. For a tenth of that you can buy enough coffee to see you through the month. Save your pennies for a few months and buy your own espresso machine!

Dialing information on your cell phone. This was a big one for me. I probably threw away a good $10/mo given what it costs each time you call. There's no need for this. There's an 800# you can dial for information that's completely free. 1-800-FREE411. I programmed this into my cell phone and haven't paid a dime for information calls since.

Not buying a monthly metrocard. If you live in an area that has mass transit and they offer a monthly card by all means use it! If you commute regularly there's no reason not to. I save, on average, at least $25/$30 a month this way.

It's really amazing just how much flies out the window without your even noticing. Once you start to take stock you'll be stunned. Fortunately, with a little common sense you can turn it around.
 

Melos

Registered Member
#2
That is an excellent thing. I refuse to pay ATM fees unless there is some sort of emergency I need cash for - and that rarely happens. I have never been a Starbucks customer, but the point about coffee is huge. $80 per month equals $960.00 per year. Imagine what that could do in a savings account or money market?
 

mamab

Registered Member
#3
Luckily I bank where they reimburse your ATM charges, if you turn them in. So far, I've only had one charge of $2.00, so I haven't even bothered.

I understand about being nickle and dimed, though. My husband buys alot of drinks at work. They're outrageous. So, he's started taking a thermal cup and saving a couple bucks a day.
 

taiarain

Registered Member
#4
One way to avoid ATM fees is to use your debit card with a merchant that will allow you to get cash back with a purchase. We do this all the time at the pharmacy or grocery store to save a trip.

On the coffee, I am so grateful that I don't drink the stuff. I'm always shocked to see how much people spend on it.
 

Mr_Snipes

Registered Member
#5
I try to only use the ATMs of my bank (Wells Fargo). As long as I use there ATMs I am never charged a fee. But I will use one from another bank if I am in need of cash for emergency reasons. And the debit card thing does work too. Sometimes I use it at Walmart if I am there shopping and know that I need to get a little extra money out for a trip or something like that.
 

wazupdoc

Registered Member
#6
Luckily I bank where they reimburse your ATM charges, if you turn them in. So far, I've only had one charge of $2.00, so I haven't even bothered.

I understand about being nickle and dimed, though. My husband buys alot of drinks at work. They're outrageous. So, he's started taking a thermal cup and saving a couple bucks a day.

Really? Who do you bank with and how do you go about turning in your ATM charges? That's an excellent benefit.
 

katharina

Registered Member
#7
I recently took stock of all the little expenses I normally take for granted and realized I was actually spending a fortune being nickled and dimed.
Great list there! I know what you mean about being nickle and dimed... it's sobering at best sometimes. I don't have to deal with these particular listed things, though... even the ATM. I've never used one. :)
 

Penguin

Registered Member
#8
Our main "nickel & dime" thing is not having a regular menu. Because we often make runs to the store for "today's dinner" we usually end up spending a lot more on food than we really ought to have to spend.
 

mamab

Registered Member
#9
One of our biggest expenses is stopping at a fast food place on the way to church on Sunday morning. Its quicker for us, since we can go through the drive through. If we didn't do that, I'd have to get up at 5am to get breakfast made. I'm just not into that right now. ;)
 
#10
It's amazing what you learn about your habits by tacking every penny you spend. You will likely learn you spend a lot more on nonessentials than you throught. This is the perfect first step in coming up with a personal budget. You can't figure out what you can spend in any one category unless you know how much you are actually spending.

Long story short - figure out what you spend because you might just be in a position to give yourself a raise (based purely on savings in multiple budget categories). :cool: