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Is the Squanderbug Nibbling at your finances?

The Squanderbug is Nibbling away at your Money

Read and check every line of every statement

you get from each of your credit cards and utility companies.

Medical bills require scrutiny too – always call to verify charges and co-pays.

Make sure you understand every charge.

Do this with your bank statement too.

Don’t take the easy route on anything to do with paying your bills.

Make it harder for yourself to buy something – cash not credit card sometimes

Question automatic payments frequently.

Look at every avenue where you spend money carefully. Mistakes are made.

Sometimes we are unaware of how much our convenient

tech gadgets are eating away at our finances.

We are so dependent on our wonderful mobile phones, watches, PCs, internet providers, cable companies and streaming platforms. Are there any sneaky charges being added to your debit card?

We can keep track of our appointments, our medications, steps and exercise on our mobiles and wrist devices – we love it ….BUT the storage only holds so much and then we have to start paying more.

The “cloud” is another area where it winds up regulating your life and limiting how you use your time.

Have you backed up your devices?

No problem just use the cloud.

Put all those pictures in the cloud too – oops you have used up all your storage, cha-ching, another fee. Download your pictures from your tablet or mobile on to your PC.

Take the time to look at all the pictures, text messages and emails on your mobile phone. How many pictures are on your mobile in text messages and emails? Delete or download.

Don’t exceed the phones storage.

Even if you think you have cut back on all these extras – look at them again from time to time. It’s like checking your insurance rates – check to see if there are cheaper policies available.

Many of us have “Cut the Cord” of cable and gone to streaming our television shows. With all the new streaming choices we have now we actually wind up paying a lot more than we did for cable.

We have to start cutting the cord on some of those as well.

Check out the old fashioned antenna – indoor antennas receive broadcasts very well too.

Do you know you can get movies and television shows from your library?

If it’s a new movie or TV show keep checking for new arrivals, make a request and you will be notified.

“Big Tech” is just too invasive. Can we ever get away from unsolicited messages on our phones from retailers, on line shopping, supermarkets and anyone else you may have contacted – or not contacted? It’s like “Big Brother” seeing everything we even think about.

I even imagine my television or my mobile phone recording my conversations and sending alerts on the subject.

There should be a class somewhere teaching us how to check the settings for all of the “Big Tech” companies so we can opt out of unwanted alerts and see if we can govern our own information tools.

How many services do we sign on for that is “Only 99 cents” per month or per week to make things more convenient? See if you really need that service.

How many times have we purchased something because of a “Two for One” or “BOGO” alert? If we search for anything on a mobile phone there will be ads popping up on the phone for weeks for that item.

On line shopping may be losing its popularity because we are all realizing that we need to examine goods before spending our hard earned money. Do garments fit? Are they well made? Is the colour correct? Are they of good quality?

How many times do we have to send something back because of the quality or because of the poor description on the web site? Do you want to use your valuable time repackaging and mailing something back? The landfill must be rapidly filling up with cardboard boxes and used items being thrown away. The very best reason for not using on-line shopping is:

DO WE REALLY NEED that item?

Can we buy it locally after we have examined it?

What happened to repairing, mending, sewing and fixing something?

Mobile phones can be repaired, computers can be renovated, shoes can be repaired, and a needle and thread can mend a hem or a tear.

Where is your frontiersmen spirit?

“How To” on the internet is amazing. We found out what was wrong with the dishwasher, got the part and fixed it by using “How To” on line. We also found out why our battery was dying in our car and got that fixed.

Are you still sending shirts and pants to the laundry? Build up of detergent and starch on garments sent out wears out your clothes quicker. Save your money and do your own laundry, not only will you save money, your clothes will look a whole lot nicer too. What do you do with all those clothes-hangers?

What about the Beauty Salon? I know we are all very dependent on hairdressers but all of us at one time managed to shampoo, set and even cut our own hair. Didn’t we used to get together with friends (or mom) and experiment? Try that again and make fewer appointments with the hairdresser.

Eating out has become such an ordinary part of everyday life we don’t think of this as an expense. Restaurants are finding it very difficult to hire staff and employees very often don’t show up for work which means the quality we are getting in restaurants is not worth all the money it costs to go out to eat.

This is the perfect time to start eating in your own lovely home with your own dishes, table settings and favourite meals more often. Your family will all begin to want to contribute to recipes, will share stories about memorable meals and may even want to help with the cooking. Make Sundays the day to cook meals or prepare vegetables for the week ahead.

Look at the flyer for your local grocery store. Supermarket advertising is full of prepared, prepackaged, precooked food – ON SALE. Very seldom are there any specials on vegetables. Most of the items “on sale” are saturated with fat, loaded with sugar or mostly carbohydrates. Yummy yummy – but not very healthy - these products will add a lot to your waist line as well as your food bill.

The prices of Paper goods keep going up and up, but you can save a lot of money by using dish cloths, rags, dusters, dishtowels and even a hand held bidet. Hand held bidets are not too expensive and are easy to attach to the shower – they are also handy for washing the dog.

By the way ….You are not still buying bottled water are you?

Grocery shopping

Can you ever prepare enough to tackle one of the most time consuming important tasks for homemakers?

1. Determine what you need and what your budget is for groceries

2. Check the pantry, shelves cupboards, kitchen, bathroom

3. Go over your recipes – think of ideas

4.Check the grocery store ads for specials

5.Download digital coupons from your grocery store web site

6.Look over all your paper coupons and keep them handy

7. Make a list – or make a list on your grocery store app

8.Get your bags, coupons, and list and take them all into the store with you.

Go to the store when you really have enough time to do a good job.

Get your trolley and go through the grocery store aisle by aisle.

Some people like to stick with their list, but ideas sometimes present themselves while shopping . You might see a spice or ingredient that you didn’t remember you needed.

BUT if you see something that is marked down

make sure the tag and the item are matched.

It is not always too clear what the sales tag refers to and you won’t know until check out and then it may be too late to correct. Mistakenly priced beer cannot be taken off your receipt. (Cannot return alcohol).

Try to be organized as you place items in your trolley – don’t put a bottle of bleach on top of the lettuce. Bagged onions, potatoes, carrots and apples nearly always included one rotten item.

When checking out at the grocery store it is difficult to determine what the actual price is that is being rung up with all the calculations that the register is doing.

It might be better to use the “self checkout” lanes.

This means it will take longer, but it will mean that you can see what the cost is for each item and you can ask a clerk for help.

If you have a store customer card scan that first along with your paper coupons first.

Line up your trolley next to the scanning device to make it convenient for you.

Take your time and pay attention as you scan each item – and any large items on the shelf of the trolley.

Examine your receipt before you leave the store and see how much you have spent.

Does it fit with your budget?

Were all the coupons applied? If your receipt is illegible, get another receipt.

Make sure you have all your bags back in your trolley.

When loading your car make sure you put all the bags in your car – AND any drinks or large items in the bottom shelf of your trolley.

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