The common financial mistakes costing ‘you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars’

Jul 21, 2023
After getting those pesky financial mistakes under control there are a number of areas that you can make savings to make your dollar stretch further. Source: Getty Images.

We are all guilty of the odd financial slip-up every now and then, whether it be forgetting to cancel a subscription or splurging a little more than you should have when you’re out to dinner.

While these blunders are innocent enough and probably aren’t given much thought at the time, turning a blind eye to such mistakes can cost you big bucks in the long run.

A recent survey from Finder found that 2 in 5 respondents (41 per cent) have made a financial blunder in the last 12 months.

Among those surveyed, 17 per cent forgot to cancel a free trial, 14 per cent let a gift card expire and 13 per cent went over data limits on devices.

Personal finance expert at Finder, Taylor Blackburn, said it’s easy to make financial mistakes from time to time given the challenge that comes with “keeping track of all your expenses, especially the automatic ones”.

“Whether it’s being absent-minded or falling hostage to too many subscription services, we’ve all been there,” Blackburn said.

“But turning a blind eye can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars if you aren’t vigilant.

“Having just one $20 per month subscription you aren’t using will set you back $240 a year. If that service costs $20 a week, now you are talking about $1,040 wasted in 12 months.”

For those wanting to take control of their finances and avoid mistakes that could cost you more in the long run, Finder suggests creating a list of all your subscriptions and the cost each month then reviewing each one to determine if you really need them.

After getting those pesky financial mistakes under control there are a number of areas that you can make savings to make your money stretch further.

Founder and CEO of Stockspot, Chris Brycki recently shared some expert tips with Start at 60 regarding some of the crucial areas in which Australians can find much-needed savings, particularly in retirement. 

  • Government – Most governments provide seniors with discounts and reduced prices for items such as transport.
  • Groceries – Brycki suggests that “where possible, bulk buy things when they go on sale, especially non-perishable items like cleaning products. Also look for special savings days.”
  • Utilities – some utility providers offer a discount to seniors and retirees. Shop around to find a provider that offers discounts and to ensure you are getting the best prices.
  • Healthcare – again shop around to ensure you have the best health cover available. Some providers give discounts to seniors provided they have a Seniors Card or are retired.

If you’re looking for other areas you can scrape back some cash, you could take inspiration from the Australians who are opting for generic brands of popular supermarket items to save money at the checkout.

Recent research from Compare the Market highlighted the growing trend, finding that nearly three-quarters of Australians have chosen the generic option over the more popular name brands during their weekly shop in the past 12 months.

The study found that the generic version of items such as pasta, cheese, teabags and bread came in at half the price of the popular name brands.

“A lot of people are feeling the pinch and are looking for more ways to claw back cash,” Compare the Market spokesperson Phillip Portman explained to 9News.

“If you are willing to make that switch, there are savings there.”


IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.


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