4 Ways You’re Losing Money Without Realising It

Money, as we all know, is such an inexhaustible topic, from earning it to, investing, to spending and even sometimes losing it. We are mostly focused on the first three and barely paying attention to probable ways we have been losing cash.

Most of us work hard for our money and don’t have trust funds waiting for us somewhere (congrats to those that do btw). Therefore every naira counts and being on the lookout for some of these money-sucking elements can go a long way in cutting unnecessary expenses and increasing your disposable income.

This article intends to bring you to the vantage point by letting you on things you’re doing too much or not doing at all that could in one way or the other be costing you some dola dola bills or whatever currency you spend…

Tracking your expense schedule, asking for a discount and buying items in bulk can help save up cash and thereby reducing the risk of losing money - @adeyojuwon Click To Tweet

1. Bank Charges

It’s so funny that what the banks are expected to do is turning to the exact opposite of their duties. Remember this tweet by a young lady who claims a certain bank removed beyond an expected amount from her deposit?

To be fair, I’ve been a victim of this and going to banks to complain about your 500 Naira that was “unfairly” removed isn’t going to solve it.

Banks charge you 4 Naira for every text message they send, and this automatically increases per every cash transaction you do.

Talk about card maintenance fees amongst other hidden charges imposed on us all in the name of saving money.

The Fix

A lot of people have more than one bank account/debit cards for one reason or the other. All of these attract individual maintenance costs.

A simple solution to ridiculous bank charges is trying as much as possible to have one savings account and one debit card thus eliminating charges that may arise from owning multiple accounts.

Also, a prior budget as to how much you’ll need for a week perhaps will most likely reduce constant cash transactions and erasing any need for unnecessary bank deductions.

Finally, on this note, FinTech platforms such as CowryWise has been able to afford us cheaper means to save with lesser fees, with better regulations on its side, it’ll be more pronounced.

2. Delay in Paying Off Debts

 While taking a loan isn’t a big deal, delaying its pay-off is quite a deal. Especially when it has interest attached to it.

Interest accumulates over time and as a result, delaying your debt pay-off inevitably increases the amount you’ll pay eventually and by so doing, you’re gradually losing money.

The Fix

Once you have an inflow of cash probably due to holiday bonus or a salary raise, it is advisable you pay off your debt as soon as possible, this will enable you to have extra to spend on other things and potentially save a lot in interest payments.

You could make an arrangement that will give flexibility in loan payments with your preferred lender.

3. Avoidance of Negotiation

Another money-draining factor that might not have ranked high in your day-to-day activities is Negotiation i.e. accepting prices as they are.

Vendors rarely quote the fair/exact prices of their products so therefore, you’re most of the time expected to bargain and beat down the prices a little bit more to achieve what appears fair to both parties.

This negotiation rule also applies in the professional world such that you’re expected to negotiate your salary and not simply accept what you were offered.

According to a paper by Harvard Business School, women are most likely to agree to the first offer on the table thereby forsaking or better still losing hundreds of naira and not just money in most cases but visibility and career growth. It is time we change the narrative.

The Fix

Weighing other options available to you by knowing what prices other vendors/employees are offering will go a long way in helping to save money.

This similarly applies to online stores, I recently got my new phone and prior to this, I checked a couple of online and physical stores so as to get the fairest price and avoid being overcharged.

Always remember that there’s a high price for the avoidance of negotiation.

4. Subscriptions

By now, we’re all aware that technology comes at a cost. There is a cost to watch an endless array of movies, to listen to your choice music at any time, to surf the internet at any time of the day.

Also, it’s expensive to use Instagram and other plans such as magazine & newsletter subscriptions, gym membership, and diet plans etc.

It’s easy to forget you subscribe to a package especially because it is linked to your debit card so deductions are done automatically.

The Fix

 It is advisable to subscribe only to plans you use regularly, and this way avoid wasting money on plans you eventually don’t get the most from.

Certain subscriptions especially newsletters could be done with a group of people hence subsidizing prices per individual user.

Other significant ways you might be losing money includes wasting food, canceling your Uber or Taxify rides, and sometimes impulsive spending especially on items that are not needed.

On a final note, tracking your expense schedule, asking for a discount and buying items in bulk can help save up cash and thereby reducing the risk of losing money.

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About Adedamola Olabintan

Adedamola Olabintan holds a BSc. in Economics from the Ekiti State University. She currently works as a financial analyst at an energy-focused investment bank where she is gaining experience in areas such as Capital Markets, Corporate Finance, and Risk Management.

As a contributor for She Leads Africa, 'Damola focuses on personal finance which encompasses savings, investment, money-management and others among young women.

She occasionally writes reviews about events and programs in Nigeria. In her spare time, she enjoys writing on her Medium page and also volunteering for non-profit organizations focused on recycling and waste management.

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