I keep slips (receipts) of everything – petrol (fuel) slips, toll gate slips, grocery slips, you name it. You’ll find it in my car’s cabinet or my handbag or somewhere in the house.
Most times I keep the slips to keep track of what I’ve spent – to see where my money went.
But I have to confess: most of my bills are sent to my email address. So I see how much an installment or balance of an account is.
I never check the exact details of what I’m billed for. #BigMistake
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Since I started the “Money mistakes I made” series on my blog, I’ve started being mindful. I started checking out what is on my bills. Well, I did about two weeks ago and damn was I in for a surprise.
My husband bought me a cell phone in September and only in November I realise I still get billed for a cell phone we no longer have.
I took out cell phone insurance on a retail account a few years ago when I bought a phone and I forgot about this. I had forgotten because I have a lot of debt on this retail account.
What’s the point of having insurance if you forget it’s there, I ask myself? And a little as R79 per month can be saved for something else.
I added up the R79 for the past three years (from the time I took out the insurance) and realised that I’ve spend R2844 for cell phone insurance to a cell phone I no longer use. Whaaaaaaat?!
I also see that I pay R95,50 for an account protection plan. Now I’m wondering, do I need this? For a year alone that costs a total of R1146.
I’m the type of person who leaves her debit card at home, just so that I won’t have the temptation to spend money unnecessarily.
Yet, here I am spending money on things I might not need.
Please note: A cellphone insurance is great, in fact beneficial, especially if you bought an expensive, good quality phone (which I didn’t). But what benefit is it if I don’t use it?
Tsk, tsk, tsk
So, I’m planning to finish paying this retail account in 2018 and then close it. I think it will help more if I take off the cell phone insurance – no matter how small, I want to save money where I can.
WHY I SHOULDN’T MAKE THESE MONEY MISTAKES
The money mistakes series that I started in November 2017, is so that I can track my personal finance. I also hope to save money so that I can save for my child’s future and resources for my personal growth.
So, I started checking where I spend money to see where I can divert or change these spendings.
Through this series, I’ve spoken to others like Abongile Tyoto about their experiences. Abongile, for example, told us that she took out a loan to pay off a loan. She also gave us lessons she’s learned.
OTHER LESSONS LEARNED
A lot of people told me that they enjoy the “money mistakes” topic because we all make mistakes – I am (we are) not alone.
Firstly, through this series, I’ve learned that talking about the mistakes is good. We learn from each other.
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Secondly, I’ve been reminded that asking for help is okay.
Anonymous from Khayelitsha told me that her boyfriend helped her with her finances. He sat her down to advise her on her financial situation. “It’s not fun, but it’s necessary,” the 31-year-old young woman told me. Her biggest money mistakes as an entrepreneur are:
- Not saving.
- Misusing personal and business funds for resources.
- Not paying herself a salary.
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Thirdly, I realise that I made some of my money mistakes because I didn’t have financial goals which include the costs.
Like, if I want to study a part-time course, how much will it cost me and how will I break that amount up to save it? (Just an example)
Dave Ramsey says: “Be intentional about where you’re going and, most importantly, why you are going there.”
What do you think? Have you thought of your financial goals for 2018 yet? Do you have saving suggestions for me? If you have stories about how you changed your spending habits, please let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading.