Money leaks – are your finances dripping away?

It’s often the little things that can cause the big problems – that chocolate bar each day adding kilos to your waist-line; that small leak in the pipe wasting precious water, that can cause untold damage to a home if left undetected.

Money leaks can do the same to your finances. It may only be a small amount but over time, and especially when added to other “small amounts”, can do serious damage.

Forgotten subscriptions

Years ago I worked for an international company that sent out a world-wide memo advising that all newspaper and magazine subscriptions were to be cancelled. Apparently they were costing $millions a year. As you’d expect, this memo was met with much derision but we dutifully began the exercise.

What we found in just one unit of a global enterprise were 47 copies of the same magazine being delivered every month, newspapers addressed to staff who had long gone and put straight in the rubbish, and numerous other examples of duplication and waste. It took a bit of time but we cancelled subscriptions, shared magazines and helped save $millions.

Look for your own leaks

Now I’m not suggesting you’ll save $millions, but it is worth looking around your own home and/or business for any money leaks of your own:

• subscriptions for magazines you don’t have time to read but haven’t cancelled,
• the gym membership you began in January last year and still haven’t attended,
• bank accounts you don’t need or use but keep paying the monthly fees,
• that loan repayment insurance you took out for a debt you have now repaid.

Take a minute to read your statements and look at all the automatic deductions from your bank accounts. They might not seem significant amounts but over time, and collectively, can add up and why pay for something you don’t need or use?

Be selective

Just don’t go cancelling everything especially something you need or love; or that creates goodwill with your staff. I have seen organisations cancel lunch services only to find their staff no longer collaborate – a lot of business gets done over lunch. I won’t even mention the organisation that cancelled the free milk in the tea-room so staff had to walk down four flights of stairs to buy milk from a vending machine?

Involve the kids

Make it a competition for the kids to see who can save the most money and show them that you have to regularly keep an eye on your finances if you want to stop them dripping away.

Image by Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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