Hidden costs of ignoring small outlays

Waste not, want not. Photo: Paul Jones You’ve heard the old adage; it’s the little things that add up. This could be the case if you have a number of small recurring expenses. The costs for the goods and services that can range from subscriptions, memberships, to apps and late-payment fees are easy to miss if the costs are small. Let them slide for too long and you’ll find these little expenses will add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each year.

Subscriptions These days you can just about subscribe to anything – from household goods and services to books, magazines, memberships, food and interactive games.

Most subscription users generally have the payments automatically deducted from a credit card or bank account, either monthly or annually. What can happen is you stop using the product, but forget to check if the fees are still being taken out.

A typical money drainer for parents is where they have signed the kids up for interactive games or learning programs. The kids soon get bored of the games and move onto others. Parents are caught out when they forget to cancel the subscription.

Downloads A new study from the US Online Publishers Association, A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User – Wave II, found tablet users spend $349 a year on purchases made from their devices. That’s about $29 each month. The downloaded items may be only small, but over time, they add up.

An app charge for a magazine or music video is so small that they’re easy to let slip and forget. The study also reported that paid apps account for 23 per cent of all apps downloaded in the past year.

Apps Speaking of apps, the average number of downloaded apps an individual carries on their mobile device ranges from 40 to 60. It’s fair to say with this many apps, it’s easy to forget the number purchased.

Once you begin to pay for a few of them, they can really start to add up. A song app might only cost $2, but if you’re after the latest tunes, 10 songs a month will set you back $24 or $288 a year.

Health insurance Private health cover is great when you need it. Just be aware you’re not paying for extras you may never use.

It pays to regularly check with your insurance provider to work out whether you have the desired cover to suit your needs. Most health funds offer additional extras to the basic cover. One example is pregnancy and obstetrics cover. After members have had the desired number of children, often this additional cover is no longer required.

If you forget to cancel the extra cover, you’ll continue paying the higher premium.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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