Are these ‘ant’ expenses killing your retirement fund?


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Have you ever heard about ant expenses?  These small, unnecessary expenses go unnoticed and yet deeply affect your pocket. And while your personal finances depend on your income, it is certain unnecessary outflows that are impoverishing you without realizing it.

The main problem is, when people talk about personal finances, they often tend to focus on how much they earn and not on how much they spend. However, a basic financial principle that is often overlooked is that your current situation is not due to how little you earn, but to how poorly you invest or utilize what you have.

In this regard, ant expenses deplete you, and if you set out to readjust them and even cut them off, you can change your approach to money forever.

However, before showing you the unnecessary expenses, it is important to clarify that this article is not an instruction against buying a life insurance, or not to enjoy what you have worked for. Rather, take this as an invitation to review your personal finances, and as an opportunity to control those ant expenses that are preventing you from achieving financial freedom.

1. Cable TV

How many television channels do you watch frequently? 3, 5, or maximum 10? If so, why do you need 120 channels, movie packages, and how much extra benefit do they offer you?

Cut your cable TV plan. If you are a chronic consumer of movies and series, consider Netflix, Disney Plus, or any other streaming platform that can be a much cheaper alternative.

Are you one of those  people who pay for channels in high definition without even having a television with these conditions? Or worse yet, you don’t know how your cable plan is set up?

If you really want to spend wisely, you should review your cable bill and see if you are getting the absolute best out of this service —if not, you can at least adjust it or better cancel it.

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2. Bank Commissions

To keep ant expenses in check, you should review the costs of your banking services and ask yourself the following:

  • How much does it cost you every time you withdraw money at bank ATMs?
  • If you make a bank withdrawal by check, how much are you paying extra?
  • How much can you save in tax in these types of transactions if you paid with your credit card on a given day?

To avoid this type of unnecessary ant expenses, look for banks that charge cheaper commissions, and those that offer cashbacks or tax exemption benefits for people who use their cards —even better, those that do not even charge you commissions.

To start, investigate how much they charge you at your branch and analyze what options you have with other banks. This way, you will avoid unnecessary expenses and have available cash to use for other valuable things.

3. Extended Warranties

These types of warranties are those offered when you buy products —usually technology— and whose purpose is to protect your purchases.

While it’s important to take care of your acquisitions, some extended warranties are just a waste of money. Aside from being expensive, their terms and conditions —which you probably never read— have a myriad of clauses that can leave you unprotected.

So, the best solution is to be careful with your belongings and rely on the warranty that comes by default with the product.

4. Lease

It’s not about not paying rent or living on the street. The only question is whether that luxurious apartment in the most exclusive and expensive sector of your city is worth it.

By moving to a smaller apartment in another location, you’ll not only stop spending money on expensive rent, but you’ll stop thinking about how to fill those empty spaces that require payments.

Rather than paying an astronomical rent, consider the possibility of acquiring a mortgage loan and buying your first home. It is preferable to pay instalments that will have a return.

5. Telephone and internet data

How many minutes, messages, and internet data do you have each month on your cell phone plan? Do you consume all of them? Most people don’t know how much they have.

So, why not look for a plan that is more in line with your consumption habits, or look for another company that provides the same service for a lower price —or cut back on services that you do not use?

If you are one of those who do not have a plan but recharge your line every time the resources run out, you could do the math and see if a monthly payment is much more profitable compared to something sporadic.

6. Life insurance

There is nothing wrong with a life insurance —moreover, it helps to protect the future of your relatives. The problem is the type of life insurance you are paying for.

Regardless of the one you are going to choose, remember that its value will depend on your age, the risks you assume, and other factors such as your health and family.

The suggestion is that you look for alternatives —for example, your credit card, which offers insurance for being a cardholder, or pension funds that insure you for having an account with them.

If you have never done an analysis, you are probably paying for an expensive plan or a plan that protects you from risks that you do not run, or for one that offers services that you don’t use. Do your research first to make an informed decision.

7. Subscriptions

These include magazine subscriptions, surprise gifts, gym monthly payments, among others that you never use.

For instance, you are subscribed to two or three magazines that you barely browse, and whose articles and content you can access on social networks. Or you’re paying a monthly fee at the gym, which you visit less than 15 times a month.

Very often, people are subscribed to things that don’t use that are automatically charged to their credit card —and very commonly they don’t even notice.

The idea is to be more precise and try to tailor your expenses to the amount of a product you use or the time of a service you utilize: If you want to pay for a gym, earn that right consistently.

You could invest this money more intelligently in other things that will be of greater benefit to you by getting rid of ant expenses!