In my last article I talked about a service that takes your spare change and invests it for you. Today I’ll be talking about the opposite — things that steal your spare change.

  • The biggest one is not canceling your unused subscriptions. They are like death-by-a-thousand-papercuts for your bank account. Some of my clients have saved hundreds of dollars a month getting rid of services they didn’t even know they had access to.
  • Not checking your credit report regularly can actually cost you. My experience as a financial concierge has led me on several wild goose chases with credit reporting agencies, all in an effort to clear innocent clients’ credit reports of mistakes. Of course, lower credit translates directly into higher interest rates and larger down payments.
  • If you’re sending your second-born bundle of joy off to college, don’t assume that they will get the same financial aid award as their older sibling. The fact that you are already supporting a college student will be a factor in determining your younger child’s financial aid award. A missed Pell grant or subsidized student loan will result in thousands of dollars more in interest after graduation.
  • Don’t pay interest on a credit card. Think of paying it off every month as beating the system; you get a line of credit for free, and you can rack up frequent flyer miles at the same time.
  • For the love of God, use a CPA for your taxes! I guarantee you will lose money if you do them on your own. Would you trust me to be an astronaut? Don’t trust yourself to do your taxes.

I’ve always been a proponent of accomplishing big things by taking baby steps. Going through your monthly automatic debits, etc., is an excellent first step if you’re wanting to improve your financial health in a big way. You’re likely to see that it’s pretty interesting to go over your own books, and earn the confidence to establish systems that make it easier to keep on top of things.

Of course, if you couldn’t be bothered to do any of that, I know a good Financial Concierge.