The idiom “have money to burn” means to have a lot of money, but no doubt you would be fairly outraged if someone started literally burning your hard earned dollars, wouldn’t you? As a tax accountant in Dandenong, we’re all for being wise with our spending, and the fact is a lot of people waste their own money on a daily basis and surprisingly never seem to notice it until the quarterly bank statements roll in. Here are just a few ways in which this happens.

Not maximising their tax return
A number of individuals fail to maximise their tax return and miss out on opportunities to save themselves a few dollars. Without reviewing their tax affairs with their accountant or tax agent, they are wasting an opportunity along with wasting money. Examples of this include not claiming a 100% deduction for superannuation contributions if they are self-employed, or making the most of changes that allow them to share payment of superannuation with their spouse. Business owners or those who own property that they rent out as an investment could also be wasting money by not maximising their claims against their assessable income.

Credit card fees
Others waste money by not shopping around and checking out the best rates and offers when it comes to credit cards. Finance companies will often use a “sweetener” to get a customer online and using their card. One of the common ways is by offering the new customer the card without any fees in the first 6 or 12 months, but after that the charges kick in. Most people don’t say anything when this happens, but if they have a good credit rating they could be throwing their money away because they may be able to negotiate with the bank or finance organisation for a fee waiver or get a better rate.

Utility bills and mobile phone plans
By being complacent every time the renewal or bill payment reminder comes through the door or via email for a number of services purchased, you are wasting money without realising it. Energy companies, insurance businesses and telecommunications services need to be given a wake up call by their customers. Simply by doing some research and comparing mobile phone plans or different energy companies, and then going back to the one you’re using to negotiate a better deal or switching over to a cheaper service means money saved from the family budget. In order to retain customer loyalty, many service providers are able to price match or offer another incentive to stay.

Buying branded items
Marketing companies are very good at hooking the consumer onto buying branded goods and services, whether in terms of food or non-food items. Many food manufacturers produce the same product for a supermarket’s own brands as well as the larger conglomerate brand. The only differences are the label and the price, so people could be wasting money on a higher priced food item when on the next shelf sits the same product but with a different packaging. By carefully considering your purchases, household grocery shopping bills can be greatly reduced without everyone missing out on their favourite meal.