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We've all found ourselves over-paying for something. Usually, it's because we want the product immediately. While, other times, brand recognition comes into play. And of course, almost everyone knows the regret of buying something that we really don't need. But, are there other small ways that we may be losing money? Odds are, the answer is yes.

In this list, we'll cover the common money-wasting potholes that many people fall into—and how to avoid them in the future! It's never too early, or too late, to work for financial peace of mind. And every step you take towards that helps! So figure out which of these things you might already do, and what you might want to start doing, to make your money work best for you.

You don’t need bottled water.

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Costs can stack up when you’re buying bottled water. Instead, get a water filtering system and a reusable water bottle. Help the environment and your wallet!

Not all travel requires a car.

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Are there times when you can walk? Bike? Get some fresh air, exercise, and save your gas money for when you really need it!

Speaking of transportation, how much do you pay for car insurance?

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You might be paying more than you need to. For sure, car insurance is a necessary thing, but a lot of us wish we had lower rates! Spend some time each year shopping around and comparing rates. Online car insurance search engine The Zebra lets you compare options from 204 different providers.

And what if you don’t drive as frequently?

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Should you pay the same for insurance as someone who drives a lot? Not necessarily! One insurer, called MetroMile, lets you pay by the mile, as over 65% of drivers overpay on their insurance to balance out the frequent drivers (according to MetroMile).

Be sneaky with your food!

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Let’s face it: movie theater snacks are overpriced. Candy can be between $4 to $5, and a fountain drink can be around $7. Either skip the snack or bring your food from home!

Smoking is both unhealthy and costly.

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Quitting can be difficult, but it’s for the best. Smoking isn’t good for you, and getting it out of your life will save you tons of money!

Be careful of overpaying on monthly bills.

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Do you have trouble haggling on your monthly bills, or keeping track of unwanted subscriptions? The app TrueBill will negotiate your bills and search for potential refunds. It will even cancel your unwanted subscriptions.

If you have credit card debt, don’t forget about it.

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Falling behind on your credit card payments can cause you to drown in debt and interest rates.
If you’ve reached a place where interest rates are preventing you from paying off the debt, it might be time to consider consolidating and refinancing your debt.

What does do those terms mean?

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When you consolidate your debt, you’re basically combining it into one lump payment (which means one interest rate per month).
When you refinance, you’re taking out a new loan—which comes with a new and presumably lower interest rate. If this is something you might need to explore, try Credible: the website offers users personalized loans.

Find a bank that won’t have you overpaying on bank fees.

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You need a checking account, but you don’t need a bank that tacks on extra fees, such as charging for ATM use, or for maintenance if your balance drops below a certain level.
If you can maintain the required minimum balance, great. If you can’t, find a bank that won’t penalize you for it!

Avoid over-drafting your bank accounts.

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Keep a careful watch on your bank account. If you can afford to, make sure you’ve got a little extra monetary padding in your account at all times.
If you can’t afford it, just make sure you know how much is in your account at all times in order to keep from over-drafting.

You’ll hurt your wallet, and credit score, with late payments.

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Late fees on credit card payments typically amount to between $15 and $35. Rent, mortgage, and utility payments also come with late fees, so make sure you’re either on top of your payments or have automatic payments set up!

Take advantage of 401(k) matches!

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Studies have found that many Americans are not investing enough money in a 401(k) account, to earn the full match from an employer. They're therefore missing out on thousands of dollars that they could be investing and earning interest on.

An online tax program will help you catch deductions and credits.

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Taxes are a headache, and many people miss out on money they could be getting back.
Using an online tax program will help you avoid mistakes, and help you claim the credits and deductions you’re eligible for.

Extended warranties come with a lot of fine print.

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While it may seem smart to purchase an extended warranty on appliances and vehicles, it might not be worth your money. The FTC has warned that many extended warranties aren’t worth what you’re paying for them. Make sure you know what you’re buying, and consider starting a savings account to cover the cost of repairs or replacements, instead.

If you need to fly, shop around for the best price.

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Airlines tend to tack on a lot of extra charges these days. Some will even charge you for bringing a carry-on!
Avoid wasting money by comparing airline prices, and knowing exactly what they’re charging you for.

Here’s another quick air travel tip:

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Make sure that you weigh your luggage before leaving for the airport! That way, you won’t be slapped with an overweight fee.

You aren’t obligated to keep up with your friends.

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It’s understandable if you don’t want to be the one to break that standing lunch date or forego grabbing a drink when everyone else does. But a recent study by Credit Karma shows that almost 40 percent of millennials overspend just to keep up with friends.
Even if it appears that your friends can afford it, you don’t need to spend your money at the same rate. See how much money you can save by foregoing things that you’d normally buy just to keep up appearances!

Budget monthly!

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You’d be surprised how much money you’ll save (and headaches you’ll avoid) if you budget your money.
Know exactly how much you’re going to spend on groceries, living, utilities, necessary things. That way, you’ll also know how much money you have to spend on luxuries and fun things.

To that end, try some meal planning.

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When you know exactly when and what you’re going to eat, budgeting becomes easier.
In addition, if you have groceries stocked and a plan in mind, you’re less likely to go out to eat—or worse, order food and pay a delivery fee in addition to an overpriced meal.

Use all of your groceries.

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So you’ve made the plan, and you’ve stocked your fridge and pantry. Now it’s time to make sure all of that food gets used.
Don’t lose money by letting things go to waste! Get the most out of your time, and your wallet, by using the food that you purchase.

Name brands aren’t always the answer.

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Sure, in some cases, there is a difference in quality. But most of the time, by taking a look at the generic counterparts to name-brand products, you can save quite a bit of money.
On everything from food to drugstore items to medication prescriptions, there are usually cheaper generic alternatives that work just as well.

Save money on your cell phone.

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Nowadays, you have lots of options when it comes to buying a cell phone.
You can potentially save money by going with a prepaid phone or buying from a reseller.

Curb your impulse buying.

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Yeah, shopping is fun. But impulse shopping can end up with you spontaneously purchasing a bunch of stuff you don’t need.
Make a shopping list beforehand—that way, you won’t walk away having wasted any money.

Coordinate your travel.

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If you’ve got a bunch of errands to run, make the most of them! Know what you need to do, and find the most fuel-efficient way to do it. That saves time and money.

We all need some love from a pet.

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And pets need love from you! Instead of spending money in a pet store or with a breeder, all pets in animal shelters come with their shots and immunizations.
There might be an adoption fee in the form of shelter donations, but all in all, it’s an inexpensive way to find yourself a new member of the family.

Online shopping is an art.

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Don’t forget to compare prices when you’re shopping online! The Paribus tool will also help you get money back for your online purchases; if the item drops in price, you’ll get a refund for the difference.

Unplug your electronics.

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When you leave certain devices and electronics plugged in they start sapping up energy. Many of them use up power, even when they’re turned off! Did you know that leaving your cable box plugged in even when your TV is off, gobbles up $23 per year off your electricity bills?

As a matter of fact, save energy wherever you can.

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You’ve probably heard that it’s important to turn off lights and watch your hot water consumption. If the environment isn’t enough of an incentive, think of the money you save by cutting out wastes of energy in your home!

Don’t overpay on renters’ or homeowners’ insurance.

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Check out the online insurance company, Lemonade, which offers affordable rates for both renters and homeowners insurance. Even if you don’t do with that company, shop around and compare rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
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