For small businesses, small hidden costs can be a big drain on resources. However, many hidden costs can be easily avoided–if you know what to look for. When going over your bills, pay attention to these seven financial drains that commonly evade notice.
1. Private mortgage insurance
If your down payment was less than 20% of your mortgage, you were probably required to get private mortgage insurance. However, if you have enough equity, you can cancel this insurance. If you are eligible to cancel but haven’t yet, this could save you money.
2. Phone and cable “fees”
With proper negotiation, many of the silly fees associated with your phone and cable bills can be dropped, particularly if you’re a loyal customer. As a business owner, there are many phone options available to you, so make sure you carefully choose your phone plan.
3. Monthly subscriptions
Are there any monthly subscriptions that you’ve sign up but no longer use? Gym memberships and other automatic charges to your credit card can go unnoticed if you’re not vigilant. For example, remember to cancel virus protection software on a computer you don’t use any more. Another common example is a membership to a big-box store at which you don’t shop. If you’re not using it, don’t pay for it.
4. Monthly checking or ATM fees
You can probably find a way to stop paying for checking or ATM fees. It may require keeping a minimum amount in your account.
5. Annual credit-card fees
If there are any cards that you don’t use but have annual fees, consider getting rid of the cards.
6. Failure to capitalize on tax savings
Another way to “find money” is to find tax deductions. Oftentimes, looking closer at your return or talking to a professional can save you a great deal.
7. Overpriced Insurance
Shop around. Life insurance, in particular, has a lot of changes in rates. If you think you’ve found a better deal, take the initiative and look into a different policy. Consider raising your deductible.
Ultimately, the best way to save money painlessly is to keep up with your finances. Take a good look at your credit card bill, and pay attention to where you’re paying money. The best way to avoid hidden costs is to keep track of your expenses regularly.
This posting is intended to provide generalized information that is appropriate in certain situations. It is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer. The contents of this posting should not be acted upon without specific professional guidance. Please contact us if you have questions, (410) 893-9100.