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Pop quiz: Any idea how much you spend a month on housing, food and entertainment?

22% of adults don’t know how much they’re spending on the big three: housing, food and entertainment, and the surest way to waste money is be unaware of what you’re spending.

So that’s around one in five people who don’t know.

And what I want to talk about today are some common money leaks that are draining people’s finances. First on the list is failing to track what you spend. If you don’t know where the holes are, you can’t plug the leaks! Once you understand your budget and figure out ways to save, that extra cash could be the money you need to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, save more and invest for your future.

So what are we wasting our money on?

First, your smart phone. A lot of us are paying far more than we have to. The fix is to look at your usage and be sure you’re not paying for minutes and data you’re not using. When adjusting your plan, give yourself a little wiggle room to avoid expensive overage charges, and track your usage the first month or two as you adjust to the change. There’s a free app called Onavo Extend that not only tracks your usage but also compresses your data, which can help you get up to five times more out of your plan.

Here’s another common money leak: All the stuff you have collecting dust in storage. The Self Storage Association says there’s about 7 square feet of self storage for every person in the nation and that “it is physically possible that every American could stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self storage roofing.” That’s an awful lot of cookie jars collecting dust.

Money Leaks  was originally published on

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