Are These 5 Money Mistakes Draining Your Savings Account?

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Struggling to keep your savings account funded? It might not just be a problem of limited income or financial emergencies. Here's why.

We all have good intentions for our money, but life happens and things sometimes take a turn for the worse.

If you’re among the people who abide by a strict budget and have a hefty cushion intact to cover emergencies, kudos to you. If not, you’re likely among the 62 percent of Americans whose finances would crumble if an unexpected expense arose, according to a survey by Bankrate. A bulk of the subjects surveyed had a spending plan, but were living paycheck to paycheck and hadn’t set aside money for an emergency fund.

Perhaps you struggle with the same issue, or find it difficult to maintain the fund as the money departs as quickly as it’s deposited.

Either way, here are some money mistakes that may be wreaking havoc on your savings account:

1. Failing to plan your meals for the week

You spend no more than a few minutes coming up with nutritious meal ideas for your family and race through the grocery aisles filing up the shopping cart without giving the prices much thought.

Following a healthy diet is paramount, but it can wreak havoc on your spending plan if you don’t abide by the golden rules of grocery shopping.

2. Bad beverage habits

If you’re always on the go, preparing your own coffee can be a hassle. Plus, you prefer the taste of Starbucks to give you the spark you need for the day. If your budget is failing you miserably each month and your savings account is picking up the slack, it’s time you tread lightly with the coffee shop visits.

Just one tasty beverage at $4 a day, five days a week, amounts to a whopping $80 per month. And that doesn’t even factor in the sweet treats awaiting you in the display case.

3. Not anticipating deductibles

You desperately need good health and auto insurance, but you can’t afford the high payments. So you opt for a higher deductible. That’s often recommended as a way to lower insurance premiums.

However, it’s potentially hazardous. It could wipe out your savings account in the event you haven’t stashed away enough money to cover the deductible plus meet other emergencies that could arise.

I learned this lesson when I had a surgical procedure. A few minutes after showing up for the pre-op appointment, I was notified I’d need to cough up $1,000 before treatment. Reasoning: I hadn’t met the $500 deductible, and only 80 percent of the costs associated with the procedure were covered by my plan. Fortunately, we had a fund for medical bills so I could make the payment, but I hadn’t anticipated that I’d have to pay out-of-pocket before the procedure.

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