Financial Freedom : How To Cut Down Your Expenses

Experts say there are certain expenditure
that ought not to have a place in your budget.
SIMON EJEMBI writes on some of them.
On a daily basis people spend money on things
ranging from feeding and transport to phone
calls. Experts say while some of the
expenditure are out of your control, several
can be reduced to save costs, while others can
be avoided altogether.
Some costs such as school fees and taxes
cannot be avoided by parents and adults, but
some others such as subscription fees or
illegal parking fines can be avoided. Financial
experts say by avoiding such expenses you can
free up money and boost your savings.
Some of the costs you should try to avoid are
discussed below.
Airline fees
Many air travelers regularly pay such fees as
excess baggage fees or even checked baggage
fees. But experts say many of them do so
needlessly. They explain that many of the
people that end up at the airport with excess
baggage do so because they failed to prepare
properly or read about baggage limits. As a
result they end up paying for items they could
have left behind had they paid more attention
to guidelines. This amounts to money that
could have been put to better use going to
'waste'. For instance, some airlines allow
passengers to carry up to 40 kilogramme of
baggage without paying and charge N500 per
kg of excess baggage. This means that if you
carry 10kg of excess baggage that would cost
you N5, 000.
To avoid such expenditure, it is advised that
you pack lightly if possible when travelling by
air. For a short trip, if it is possible, take only
carry-on baggage. And ensure that you know
the weight limitations of the airline you are
travelling with.
Power supply re-connection fee
Some people end up paying electricity re-
connection fee almost every month or every
time officials of the Power Holding Company
of Nigeria comes to disconnect subscribers
who have defaulted in paying their bills. At the
moment, the re-connection fee is N2, 000. If
you have to pay that every two months that
means in a year, you are spending N12, 000
that would have gone into paying your
electricity bill instead. So, if you are yet to
get a prepaid meter, it is advised that you
avoid this cost and instead ensure that you try
to pay your bills promptly. Even if you just
moved into a house, with a rather high
outstanding bill, you could try to work out an
arrangement with the management of the
PHCN office in your area instead of waiting
until you are disconnected as that would mean
you will have to pay N2,000 for 'nothing'.
Traffic tickets
This is one area where many car owners can
end up accruing a lot of costs. By parking
illegal, dropping people off at the wrong spots,
failing to wear your seat belts, driving without
a license or number plate, etc., you will have to
part with a huge amount of cash once you get
caught by officers and men of the Federal
Road Safety Corps or any of the traffic
management agencies state governments are
establishing now. In Lagos State, for instance,
there is the Lagos Traffic Management
Agency and for each offence you commit,
there is a fine attached. Some car owners have
paid up to N50, 000 in fines over time. For
someone trying to become financially
independent and to have a bigger savings
account, you can do without such fees.
So, whether you are in a hurry or not, do not
violate traffic laws; doing that makes you
incur costs you don't need.
While you can avoid traffic fines, it is not
possible to avoid parking fees. However,
experts advise that it is important that you
avoid paying very expensive parking fees,
especially when there are free parking spaces
around. Also, you can avoid excessive parking
fees by shopping or eating at places where
they are free parking spaces.
Bank charges
It is true that banks no longer charge you
N100 for using your automated teller machine
card on their ATM even though you do not
bank with them. But there are other charges
you could avoid. If you use your ATM card to
withdraw money frequently then you will have
to part with anything from N500 upwards
every month for SMS alerts.
If you engage in online banking and you
regularly transfer funds then you are bound to
pay more as some banks charge up to N100 or
more for each transaction.
To ensure that these fees do not affect your
savings, you need to pay more attention to
what you are being charged and to make
adjustments where necessary.
By ensuring you have a budget for every day,
you will have a clue about your cash
requirements and in the absence of
emergencies you won't find yourself looking
for and ATM many times in one day.
It is also important to have details about how
much your bank charges for its services.
Subscriptions costs
Experts advise people to regulate their
subscription costs by review them from time
to time. This, they say, is because over time
some subscriptions that where once useful to
you will become irrelevant. Consequently, it
would be unwise to keep subscribing for them.
That will amount to wastage of funds. So, if
you have subscribed for a special package
from you GSM service provider or to a
professional magazine which you no longer use,
ensure you cancel the subscription and stop
The same thing goes for cable subscription.
Experts say if you hardly spend any time at
home then you should subscribe for just a few
relevant channels instead of bearing the costs
of the entire available channels.
Late payments
When it comes to tuition or fees for seminars
and workshops, it is common to observe that a
higher amount is marked out as fees for late
registration. Similarly, when you default on
the repayment of a loan or payment for a lease
purchase, you are likely to be asked to pay
higher interest rates. Experts say the extra
charges you incur for late payments also fall
into the category of costs you should avoid. To
do that, they advise that you should try to be
more organised and to pay your bills on time.
Missed discounts
Experts say some people do not know how to
negotiate, they fail to carry out any form of
research about companies providing or selling
the product they want. Consequently, they miss
opportunities to negotiate prices or to buy
goods at discounts; once they are told the
asking price and they have the money, they
According to experts, people should strive to
avoid such purchases. They stress that buying
items at a higher price when there are being
offered at discounts amounts to financial
recklessness on the part of the buyer.
Delivery fees
With several online companies now offering
services in Nigeria and as companies intensify
their battle for customers, some of them now
offer delivery services. They tell you that you
can buy their products and have them
delivered to you, at a small price. But some of
them offer free delivery services. Those are
the ones experts say you are better off
patronizing They say that while companies give
the impression that they are only charging a
token for delivery, many of them make profits
on that as well. According to them, there is the
need for buyers to be vigilant and to opt for
free delivery instead of paying for the service.
Sent from my Blog

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