• Motto

Doing This One Thing Can Save You Thousands of Dollars a Year

2 minute read

If you pay your credit card bill in full each month, you may be giving yourself a pat on the back for being financially responsible. But if you’re not actually looking at and reading through your statements, then you’re missing out on an opportunity for major savings.

I always recommend going through your credit card bill and highlighting all of the recurring charges. Unless you see something you 100% can’t live without, cancel it. It’s similar to unsubscribing from unwanted email lists—but will impact your bank account. Cancelling your pricey gym membership and running outside or listening to the radio instead of paying for music streaming could save you more than $1,000 per year.

You can also do a second sweep of your statement for habitual spending—things like buying lunch every day or getting drinks with friends multiple times per week—and brainstorm cheaper substitutes. Instead of dinner and drinks, meet friends for a pre-work walk. Spending $5 on coffee instead of $40 on dinner and drinks could save you $1,820 over the course of the year.

Read more: The 10 Richest Women of All Time

One last thing…
Regardless of where you are on your financial journey, there’s always room for growth. Take it one step at a time. Start by spending 30 minutes with your credit card statement each month, and commit to saving. Then, take the money and make a commitment to paying down debts or to saving and growing that money. I’d say that’s worth spending some quality time with your bill each month.

Jane Barratt is the founder of GoldBean, an SEC-registered investment advisor that provides education, personalized portfolio recommendations and access to low-cost trades.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com