Warning! Your money is going everywhere -- gushing out of your wallet, seeping out of your checkbook, oozing from your credit card.
Of course, we don't know exactly what money malady you may suffer from. But if you're like most of us, your dough drips this way and that every day, in tens of different directions -- and much more than it should.
There's so much to managing one's finances: spending habits, debt, insurance, short- and long-term investments, retirement, taxes, big-ticket expenses, hiring professional help, and so on. So much to know, so much to keep track of.
Let's look at a hypothetical example of someone (perhaps someone writing this column, but we're not telling) with a small leak in her cash flow:
Money Seepage Annual Cost $7 a day at work on lunch/snacks $1,800 Not shopping around for best car insurance $200 Missed tax deductions and credits $600 Useless tools, clothes, or trinkets $400 Rarely watched premium cable stations $120 Ignoring employer 401(k) match $1,000 Neglecting to refinance the mortgage $2,400 Accepting credit card's interest rate $400 College savings in tax-unfriendly account $200 Ignoring medical flexible spending account $150 -------------------------------------------------
See how easy it is to walk through life, trailing frivolous expenditures and missed opportunities? Sure, this is just an example, but contained therein is a lesson for all of us: There are many ways to spew cash.