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Are you leaving money on the table? Five places to look

Budget busters... They are hidden in your finances. Some major money wasters could be costing you a chunk of change.

SAN ANTONIO — Budget leaks could mean you are missing out on money. You could be wasting or missing out on money and not realize it. KENS 5 shows you how to plug those leaks to keep your cash.

Make money with your money. Make sure it is earning the most.

Money Waster #1: Leaving your savings in a traditional bank. You can bank on that you are missing out more money. Instead, move your cash to a high yield online savings account.

“In today’s world, even with the low interest rates that we’re on, you still can get at least three times the interest rates on online saving accounts versus a brick-and-mortar savings account,” said Ken Tumin, the founder and chairman of DepositAccounts.com.

“Brick and mortar banks offer anywhere from .001 to .003 percent interest on your savings,” said Andrea Woroch, a smart shopping expert. “If you do the math, that’s not a lot of money. Instead, look for a high yield online savings account where you can earn about .5 percent back on your money saved.”

Just make sure the online bank you choose is FDIC insured.

“You know it’s regulated just like any other brick and mortar bank,” Tumin said. “So, you can feel confident it’s safe.”

Most likely you are missing out on free money through your credit card.

Money Waster #2:  Unredeemed rewards.

“It’s free money, so why let it go to waste?” said Woroch. “I know that a lot of people wait until they feel like they can use their rewards for something really valuable, but there are expiration dates. You could let them go to waste and those rewards could be better used towards maybe an upcoming celebration or the expensive holiday season.”

Make sure you are getting the most credit card rewards possible.

Money Waster #3:  Not taking part in bonus promotions.

“You have to actually opt-in, like click that deal in your credit card account,” Woroch said. “So just make sure you're checking those deals and opting in so you earn those extra rewards. Sometimes it's an extra 10 percent back.”

You shop, so you might as well make money on your purchases with an app like Fetch Rewards that lets you earn cash back on in store or online purchases.

Money Waster #4:  Not earning cash back.

“Then you build up money in your account and you can redeem that for cash to pay out or gift cards,” Woroch said. “I actually just got a $20 gift card to Amazon, so that helps save on my daughter's birthday purchase.”

Also look at Slide for in-store purchases or CouponCabin.com and its Sidekick tool for cash back on online purchases.

Having fun can be profitable.

Money Waster #5:  Not earning money for your online entertainment.

“Believe it or not, there are services out there that will pay you to play games, to watch movies and  even to listen to and write music. So, check out slicethepie and this one will pay you to rate and listen to music. Then InboxDollars gives you different opportunities for watching short videos, trying out new products and services.”

Other money wasters include:

  • Not unplugging appliances, gadgets and phone chargers you are not using. They continue to draw electricity even in the off mode. Turn off fans when you are not in the room. The Department of Energy says doing so can reduce your power bill by about 10 percent a month.
  • Paying for unused subscription costs. Think online streaming services, subscription boxes and meal kit deliveries. Cancel subscriptions you do not need. Use your library’s digital e-books and videos so you still have entertainment options.
  • Not comparing auto insurance rates. Use the TheZebra.com to see if you can get a less expensive policy. You can switch your policy at any time.
  • Paying a high interest rate on credit cards. Call and ask your provider for a lower interest rate to save on monthly fees.
  • Throwing away unused food or leftovers. Meal plan to reduce food waste. Food in the garage is money thrown away. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables because they last longer than fresh ones. 
  • Paying fees for a checking account.  Switch to a no fee account to save.

If you have a question for Eyewitness Wants To Know, email us at EWTK@KENS5.com or call us as 210-377-8647.