Not putting things back where they belong: My mom does this all of the time; scissors are a great example. Somehow they never end up back in the drawer with the pens, paper, glue etc…  so she eventually goes out and buys another pair. As it turns out, they were under the couch — right where they should be. There must be 10 pairs of scissors hiding in her house.

  • Remedy: When you are done using something, put it back where it belongs.

Not taking inventory before you go to the grocery store: You’re at the store and decide you want to make cookies tonight but are unsure how much, if any, sugar you have at home. No problem, just buy another five-pound bag. It will nicely complement the other five-pound bags of sugar you find when you return home.

  • Remedy: Take a quick inventory of what you have in your cupboards before you head to the grocery store.

Not shopping for your mortgage: People do it all of the time — getting one or two loan quotes and quickly settling on one. Then, right after you close on your new home, you find out that you could have gotten a better rate and saved hundreds of dollars each year and thousands over the life of the loan if you only shopped a bit more.

  • Remedy: Fill out a loan request on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. It is free, fast and anonymous. Lenders can’t call or email you and bug you to get your loan through them. Once you get loan quotes back from lenders, you can compare them side-by-side. An average user gets 14-15 quotes back and their first one within 1.8 seconds of submitting the request. Then, YOU decide who to contact.

Souvenir shopping at the airport: I’ll admit it, I did this a few days ago when I had one of those, “If we don’t bring back something for ____, we will be in trouble.”   Pleasing friends and family can be tough, but buying souvenirs at the airport is a waste of money.

  • Remedy: When you see something nice while you’re out and about on your trip — and it’s the right price — just get it. Thinking “I’ll come back later” is a thought and not an action. Just get it done.

Not using your bank’s ATM: Despite all the plastic we live on, sometimes stores and restaurants won’t accept credit cards and will only take cash. So, you dash to the nearby ATM and find it’s not your bank’s ATM and you feel the blood pressure rise. Sure, it’s only a $2 non-network ATM charge followed by an additional $2 charge from your bank, but you’re really craving that slice of pizza — so you bite the bullet and withdraw the money.

  • Remedy: Take enough cash out for the week from your bank’s ATM and avoid those pesky fees. Learn how to never pay an ATM fee again.

Do these patterns sound like you? If it does, the good news is that they are all easy fixes.

Enjoy your weekend!

About the Author

Alison writes about rental and mortgage market trends for Zillow Blog.

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