6 hidden monthly expenses that eat away at your budget


Policygenius Staff

Policygenius Staff

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Published December 12, 2014|3 min read

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Written by our guest author Kevin Lillie of Choose Energy

Each month, money somehow disappears from your bank accounts. These "disappearances" typically happen in small sums, by services we use regularly. While we're in no way advocating for giving up Netflix (we're just as addicted as you are), it's worth noting that many services charge a regular, monthly fee that should be considered and included in your monthly budget. Here are the top six hidden monthly expenses to watch for.Which money management app is right for you? Find out now.

1. Insurance Premiums

Insurance premiums can sometimes come directly out of your paycheck before the check is even written. Life and long-term disability insurance can come out directly through HR, while other types, such as renters insurance and pet insurance will typically be paid for out of pocket. Because these transaction can occur in the background, you could be paying hundreds more per month in insurance premiums!To learn more, visit PolicyGenius.com's 5-minute Insurance Checkup to learn what you really need, and compare with you're currently paying for.

2. Streaming Video Services: Netflix, HBO Go & Hulu

Yes, you love "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards" and $7.99/month is not a ton of money. But keep in mind, your monthly Netflix subscription amounts to nearly $100 a year.

3. Ebook Services: Amazon Unlimited & Oyster

If you're an avid reader, apps offering unlimited reading can be a big bargain. Services like Amazon Unlimited or Oyster cost less than the price of a book, and offer a wide selection of 500,000+ books. However, each month, these services also take $9.99 out of your bank account, which comes to over $100 per year.

4. LinkedIn Premium

LinkedIn Premium is one of the best professional services, where you can see who's viewed your profile, how you stack up when compared to other candidates for jobs on LinkedIn, and the ability to reach out to professionals out of your network. Unfortunately, these services come at a cost, and the fees can climb steeply.

5. Transportation

Parking is a regular monthly occurrence, especially for those in larger cities. In fact, some parking meters actually earn more than the minimum wage! And it adds up. US motorists spend ~$4,500 (PDF) on parking each year.Parking can be a big monthly expense and by taking public transportation, sharing a ride, or Uber/Lyft-ing, the savings can add up substantially each month.What does it take to become a super saver? Here are some tips from the masters.

6. Utility Bills

Finally, utility bills can be a big monthly burden on the bank account. Each month, water, natural gas and electricity costs can mean paying 200+ to the local utilities.Budgets dynamically vary from household to household, and are reflective of personal lifestyle choices. However, there are several forgotten monthly expenses, which can add up quickly. By remaining cognizant of those expenses, you can prioritize your budget, and with the help of some great services, make saving easier. The key is finding the easy wins: like shopping around for insurance and energy rates, while also cutting out the things you can live without.Kevin Lillie serves as a content strategist with Choose Energy, the premier online energy marketplace. In this role, he researches and develops industry insights to educate and empower commercial and residential energy consumers._Photo: chihuixr