[--- Reading Time: 2 minutes ---]

There are a million ways you can ruin your budget.  Whether it’s your morning coffee run or some other impulse purchase, we all have habits that slowly drain our bank account.  However, the last thing you’d probably consider to be a culprit is your clutter, but for many people it is.  In fact, 15 to 20 percent of annual budgets go to waste because of disorganization.  Here are the sneaky ways your clutter may be costing you money.

Misplaced bills and late fees are common occurrence

Normally when people don’t pay their bills it’s because they didn’t have enough money.  However, 23 percent of people have missed payments and incurred fees for a more foolish reason.  They claim to have lost the bill.  If your clutter is to the point where you can’t find important documents, it’s time to clean up.  Additionally, it’s a good idea to enroll in paperless statements.  By having the documents delivered straight to your inbox, you won’t have to worry about misplacing or shredding anything.  You may also want to consider enrolling in automatic bill pay to avoid getting anymore late fees.

You buy duplicates of items you already have

At some point, we’ve all accidentally purchased a duplicate of something we already had at home.  Even if it’s an inexpensive bottle of ketchup or a pair of jeans, that’s still money going down the drain.  The next time you get the urge to splurge, go through your closet or pantry and take inventory of what’s on hand.  Get rid of anything that no longer fits, is expired or you barely use.  Forget holding on to things for sentimental value or weight-loss motivation.  Any unwanted items that are in good condition can be sold or donated to someone in need.

You’ve run out of space so you’re paying for storage

Some people are so attached to their belongings that they’d rather rent additional storage space than to let anything go.  Research shows that 1 in 11 households rent storage space and spend over $1,000 a year.  We’re not only talking about people who live in small apartments either.  The majority of self-storage renters actually live in single-family homes.  Of this group, 65% already have a garage, 47% have an attic and 33% have a basement.  Therefore, you probably have the space you need but you’re just not using it properly.  Stop paying extra for storage and declutter your home instead.

You miss out on tax time savings due to lost receipts

Don’t let money-saving tax breaks slip through your fingers.  It’s one thing to miss out because you were unaware of what’s available but knowing that you had the necessary receipts and lost them will have you feeling sick to your stomach. Even though less people are expected to itemize under the new tax law, it can still be beneficial for some taxpayers.  You can deduct things like property taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions and medical expenses.  If you do your taxes at ezTaxReturn.com, they’ll tell you just what you can – and what you can’t – deduct.  You won’t be able to do anything without your receipts though.  Avoid accidentally shortchanging yourself by creating a tax folder for your important documents.  Sort through all the paperwork you’ve been letting pile up and keep anything you’ll need for the tax season.  To save time and money when you file next year, pre-register now with ezTaxReturn.com.