Nato Welton Every household has financial leaks -- the surprising ways in which money escapes. Find out how to plug them up
The Leak: Paying bills by snail mail.
The Fix: The average household receive about 15 bills a month. With stamps now at 42 cents each, you spend about $76 a year just on postage-and don't forget the late fees if your checks get lost in the mail. Save time and money by signing up with the billers' customer-service departments to have your bills paid by credit card or automatic debit; payments will be documented on your monthly bank statement. If you want more control, almost all major banks offer free online bill payment, which lets you schedule payments in advance.
The Leak: Paying an annual fee of $60 or more for a frequent-flier credit card.
The Fix: Frequent-flier cards make sense only if you charge $10,000 or more annually. For most people who pay off balances monthly or don't charge much, a no-annual-fee cash-back card, such as the Citi Dividend PlatinumRead More »from 9 money-savers that add up