Money Leaks: Identify and Stop Them

Money Leaks: Identify and Stop Them

Money leaks, often subtle and unnoticeable, can slowly erode your financial stability. In Australia, as in many parts of the world, individuals often find themselves facing unexpected financial challenges due to these leaks. In this blog, we will explore the concept of money leaks, identify common causes, and provide practical steps on how to stop money leakage and improve financial security.

What is Money Leaks?

Money leaks refer to the small, often overlooked expenses or habits that drain your finances over time. While each leak on its own may seem insignificant, the cumulative effect can be substantial, impacting your ability to save, invest, and secure your financial future. Identifying and addressing these leaks is crucial for achieving financial stability.

Common Causes of Money Leaks

Money leaks can occur for a variety of reasons, and identifying their root causes is the first step in plugging them. Here are some common causes

Impulse Spending

Impulsive purchases on non-essential items can lead to money leakage. It’s easy to overlook the cumulative impact of these small expenditures.

Subscriptions and Memberships

Unused or forgotten subscriptions to streaming services, gym memberships, or magazines can slowly drain your bank account. A noted podcaster once claimed, for example, that he took up a certain SVOD service’s free trial just to watch a single fight but never used that service again – even as the free trial was automatically upgraded to a paid subscription, with the bill incrementally going up. 

Dining Out Excessively

Regularly dining out or frequently ordering takeout can significantly drain your finances. It becomes particularly troublesome when you realise that a considerable portion of your monthly budget has been consumed by these expenses upon reviewing your receipts and statements.

Unmonitored Utilities

Neglecting to regularly review utility bills can result in overpaying for services or failing to identify water or energy leaks in your home. Some people might only discover they’re behind on utilities when they are actually cut by the provider. 

Unplanned Fees

Late fees, ATM withdrawal charges, or overdraft fees can accumulate when financial accounts aren’t managed carefully.

Unused Gift Cards and Vouchers

Forgetting about gift cards or vouchers can be seen as a loss of potential savings. How many coupons do you have at home that you were about to use – only to find their expiration dates have long passed?

How to Stop Money Leakage

Now that we’ve identified common causes of money leaks, let’s explore practical strategies to stop the leaks and improve financial security

Create a Budget

Create a detailed budget delineating your income and expenditures. Track every expense, no matter how small, to identify where money is slipping away.

Prioritise Spending

Distinguish between needs and wants. Prioritise essential expenses while cutting back on non-essential purchases. As credit cards are also a form of money leak, you must strive to pay the entire balance, if not a big bulk every month, to avoid late fees. 

Review Subs and Memberships

Regularly audit your subscriptions and memberships, and cancel those you no longer use or need. Some financial apps offer users the flexibility to cancel those subscriptions and memberships with a swipe of the screen, which may help avoid long wait times speaking to a subscription service’s customer helpline requesting a service cancellation. 

Meal Planning

If part of your money leaks concern eating, you can consider cooking your own recipes at home when the money you spend on dining out is used to buy ingredients instead. Plan your meals, and assemble the shopping list for the ingredients. Take the time to add more long-term staples to add more cupboard resources.  

Shop Mindfully

Avoid impulse purchases by drafting your shopping lists and ensure adherence to them. Consider waiting 24 hours before making non-essential purchases to reduce impulse buying. Although, the appropriate waiting period may vary for different individuals and situations.

In some respects, certain very minute purchases can snowball if there’s money spent on them every month; in an interview with News Corp Australia’s Anthony Keane, Thalia Stanley Group director Marion Mays said one of her clients was shocked to find they have been spending as much as $100 a month on bottled water – which may discomfort others, given Australia’s issues with bottled water and the effect of PET bottles on landfills.

Monitor Utility Bills

Review utility bills for any discrepancies or unexpected increases. Fix any leaks or issues promptly to save on utility costs. When that includes rising power bills for example, make a pivot such as shutting down certain appliances when not in use or to use them for shorter periods, like putting air conditioners on sleep mode or to use any timing functions. 

Automate Savings

Set up automated transfers to a savings account as soon as you receive your latest paycheque. One way to make it happen is to arrange it with your bank, especially if that bank also handles your employer’s payroll account. This ensures that a part of the money is already set aside before you even spend anything.

Make sure to regularly review and adjust savings goals as your financial circumstances change.

Emergency Fund

Build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, reducing the need to dip into your regular budget.

Track Your Expenses

Use budgeting apps or software to help you track expenses in real-time. This can provide insights into your spending habits and help you identify areas where leaks occur.

Financial Planning

If it’s within your budget, consider seeking guidance from a financial advisor. They can assist in crafting a thorough plan tailored to your goals, pinpointing and resolving any financial inefficiencies along the way.


Money leaks may seem inconsequential on their own, but they can have a significant impact on your financial stability and security over time. Recognising the common causes of money leaks and taking proactive steps to address them is essential for achieving financial freedom. Developing smart financial habits, such as meal planning and automating savings, can help you regain control of your finances and secure your future.

Remember, closing the drip on money leaks is not only about saving money but also about building financial security and achieving your long-term financial goals. By taking action today, you can stop the leaks and pave the way to a more stable tomorrow.

DISCLAIMER:  This article serves solely for informational purposes and does not represent official financial advice. 2 Ezi has no affiliations with any individuals mentioned herein. Please consult your financial advisor.

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