February 23, 2012 | Kasey Panetta, The Fiscally Fit Man from Men’s Health Magazine

We surveyed financial advisors to ask where their clients make the most money mistakes. Use their tips to keep tabs on all your loose change—and start banking some coin.


Unused club affiliations and movie services can add up, especially if auto-billing is in play, says Ronald Van Surksum, C.F.P., of Advanced Asset Management. Check your statements for these charges-some of which you might have forgotten about-and start canceling.


Some men tend to toss receipts, use all their cash, and hit the ATM again and again, says Cheryl Sherrard, C.F.P., of Rinehart Wealth Management. Save your ATM receipts for a month, subtract 20 percent from the total, and use that as your budget for the next month.

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An actively managed mutual fund may charge more than 1 percent—so over decades, a lot of your return goes to the manager, says Joe Alfonso, C.F.P., of Aegis Financial Advisory. Consider index funds or index-based ETFs, which charge only around 0.2 percent.


Instead of paying a pro for repairs or upgrades, do them yourself. “If a tax lawyer can paint a house, anyone can,” says Martin Shenkman, P.C., of Shenkman Law Firm. Look at it this way: Since you pay your handyman in posttax dollars, you’d have to earn about$750 to cover a $500 repair.


Buying a sandwich at lunch is convenient but also a huge daily expense, says Philip Lee, C.F.P., of Modera Wealth Management. If you don’t like the morning prep, stock the work fridge with a few staple items and prepare a sandwich at work. You could save $150 a month.