When you are passing through an airport and you get yourself a meal deal, the magazines and that meter long Toblerone that you just need to have, you will have gotten your boarding pass out three times for it to be scanned. Have you ever asked why they need to scan your boarding pass? No you haven’t, but someone in the UK has asked for you and the answer is……you don’t need to show it. They have found out in the UK stores have been using this information to not pay 20% tax on anything sold to customers leaving the EU. Many stores, including high street giants have not been passing this discount onto their customers.

As this practise has been going on for years without anyone asking about it, they have been able to get away with it. We have stumbled through the departure lounges blinkered and unquestioning.  How many more things do we do that with in our lives?  Within a working environment we should be analysing the way we work and evaluating how successful completed tasks are. No one should ever say, “We have always done it this way, why change it”. Yes, while if the wheel isn’t broken, do not try to fix it, but a little tinker with the spokes may make it run smoother and quicker.

Now look at your personal life.  People do not and this can be costing you money.  Lots of money and lots of your precious time. Apart from your normal household expenses, the main area that you can save on is in your financials.

These are your bank accounts, savings, investments and insurances. When was the last time you looked into the charges of your bank?  Whether it be based in Vietnam or elsewhere, there will always be alternatives. If you are happy with the service the bank gives you, great. If not, wouldn’t you rather give your fees to a bank that you are happy with their service?  Same as your investment adviser and your insurance.  Just because you have been using the same insurance company for years and just keep renewing the same policies every year because it is easy, stop. Have a look around or engage someone to look around on your behalf.   That’s one of the things that financial advisers do. It’s not just all investments, pensions and mortgages. Make them earn their money.

So next time you are going through the airport buying your overpriced perfume that you won’t wear and that go-pro camera that will never get wet or muddy. Smile when you are using your new credit card from a different provider because it is cheaper and the service is better than the old provider.

Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. Contact him at Paul.mclardie@t-wm.com