6 Ways to Stop Wasting Money!
Make saving money a daily goal! Find insights and tips on everything from food and drink to extended warranties!
Anybody who has ever made a dime has likely spent one on something they didn't need, and sometimes didn't even want. Anyone who has wondered how to save money should start with throwing less of it away!
People frequently don't realize that they're losing money until they see the situation in retrospect. To help plug these money leaks and stay on a budget, let's look at some of the most common ways we waste money.
Food and Drink
Obviously, food and drink are necessities. Under most circumstances, you'll have to spend on them, but there are plenty of ways to spend less.
Not planning ahead for these needs can cost you a bundle. Convenience stores, restaurants, and coffee shops aren't cost effective places to purchase your daily sustenance. Once in a while, a trip to your local coffee shop is entirely okay. Stopping every day for a latte, however, is an excellent way to spend a couple of hundred dollars a month on something you could get at home for much less. Eating out is also okay in moderation, but it's easy to waste money at restaurants. Sodas and alcoholic drinks are far more expensive at restaurants than they are at home. Drinks tend to be among the most overpriced (and least healthy, if they are high-sugar soft drinks) components of a restaurant menu, so if you're eating out and saving money as a priority, consider drinking water.
Bills are pretty much unavoidable, but you may be paying for services that you don't need and don't even use.
Bank fees can be a big waste of money. Figure out the circumstances in which your bank charges fees (like when your balance drops below a certain amount), or avoid situations that cost you money or switch to a bank with a better fee structure.
Many service companies, like your cell phone, the internet or TV service companies, charge for all sorts of extras or give you a service for free for a limited period and then begin charging for it after that. Make sure you check your bill for these extras. If you don't get an itemized billing statement every month automatically, keep an eye on the total owed.
How to Save Money on Subscription Services
It's easy to subscribe to magazines, newspapers, or smartphone and tablet apps and then forget all about them. Unused (or underutilized) subscriptions are often automatically renewed and charged to your bank account or credit card. Gym memberships are another way to throw away your hard earned cash. If you're going to the gym on a regular basis, great! If you're not, don't pay for it just to make yourself feel that maybe someday you will use it. Don't keep your gym membership just because you feel like you should go to the gym. These memberships cost anywhere between $30 and $100 per month. That's a lot of cheddar for something you don't use. Many gyms offer one-day passes, or you can utilize a local rec center's gym for much less.
If you enjoy an occasional look at a magazine or newspaper but often don't read an issue through, find a way to get what you want without a regular subscription. Grab one at the grocery store or newsstand when you get a hankering to read or see a particularly interesting issue or stop by a library now and then to catch up.
You probably know at least one person who sells MLM (multi-level marketing) products, and probably even more than one person. From kitchen products to health supplements, there are a ton of MLM companies out there, and many sellers of these types of products.
While it's great to help out a small business person selling these items, it's also easy to buy products you don't need or even want out of guilt or just wanting to help someone out. Think carefully about your budget and your reasons for purchasing these products before you agree to buy any item. If you had already planned to buy a similar product at a comparable price, then helping out an MLM business owner is a very good idea. Buying a product because someone you know is waving it in your face and you don't want to say "no" is not a sound financial decision.
Many stores offer extended warranties on items like electronics and appliances, or maybe you've received offers for extended car warranties in the mail. It's in our nature to look for the security these warranties offer, and many of us have had the importance of insurance pounded into us since our teenage years. These extended warranties are rarely worth the expense, though. The items they cover are frequently already covered by manufacturers' warranties, and the majority of people don't wind up using the warranty even if something does go wrong with the product. Lastly, the fine print on these types of warranties often means that they don't cover much. They are often just not worth the money.
Some people may not agree, but luxury items aren't necessary. Unless it's important for you to maintain an image that offers up proof of your wealth and status for your job, an expensive handbag isn't a necessity and therefore is a waste of money. Luxury vehicles are the same story: there are much more cost-effective options out there. When shopping for these types of items, you can help avoid wasting money by considering whether the cost of the item is equal to its value in your life.
It's important to note here that what one person sees as a waste of money might be a perfectly necessary expense to someone else. This topic is, of course, subjective, and your priorities are your own to figure out. Be honest with yourself when you're saving money and remember that there's no need to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses are probably broke, and if you envy them for swimming in their pool, remember that they may also be swimming in debt.
If you're looking for ways to save money, keeping close track of your spending and income can show you some opportunities. You can use a spreadsheet, save each and every receipt, or enter income and purchases into an app on your phone like the Money Tracker app. Many people find that just being more conscientious of their spending habits can help to improve them and therefore increase their bank account balance at the end of the month.