No matter how hard you try to save money and carefully plan your budget, there are times when you spend too much when you click here or go shopping. This is caused by your bad habits and petty spending that you underestimate the damage. The magnitude of the problem doesn’t seem serious to you, and you don’t make any attempt to cut costs. These are a few categories you can get rid of to save more.
1. Prepared and Fast Food
It’s much cheaper (and healthier) to cook your own food than it is to buy ready-made food and indulge in fast food often. You may think that buying a prepared lunch at work almost every day isn’t costly at all. To see otherwise and imagine the scale of your expenses, try counting how much money you spend on food in the office for a week, a month or a year. The figure will be impressive.
It is unnecessary to severely limit yourself in food or avoid going to fast food restaurants. It is enough to find cheaper and healthier alternatives and take food to work from home. Try to buy and cook meat, vegetables and cereals more often, learn to eat a nutritious breakfast and splurge once on lunch boxes.
2. Subscriptions to Apps and Services
If your line of work involves working in paid apps and services, you can safely skip this item. Otherwise, take a piece of paper and write down all the subscriptions you’ve made. Chances are there will be quite a few. Don’t limit yourself to apps alone – think about paid notifications, unfavorable rates, and automatic payments. You may find yourself spending too much money on completely useless things.
Limit yourself to the most basic and really necessary subscriptions, and try not to sign up for new ones, even if you plan to cancel them after the free period. Keep a close eye on your debits: Some services charge your card completely unnoticed.
3. Impulse Purchases
Impulse purchases can cost you a lot of money. Moreover, they are rarely useful and necessary in everyday life. To wean yourself from the habit of making impulse purchases, try counting how many hours you need to work to pay for a particular item before you place your order. It may turn out that the product or service isn’t worth your time and effort at all.
4. Paying With Credit Cards
Credit cards are the most convenient financial tool. You don’t have to apply for a loan or installment plan – you just pay with your card and repay the debt after a while. So the prospect of getting a credit card and using it appeals to many people.
But it’s best to avoid using a credit card if you don’t keep track of your spending and are constantly going over your budget. Otherwise, you run the risk of going into heavy debt and spending all your hard earned money to pay off the loan with interest.
Drinks are expensive, often even more expensive than the food itself. That’s why you should avoid buying bottled drinks. It’s much cheaper to buy a water filter and a refillable bottle. So you can take water with you to work or to practice, thereby saving a considerable amount of money over the month and year.
If you’re a tea or coffee drinker, you can buy a compact thermos or a thermos cup. By brewing hot drinks at home, you save at least a hundred rubles and five minutes every day, avoiding waiting in line at the coffee shop. In a five-day work week you can save more than $100 in a month and $1,200 in a year, for which you can buy a good coffee machine and a stock of coffee for several months.
6. Clothes on Sale
If you don’t need a certain item, don’t go to clothing stores during sale weeks. When you see price tags with 50% off, you completely forget about the fact that you have plenty of t-shirts, already have a winter jacket and a bunch of work shirts you don’t even walk around in.
Buying an item for $5, knowing that a few weeks earlier it was at least $20, is the only thing that moves you in the store. You take away with you things you bought that you are unlikely to ever wear, feeling almost euphoric. Get yourself out of the habit of spending money on things you don’t need, even if that something costs pennies.
7. Branded Goods
Many people prefer to pick up name-brand merchandise instead of opting for cheaper items. If you have doubts about the quality of a low-priced product, take the time to study the composition or try it out. It may turn out that the taste and composition of little-known brands’ products do not differ from branded. Then why overpay?
Stop buying disposables if you want to save a lot of money. For example, it is much cheaper to buy a reusable razor or electric razor that will last a long time. Instead of buying disposable medical masks all the time, you can splurge just once and get yourself a reusable one.
Although disposables are cheap, if you figure out how much money you spend on buying them over a year or more – you can count a pretty hefty sum.
9. Cheap Appliances and Building Materials
Never spare money on appliances and building materials. Remember: the miser pays twice. And that saying definitely works. Decide to save money by installing cheap windows, buying the most affordable furniture or appliances of low energy efficiency class – and your money will rapidly drain, forcing you to be disappointed in your purchase.
10. Perishable Foods
When you find yourself at the store, you want to grab a lot of groceries so you don’t have to go back there the next day. Some foods will be in your fridge for days or weeks, and some will be gone in 24 hours. This is especially true if you buy half-price items: they can go from appetizing to foul-smelling and taste weird as early as tomorrow.
It’s better not to try to save money by buying expired products. That way you’ll only lose money by throwing the product in the trash.
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