Who doesn’t want to save money? We all claim to. However, we also notice that money slips away from us. It is widespread to start with a healthy amount of cash only to see that it has slipped away in a week or a month.
Of course, most of us pay for rent or mortgage, bills, and groceries. Although we can save on these, the main culprit for vanishing money is in the details. According to an Ascent survey, 79% of respondents said they were spending more money than they should and were concerned about wasting their hard-earned cash.
So what are consumers wasting so much money on? The following is a list of everyday things we are spending money on but probably should not:
- Snacks When You Are Out
- Simple Repairs in the Home
- Expensive Coffee Drinks
- Products at Convenience Stores
- Individually Packed Things
- A Variety of Cleaning Products
- Gym Membership
- Cable TV
- Certain Types of Insurance
There is no need to buy snacks when you are out. However, we may stop at the gas station to fill up our cars (make sure those tires are inflated, by the way, or you are buying too much gasoline) and decide to buy some chips. So, first, some nuts, then some sweets, then some extra drinks, and pretty soon, the price of the snacks exceeded the final bill for the gasoline!
Plan ahead and always carry snacks with you. This is similar to the problem of buying expensive coffee drinks. Some of these elaborate creations can turn a dollar cup of coffee (which you could in any case brew for pennies at home) into something that costs over five dollars.
When you add flavorings and whipped cream to your coffee, it is worth asking the question if coffee is what you want. You can buy a cheap sundae at an ice cream store for half the price of a fancy coffee drink. If you are sure you like coffee, try making your fancy coffee drinks at home. Then, for the energy, caffeine and a lift, get a quick coffee at a diner for a fraction of the price.
By the way, if you give up that $5 coffee drink you buy on the go every day at the end of a year, you will have $1,825 and could easily afford an exotic cruise!
Do you have a leaky faucet, a clogged drain, or a door that always jams? Most of these repair jobs are DIY. All you need is a YouTube video and a trip to the hardware store, and for a few dollars, you can fix the problem fast. A caveat, though–anything electrical or potentially dangerous should be done by a professional.
So you don’t know what to have for dinner? Do you think you are saving money that you would otherwise spend on takeout Mexican food by purchasing the ingredients at your corner store? Next time, just order out because the markup on the ingredients you buy at convenience stores plus the effort you expend is not worth it. Always plan your meals for the week and shop accordingly. Avoid shopping at convenience stores whenever you can. Think about it this way–when something is marketed as convenient, it always carries a higher price tag.
Forget about individually wrapped items. The markup on these items is enormous. Buy the larger amount and package up individual portions in baggies. You also pay more for variety. We are told we need different types of cleaning products or laundry materials. Professional cleaners know that all you need is bleach to kill germs in the bathrooms and kitchen counters, lemon water for windows and baking soda, and warm water for the tough spots.
Gym membership increases in January, but how many people do you know go every day.? Workout videos, barbells at home, and running outside can get you in shape at a fraction of the cost. With the abundance of streaming services, you no longer need Cable TV unless you love surfing channels enough to pay the fee. Check your insurance plans and consider whether you can plan your coverage more efficiently and save money.
Saving Money Means Attention to Details
You may not have to get a part-time job to cover your bills if you can look closely at your habits and find ways to keep from wasting money in your day-to-day life. Re-evaluating your minor spending habits can save you a bundle and improve your financial security.