Tuesday, June 7, 2016

8 Things You’re Wasting Your Money On



Even if you pride yourself on frugality, chances are there are still things out there that you are wasting your money on. Here are eight of the most common things that we waste our money on.


Gym memberships


As this article details, keeping an unused gym membership is one of our most common expensive habits. And with the average gym membership costing $40 per month, canceling an unused gym membership could save you hundreds of dollars per year. 

If you’re currently paying for a gym membership, ask yourself if you are getting your money’s worth. Are you using the amenities that come with it? Are you going multiple times a month? 

If you aren’t using your membership frequently enough, consider canceling your membership and taking up running, biking, or at-home DVD workouts.


Cable


With streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, paying for cable has likely become a drain on your budget. Let’s say you’ve been paying $35 per month for cable, for example. 

If you were to cut that from your budget, you would be free to spend, say, $10 per month on Netflix while still having $25 left over. For most people, it makes more financial sense to pay only for what they are actually watching that it does to pay for an entire cable package.


Clothing


Clothing is to an extent a necessity, of course, but many of us waste money on clothing simply because of how we shop for it. 

If you only purchase cheap, fast-fashion clothing items, for example, then you’re likely having to replace your clothing items much more frequently than you would if you had invested in gently-used, higher quality items from a thrift store or eBay. 


Moreover, if you can wait a month or two for a clothing item you spot at a favorite clothing store to go on sale (and chances are you can), go ahead and do it.

Children’s clothing can put you way out of your budget as well. This is one area where you might consider erring on the side of cheap since children so frequently dirty and grow out of clothing.


Expedited shipping


The anticipation of waiting for a package to arrive at your home can be intense, but when was the last time you really needed that new gadget or item of clothing to reach you house before ten days’ time? 

A little planning ahead and patience on your part can save you a great deal in shipping costs.


Bottled water



Many people do not realize just how much cheaper tap water is than bottled water. According to this article, tap water is on average $0.004 per gallon, meaning you could fill up 24 16.9-oz (0.5-liter) bottles for just over one cent. 

Buying a 24-pack of 16.9-oz water bottles at the grocery store would cost you at least five dollars. Save money on water by purchasing a reusable water bottle—and getting a water filter if you don’t like the taste of tap water.


Brand-name food and household items


Sometimes it’s worth it to invest in name-brand products (e.g., batteries, paper towels, toilet paper, and household paint), but much of the time, generic brand products will serve their purposes just as well. 

Consider going generic for pantry staples, produce, dairy products, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, personal care products, and cleaning products.


Eating out


Setting aside a portion of your budget for a few dine-out meals is one thing. But one major money drainer is those foods and drinks we purchase at convenience stores, coffee shops, and counter-serve restaurants on-the-go, simply because we didn’t have the foresight to prepare a quick meal, drink, or snack beforehand. 


Reduce how much money you spend on take-out by remembering to pack a lunch for work every day and by taking a snack or two with you when you go out to run errands for the day.


Services you can do yourself


This is a broad category, of course, but think about those things you have done regularly that you could do yourself with the help of a quick Google search—getting your oil changed, having your lawn fertilized, having a minor leak fixed, etc. 

This can even apply to small convenience purchases like pre-sliced fruit or pre-portioned laundry detergent packets. Before enlisting the help of a professional or purchasing a convenience item, ask yourself, “Is this something I could reasonably do on my own?”

Consider those occasions where you might “skill swap” with a friend, as well. If you want to have family portraits done, for example, consider having a talented friend do your family portraits in return for doing something you’re skilled at for your friend.

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