7) Buying brand name products
In most cases, the ingredients in generic products are identical to what’s in brand name versions. I reserve purchases of brand name items for things that I need to last a while and am confident in the quality like clothing, shoes, some electronics, etc. (That said, I rarely pay full price for clothes, furniture or shoes. There are plenty of discount shops like Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx or outlet malls where one can get brand name items at a discount). For refillable items like paper towels, tissue, soaps, toiletries, etc you’ll save more by opting for the generic versions.
6) Wasting money on food
Take a look at your bank statement and you may be amazed at how small random spending on food adds up at the end of the month. Adopt some basic saving strategies. Eat out no more than once a week. Preferably less. Eat a small snack before you eat out to prevent overspending on the meal. Pack your lunch for work instead of buying lunch at work. Get a sturdy re-usable coffee cup and brew your own Starbucks or Peets coffee at home instead of buying a cup of coffee every morning.
Have planned ways you store leftovers instead of tossing it out. Don’t be afraid to store just about any food you won’t eat right away in the freezer. To avoid unnecessary spending while grocery shopping have a list when you go to the store, go to the store no more than once a week and never go grocery shopping when you are hungry.
5) Paying too much on housing & car costs
Instead of spending all your savings on a mansion in a cheap neighborhood, consider buying the cheapest house in an expensive neighborhood. See “Top 7 things to do in your 20s to become a millionaire in your 30s”. You could improve your gas mileage by up to 3% by keeping tires properly inflated. When buying or renting a car take advantage of discounts you may be eligible for like AAA discounts or any discounts you may get from your employer. Consider buying a used car with low mileage instead of a new car or a car lease.
4) Paying for services you don’t use
Are you paying for full spectrum cable but only watch a few shows? Are you paying for an expensive gym membership you rarely use? Are you overpaying for services on your phone bill? Instead of cable opt for a cheaper online streaming service like Netflix or Hulu or better yet free options like YouTube. Cancel your gym membership and invest in a small home gym, download free workout apps to your phone or adopt a more active lifestyle. Examine every one of your monthly expenses and make sure you are using the services you are charged for. If not, cut it off.
3) Wasting energy
Check out these energy-saving tips that could be beneficial for your home or office. Appliances plugged in but not in use still use energy. Unplug appliances you are not using. Turn off the AC and other electronics when you are not at home. Keep your AC at a warmer than-normal temperature and turn on a fan. Use dark curtains for windows that get direct sunlight.
2) Collecting stuff you don’t need
Before you buy an item ask yourself “Is this item necessary to meet my long-term goals and happiness?” If the answer is no, don’t buy it. If the answer is yes, wait 24-48 hours and if you still find that you need it, then buy it. Impulse buying ranks as one of the most effective ways companies attempt to make you part with your hard-earned money. To avoid overspending on Amazon, I place items in a “wish list” instead of buying them right away. I don’t get a chance to look into the wish list until days later. If I still need it then I buy it. Find out where you do most of your impulse buying and look for ways to help curb that.
1) Unnecessary entertainment
Does your child really need an extravagant birthday party or will they be just as happy with a few friends, birthday cake, ice cream and games? Do you really need to host that large Christmas, New Years, fill-in-the-gap extravagant party or can someone else in your circle do it? Do you really need to relax by taking that expensive vacation or will a staycation work just as well once in a while? Do you really need a subscription to that newspaper or magazine or can you get the same information for free online? Examine all your forms of entertainment. If it’s a cost that will add minimal or no value to your life, consider adjusting the cost or cutting it out entirely. If you do choose to travel, waiting to the last-minute to buy plane tickets and book hotel rooms could end up costing you. Book them early. Explore inexpensive ways to relax and reboot. See “Top 7 secrets to the perfect family at home vacation” for more tips.
Have tips to avoid wasting money? Share them below!