Cutting back on unnecessary expenses is not going to be fun nor is it going to be a good time, but if you want to protect your financial wellbeing in the long run then it is an important aspect to implement. Budgeting is almost always easier said than done and falling off the proverbial budget wagon is something we all do from time to time. Spending money is often more of a mental thing than it is a necessary thing for our physical wellbeing. If you have a long-term goal that you are working towards, like purchasing a new car or a house, you need to get your finances in order as soon as possible. Here are 10 tips for cutting back on those extra expenses that are more “want” than they are a legitimate need.
1. Fast Food
This number 1 killer of all things budget is a tough one to cut out if you’re used to your daily meals coming from somewhere other than your fridge. By spending just $10 a day on a seemingly small snack each day, you will waste around $36,000 in ten years, as mentioned on Cash Jargon. If you stop this habit today and put that money into a savings account you can start a college fund for your kids, even if you don’t have any yet.
2. Take-Away Coffee
This is another sneaky one that slowly and surely eats away at your monthly budget. It seems harmless because after all, it is just a cup of coffee. Rather invest in a reusable travel mug and make your coffee yourself in the mornings. This small spending adjustment can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
Many of us are guilty of this terrible spending habit, including me. Snacks are one of the easiest ways to waste money because you get charged far more for the smaller versions than you would for the same weight equivalent of the bigger sizes. So, effectively you are charged more to buy less. Snacks are a convenience purchase trap and a highly effective one. If you find yourself needing to nibble on something in between meals, then you should either buy healthier snacks like pretzels and popcorn in bulk or put more research into your meals so you are left feeling fuller for longer.
4. Subscription Services
These charges often go unnoticed for quite some time because we don’t realize they are going off unless we regularly check our bank statements, or they seem like too much of a hassle to try and cancel – like timeshares. Lucky for us there are places like Wesley Financial Group that offer these kinds of services so we don’t need to go through that hassle. These smaller charges may seem relatively harmless at first but after a year they will all add up to quite a substantial amount of money that you could have saved instead.
Vitamins are largely a waste of money unless you have a specific condition that requires that you take them. We should be able to get all the vitamins and minerals that we require to stay healthy with a balanced diet. It is often tempting to not worry about what we eat because if we are taking fistfuls of vitamins we tend to lull ourselves into a false sense of wellbeing. Unfortunately, for the most part, this is wholly inaccurate.
Gas prices are beyond our control but the number of trips we take in our cars is in our control. Instead of wasting money on more gas, you could choose to rather walk to the store or cycle there on a bicycle. The same applies to our daily work commute, as the weather warms up you could consider renting a bicycle to get to and from the office. If you live too far away from work and this is not feasible then organise a work carpool system so you and your colleagues can share the commute costs equally.
7. Bottled Water
Bottled water, much like takeaway coffee, is an unnecessary expense. Instead of buying single-use plastic bottles of water daily you should rather invest in a BPA-free water bottle and pour your water straight from the faucets. If you are concerned about the quality of your drinking water in your area, then invest in a small water filtration system. This will cost a bit of money upfront but it will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
8. Online Sales
Online sales are filled with items that you don’t need, you simply think that you do because they use highly effective marketing techniques. Regardless of how tempting the sale sounds, I can promise you that no company would ever sell an item that they weren’t making money on. It sounds like a massive saving at the time but if you don’t need that item then it will almost always be a waste of your time and money.
9. Luxury Treatments
If you are serious about cutting back on unnecessary expenses, then you need to take a good hard look at what you spend your money on. Cut back on things like massages and trips to the hair salon. Unfortunately, this also means that you must do your manicures and pedicures yourself but that is the price you need to pay to properly manage your finances.
10. Name Brands
Name brands are often the biggest waste of money and the worst reason to pay double or even triple the price for the same item. The new generation of spenders are becoming less and less brand conscious and instead are opting to be eco-conscious instead. If you want to spend a bit of extra money on an item, then you should rather make sure that it is for a good cause and not just for you to pretend to be in the same financial league as your favorite celebrity. Some of the biggest brands out there sell the same product as the cheaper retails do, just with a different label – don’t get caught in this trap.
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