Saving money is difficult and boring, but extremely necessarily. Instead of pushing debt and finance worries to the back of your mind, tackle them head-on with these easy lifestyle changes.
1. Using only cards instead of cash
This might be a convenient and safe option when you’re on the go, but it’s terrible for your wallet. It’s easier to spend over your budget when you have liberal access to it. Seeing the actual money in your wallet disappear has a different effect on the mind. Try taking out a fixed amount each week.
2. Easy car repairs
Feeling empowered to fix your own vehicle isn’t just a way to avoid the damsel in distress stereotype, it’s a very real and useful skill to get you out of a rut – literally. Knowing the ins and outs of your car maintenance will save you thousands, and can even save your life in an emergency situation.
3. Buying groceries when hungry
Buying groceries when you’re hungry or have the munchies can lead to a dark, dark rabbit-hole. We’re talking double digits on Pringles, brownies, and bread, when you should be focusing on pragmatic purchases that prioritize balance, nutrition, and vegetables.
In 2019, it’s rare to meet someone that has cable anyway, but surprisingly, a lot of the population still does. This is a big monthly fee, and unless you write about television or work from home all the time, it’s a pretty useless service. Almost every show can be found streaming online, so do your research.
5. In-game purchases
A silly but very real addiction that we can blame on our smartphones. A dollar here and five dollars there adds up, especially when you just need to enter a password to buy it, instead of your full credit card info. You’ll be shocked at your bank statements Candy Crush fees if you don’t. Instead, google effective game hacks to save cash.
6. Full priced clothing
Clothing is fully priced for less than a year before it gets bounced to the sale rack. Therefore, buying anything that’s not on sale is kind of a scam, unless you’re absolutely in love with it. You can save up to 80% on gently used or sale garments.
7. Disposable Razors
Dollar store and disposable razors lose sharpness fast and get clogged with residue, so people waste a fair amount of money on them. Instead, buy one non-disposable razor and buy blades online in bulk for cheap, which are much better quality. Ladies: always buy men’s, it’s cheaper.
8. Coffee and bottled water
These are two easily accessible beverages that people spend tons of money on, weekly. Especially if any of these purchases are at a gas station – hello, inflated prices! Brew your own coffee, carry instant packets, or at least stop using disposable cups, which cafes often charge more for. A thermos is your new best friend.
9. Bank fees
Take a good look at your banking plan and see if a local credit union makes more sense. Banks and financial institutions can hit you with overdraft fees, third party ATM fees and more that can often negate the value of having an account.
10. Eating out too often
It’s tempting to use the excuse that fast food is cheap, or that you’re only spending a reasonable amount. But meals out, especially considering tips, appetizers, and beverages, really add up. Cooking at home is frugal, better for your body, and more fun, if you ask us.
11. Gym membership
Unless you’re a true gym rat, you’re probably snacking at home or slaving away at work while those monthly fees add up. If you buy a membership, you’re not going to work out regularly for the whole period, or get bored. Instead, try Class pass or find online interactive classes and workout at home.
12. Utility Bills
Turning off that bathroom light, turning down the thermostat, and taking a shorter shower will all drastically affect your bills. Putting on an extra sweater isn’t that much of a sacrifice. You might also want to consider switching energy providers based on cost and research.