Surviving financially in today’s world isn’t easy. Many homeowners are surprised to see how little they’re actually able to save each month. Here are some of the most common money-wasters and some tips on how to avoid them.
The exorbitant price of gas is a common conversation starter, and for good reason: gas is one of the most infamous money guzzlers on the planet. Many drivers unknowingly waste a surprising amount of gas every month gas.
There are many ways in which this may be taking place in your life. For example, failing to keep your car’s tires inflated properly will make your car work harder than necessary, and cause you to waste gas.
Choosing premium gas for your car when it’s not required is another way you can waste money—this will actually cost you 20 to 25% more each time you fill up.
Additionally, while it may feel like the fast track to glory (or to work), accelerating too quickly is also a surefire way to waste money. Instead, try driving at a slower, steadier pace.
Many consumers drastically underestimate the amount that they pay in subscription services every month. While a TV or music subscription may only cost a few dollars a month, they can add up quickly. A recent study by Waterstone revealed that the average consumer spends a whopping $237.33 on subscription services each month!
Subscription services automatically charge you every month, so it’s easy to forget when you’re not using them anymore. It’s a good idea to take inventory of all the services to which you have subscribed, and then assess whether or not you really need to be paying for them.
Almost every homeowner would answer affirmatively when asked if they would like to save money on their utility bills. However, many homeowners do not realize that they have the necessary control to make this happen in their lives. It’s likely that you are wasting money on utilities because of poor insulation, inefficient appliances, ineffective lighting, and wasteful water fixtures. Fortunately, these problems are relatively simple to correct.
One of the best ways to save money on utilities is to replace your windows. There are numerous benefits to getting energy efficient windows. Through a combination of multiple panes, gas fills, and insulated frames, energy efficient windows will reduce your reliance on your HVAC.
Buying Name Brands
It is sadly common for people to make the false assumption that a name brand automatically comes with higher quality. This simply isn’t true. Buying name brands when the quality isn’t better than other brands is a waste of money.
Next time you go shopping, experiment with a brand that costs less than the one you usually buy, and see if its quality is acceptable. You can blindly even compare the two products to see which one you really like better. Making informed, intentional shopping decisions is far better for your wallet. There are even grocery budgeting websites and apps that can help you to make smarter choices when grocery shopping.
Not Using Coupons
Many customers make the mistake of not using coupons, thinking they are not worth the hassle. However, not using coupons is equivalent to literally throwing away your money. If customers knew that many millionaires use coupons as part of their savings plan, they might think twice before passing up a coupon. Shoppers who used coupons from U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) were able to save $30 every week, depending on their level of coupon participation.
These days, using coupons is easier than ever. Most store websites have online coupon features available, and your local supermarket can accept coupons just by seeing them on your phone. If you seek coupons out, keep track of them, and use them often, you will be surprised at how much you can save.
It’s easy to rationalize eating out by saying you’re too busy, and argue that the cost is worth the convenience. But if you’re not careful, it’s easy to find yourself eating out for all three meals. This is one of the fastest ways to blow your next paycheck.
You can save hundreds of dollars every month on food by making a grocery list, purchasing your groceries intentionally, and spending a few extra minutes cooking your meals for the week. This practice is healthier both for your body and your budget. After a while, you will be glad you passed up that cheeseburger and brought a lunch from home instead.
Your weekly shopping run can be a waste of money, even if you have good intentions. Many people accidentally buy more groceries than they can actually use, causing them to waste money in spoiled food every week.
You can counteract this problem by putting together a menu of what you actually plan to eat each week. This will help you shop more intentionally and accurately, and ultimately save money.
Credit Card Debt
Homeowners often feel that it’s necessary to make frequent purchases on their credit cards in order to raise their credit score and build up a solid credit history. While this can be true, credit card debt is a slippery slope. Credit card companies have sky-high interest rates that can cause you to pay hundreds of extra dollars each month and year, just in interest. For this reason, it’s a good idea to pay off your credit cards as quickly as possible.
Impulsive spending is a lifestyle that can be hard to change. There are many factors which work together to persuade shoppers to buy what they want, exactly when they want it. These factors include subtle advertising, entitlement culture, short attention spans, and many more. But, by simply exercising some restraint and taking some time before making a big purchase, you can save hundreds of dollars.
The next time you feel the urge to buy something, take a second to slow down and give yourself some time before you go through with your purchase. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself at least a few days before splurging. It’s likely that you will decide you actually don’t need that product after all, and you can save money to buy something you really do want.
Knowledge is the first step to improvement. Now that you know a little more about the ways you’re wasting money, you can make the simple lifestyle changes you need to save money for what you really want.
Using coupons is a great way to save money each month. See our coupons here!