We are all guilty of little habits that can quickly add up to big money wasters. Often, it’s sheer convenience that drives these actions that can eventually drain bank accounts. But, with a little awareness and effort, you can spend less and give your savings a bigger boost!
Money-waster #1: buying coffee
Whether it’s because we’re tired, bored or it’s just convenient, the vast majority of us are all guilty of grabbing that one small coffee when we pass by the local coffee shop
I’m not saying to NEVER go and buy yourself a cup of Joe while you’re out on the run. But it might be interesting to see just how much pocket change you can save, by putting it in a jar, on those occasions that you decide to skip the takeout line.
One solution; bring your coffee in a travel mug when you walk out the door. “But it doesn’t taste the same!” You can buy virtually EVERY single brand of coffee at your local grocery store these days. If that doesn’t sway you maybe the breakdown will:
At the drive-thru, you’ll spend about $2/coffee, which works out to $60/month. Whereas if you brought it from home it will cost you $0.72/coffee or $21/month! Money talks!
Money-waster #2: dining out
One of the reasons why you might find yourself grabbing dinner on the go is because you haven’t planned your meals for the upcoming week.
Take 10 minutes of your day to figure out what meals you will be making next week. Trust me the extra 10 minutes will save you a LOT of money and probably a bit of sanity.
Once you have your meal plan figured out, go and check your fridge and your pantry and see EXACTLY what items you’re missing. Make a list and then use one of the helpful and handy price matching apps on your device and find the best deals out there. Believe me if you can save three dollars on grapes you’re going to want to do it! Most stores will price match, but do your research because most stores have rules.
Now while you’re at the grocery store don’t always feel that you need to opt for the name brand items. Sometimes generic ones can be just as tasty and cost you a fraction of the price. You’ll have to test it out though, because what might be a win for some, could be a miss for others.
Now the last step to ensure that you don’t roll up to that drive-thru window is to actually PREPARE some of your meals, because let’s be honest… if you have a chicken casserole on your menu plan and you realize the chicken is still frozen solid in the freezer and hour before dinner… you’re going to pick up that phone and call the pizza man! So prep what you can ahead of time. Cook your meat and either toss it in the fridge or the freezer, and just pull them out when you need them. A little planning can save you a lot of money, not only because you’ll be avoiding the drive-thru, but also because you’ll find that you’re throwing out a lot less from your fridge every week.
Money-waster #3: buying everything new
Don’t be afraid of buying used or gently loved items. You can find some really great furniture pieces, decorative art and even clothes and accessories from second-hand stores.
I know, I know… some of you are now cringing and turning up your noses up at the idea… but you would be surprised at what you can find. Give it a try, even at least once… you might be surprised at the hidden gems you find and the huge chunk of change you will save.
This quote from Frank A. Clark sums up the trouble many of us have with balancing our budgets; “Many folks think they aren’t good at earning money, when what they don’t know is how to use it.” Making changes to your spending habits can help you save money instead of wasting it.