Saving money can be challenging, but squandering it seems to come much easier. Of course, no one truly means to dissipate their bank accounts purposefully. Most of the time, we mean well and think we are doing what is best for our bank accounts. All that couponing has to count for something, right? Not always. There may be a variety of ways you’re wasting money and don’t even realize it.
Here are just a few ways you’re wasting money and what to do instead:
Indulging in all the sales
Buying something just because it is on sale defeats the purpose of saving. This is one of those common ways you’re wasting money, but it feels like you’re helping your case. This is not to say you are not actually receiving a good deal, but don’t purchase an item without having an actual purpose for it.
Conversely, not paying attention to sales at all is not helpful either. Instead, compare and contrast prices. A site like PriceGrabber will come in handy not only for day-to-day items but for special occasion shopping as well.
Going out for coffee
This one is tough for me because I love my lattes. But, it is so much cheaper to make it from home. Make going out for coffee a treat instead of a regular occurrence. I find that I appreciate my coffee shop visits much more now by not going multiple times a week.
There comes a point where you need to ask yourself if you need all those extra channels and whether or not they are costing you more money. Take some time to look at alternative options for your cable service. It will also be worth your while to see if you internet provider offers bundle packages for cable and vice versa, if you do not currently utilize this option. There are cheaper options out there.
Grocery shopping while hungry
There is a reason why people commonly advise to not grocery shop while hungry; you tend to buy with your stomach rather than your brain. In other words, you buy more than what you’ll actually use before the food goes bad. This leads to wasted groceries. Buying in bulk can save you money; just not when it comes to perishable items. If you’re buying in bulk Costco is probably a great choice – they have excellent customer service and an overall terrific returns policy.
You’d be surprised the tax deductions you are able to claim when filing your taxes. From moving expenses to giving to charity, make sure you know where you are able to save money when filing in 2017.
Overspending on services
Instead of spending too much on different services that you can do yourself is an easy way to waste money. Ordering food delivery is great, especially on those long work days, but you can save so much by simply meal prepping in advance for those busy days.
Saving money also calls for making sacrifices. It’s nice to be able to go get your nails done regularly, but mani-pedis can be costly, particularly when getting them done multiple times in a year. Pull the plug on some of those luxury services, and your wallet will reward you.
Not following through on your company’s 401k plan
Not participating in a company’s 401k plan is not something commonly associated with wasting resources; however, by ignoring this, you are passing up some easy money. Talk to your employer about all your options regarding the company’s retirement program, if relevant. Many offer a match, which is really useful in building your retirement.While it is important to live in the present, you should always consider your financial future.
Not carrying cash
It can be too easy to use your debit and credit cards to pay for everything, but it can also be dangerous. If you do not keep your credit card bills current, interest rates can skyrocket. Carrying cash creates automatic limits for you when spending, does not include interest rates, and helps keep you on track.
By making these small tweaks in your spending lifestyle, you can really add up in your finances. Don’t spend your life working away just to live paycheck to paycheck. Live smarter and enjoy your life more. It may not seem like much, but small changes will make a big difference over time.
What would you add to the list? Have you noticed ways you’re wasting money that you didn’t previously realize?
Jenn Clark is a writer, PR specialist, entrepreneur, blogger and coffee enthusiast. A lover of laughter, traveling and cheese, she’s written about her life experiences here at suburbanfinance while at the same time growing other young professionals. You can find more of her work at Jennblogs.co.