We all work hard, long hours for our money. And yet, we spend it so easily, sometimes without even realizing it. We’ve identified 10 ways you may spend more money than you think, especially on things you might not need.
Shopping Without a List
A shopping list doesn’t just help you to be more organized, it also allows you to save money and time. If you go shopping without a list, you will walk around the supermarket, go from aisle to aisle, most likely buying things you don’t need and wasting time.
Not only you’ll buy stuff that will just lay around the house or end up in the trash can, but you’re also you’re more prone to forget important things that should have been on that list. That means that once you’re home, you’ll make a short trip to the convenience store filling up their cash box, emptying your pocket and wasting even more time. So just write a list either using a special app or just pen and paper or simply write a note in your smartphone. Your wallet will thank you.
Shopping When Hungry
How many times did you go shopping in the evening, after work and being all tired and starving? Every time you did that, you lost money. Because whenever you go shopping when hungry, you’re very likely to buy more food than you can or need to eat. That means more money spent. And it might not seem a lot, but a dollar spent here, five dollars spent there – it will add up.
The best thing you can do is treat yourself with a healthy snack before going shopping. Even better, do your grocery shopping after you had breakfast or lunch; this way there will be no temptation at all.
Your everyday coffee can be a huge money pit as well. Instead of going to the café every morning how about buying coffee and just preparing it at home? Not only is it cheaper, but you can get creative too.
Add a dash of vanilla or cinnamon for some extra flavor or, if you want, you can invest in a fancy espresso machine or a French press — whatever works best for you. In the long run, it will still be cheaper than buying your cup of coffee every single day. Keep the café visits as a treat.
Check if the tap water in your city is good to drink with no health risks. Or you can just get a filter, as this way you won’t spend a lot of money on water every day. Always have a bottle with you so that you can refill whenever you need without having to buy a new bottle every time. It’s not only cost-effective, but it’s also environmentally friendly.
Buying Things Just Because They’re on Sale
This is also related to the shopping list; if it’s not on the list, you don’t buy it. Buying stuff that is on sale makes sense only if it’s something you use frequently and it isn’t perishable like shampoo or detergent or toilet paper. And even then you have to keep in mind the stock that you have at home. If you’ve already got detergent for the next six months, it isn’t really worth buying more just because it’s on sale.
Yeah, maybe there is a crazy good deal on those cookies, and you might be tempted, but if you don’t even have the habit of eating cookies, then you’re just wasting money. Besides, they have plenty of calories your body might just as well do without.
Books and DVDs
You may love reading, but do you really have to own every book you see in a bookshop? Watching movies and reading books can be a free activity if you decide to take advantage of your local library. Sure, sometimes you have to wait, but you’re also keeping your money in your own pocket.
Check out the books you want to read and the movies you want to see from the library. If you still feel you might want to read that book again one day or that you would really love to watch that movie again soon enough, then you can go ahead and buy them.
Procrastination and Laziness
Yes, you lose money when you’re lazy and when you procrastinate. And not because you could work during that time and make more money, but because it literally makes you lose money you already have.
Snoozing that alarm button for 20 minutes in the morning means you have to buy lunch and go to the café instead of preparing your brown bag and coffee for the day. It may also mean you have to take a cab to work and that’s again money spent when you didn’t have to spend it.
Every time you clean your fridge and throw away food that’s gone bad, you’re throwing away your money, as well. Not to mention it isn’t very environmentally friendly. So try to cut down your waste, for the sake of your wallet and for the sake of the planet.
Buying Poor Quality
Poor quality things aren’t the best deal long term. Poor quality electronics don’t last long, poor quality cleaning supplies make us use more to make up for their lack of efficiency, poor quality food makes us sick, and the medical bills will pile up.
Despite what you might think, good quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. Just do your research and shop for whatever you think is the best thing for you and brings you the best bang for your buck.
Keeping Up with The Joneses
It’s impossible not to compare yourself to your friends and family or coworkers. One of them has this brand new car, another one has lunch at the restaurant every single day, the third one plays golf every weekend.
Many of your spending decisions are influenced by the people in your life so take a step back and think about that. Just spend money on whatever makes you happy, not to keep up with the people around you.