Have you ever seen people that complain about being broke as they buy the newest iPad or many other similar expensive items?
If so, you’re definitely not alone.
If you’ve fallen into this trap but you honestly want to save money, here are a few things you can cut back on by just thinking a little bit before you spend. You’ll be surprised by how little you miss them!
1. Dining out
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t remember eating out a ton when I was a kid. Over time it seems we find ourselves dining out more and more each year. The problem is, dining out is expensive! You probably could have cooked the same french fries at home for just $1 or maybe $2 max.
If you dine out at all, you have an opportunity to save money by eating at home. It isn’t as fun and carefree as dining out. You do have to do the dishes when you’re done cooking. However, it’s worth skipping out on dining out if it will save you a bit of money.
2. Not combining multiple car trips into one
I think most people agree that gas is expensive these days. For a while, people were shocked and appalled by the rising prices, but now we’ve more or less accepted it as a fact of life. Unfortunately, that means we aren’t as conscious as we could be about saving trips in the car.
Rather than just going out to only one place to pick up one thing, make a list of all of the places you need to go as you think of them. Once you have all of your errands written down, find a way to run all of your errands in one trip. Chances are, you won’t have to drive nearly as far as you would if you took each trip separately.
Saving trips out in the car will help you with more than just your gas bill. If you make less trips and drive less miles in your car, you’ll reduce your maintenance costs on things like oil changes, new tires, and even the most expensive automotive expense: car replacement.
3. Automatic subscriptions
Automatic subscriptions can be a huge time and money saver if, and only if, you continue to use them. I always use my subscriptions a ton in the beginning, but as I get used to having them I generally use them less and less.
Take a look at your credit card or bank statement and see what subscriptions you’re paying for each month, quarter or year. If you aren’t using the subscriptions, simply cancel them and save yourself some money!
4. Bank fees
No one likes paying bank fees. They serve no purpose other than to make banks more money! You might end up paying a lot of overdraft fees if your bank balance hovers near zero often. A quick way to quit paying overdraft fees is to ask your bank to turn off overdraft protection. It might be embarrassing to get your card declined, but it isn’t as embarrassing as paying $29 in fees to make a $2 purchase!
Overdraft fees aren’t the only useless bank fees. ATM fees, low balance fees, and inactivity fees can eat your bank balance alive. An easy way to avoid many of these fees is to use a bank that doesn’t charge them! Some banks will waive ATM fees and many banks don’t even charge low balance or inactivity fees. Shop around and find a bank that works best for you.
5. Buying in bulk, then throwing away groceries
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money. Well, it’s a great way to save until you end up throwing away half of the food you just bought because it went bad. I’ll be the first to admit that I throw out a lot of food that we either don’t get around to eating or just plain forget about in the back of our fridge.
Luckily, there are a couple simple solutions to this problem. First, if you plan your meals, you’ll find you throw out a lot less food. Next, post a white board on your fridge and pantry and write down everything that’s inside, along with the date it goes bad. Between these two tips, you can make sure that you always know what food you have and how long you have to eat it. It should also help you buy foods in more reasonable quantities once you get used to seeing how much food you normally consume.
These five tips should give you a good start to saving some money. Once you get started, you should be able to find even more places where you can save a little bit of money until eventually you have enough in the bank to have a little bit of breathing room. The hardest part is getting started!