We all know how easy it is to pump money into a big purchase. Buy an expensive home or car, and you may soon regret it.
But it’s also easy to lose a lot of money every time. This is true whether you live from paycheck to paycheck or have money to burn.
Here are some budget optimization tools that may quietly drain your wallet.
1. Spending on False Emergencies
The real emergency is not calm. In fact, layoffs, an unexpected medical bill, or a car malfunction tends to advertise itself rudely and loudly.
But other so-called emergencies — like a discounted baby bedding set, or the bar of chocolate you should get right now — are really just “wishes” masquerading as needs. Save spending for real emergencies.
2. Buy the “latest and coolest” of anything
Are you addicted to gadgets? Perhaps you should have the latest and best iPhone or tablet. Such outbursts of spending are dangerous to your financial health. In many cases, it will be better for you to buy used or refurbished products.
This is true even on large purchases, such as homes. As we wrote, old houses are often better built than new ones. However, if something old is making you nervous, consider buying something almost new:
“If you like the idea of new construction, remember that an existing home doesn’t have to be 50 years old. If you want an energy efficient home with new amenities, you can probably find it at a lower price if you’re willing to be the #2 or #3 owner. “
For more tips like that, check out “You Should Never Buy These 12 New Things.”
3. Stack groceries in your cart
It’s very easy to head to the store with a few things in mind, but you end up spending $100 or more. This is where discipline comes in.
Use a meal planner so you buy what you really need, rather than grabbing what you want at that moment. And never head to the store hungry, or you’ll leave to leave with every item that whets your mental appetite.
For more tips on saving at the grocery store, check out “13 Unusual Yet Effective Ways to Save on Grocery Stores.”
4. Eat out often
Eating out is one of the most insidious ways to spoil your wallet. Even worse, you spend hundreds of dollars at the grocery store each month, only to end up eating more out of the house than you actually cook.
Office lunch dates can put another hole in your finances, especially if they become part of your daily routine. So, make eating out a treat sometimes.
5. Live a classy life with your friends
You probably can’t resist going out with your friends for a well-deserved night out. But this can be a problem if your bank account is about to go into the red.
Be wise and say no. Even if you have to make up a flimsy argument, it’s worth saving your budget. Or convince your friends that you can have fun more economically.
6. Planning expensive vacations
There is nothing wrong with getting out of town for a weekend getaway or even planning a long trip. But if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, this is not the time to splurge on five-star hotels and first-class flights.
Instead, plan vacations in a way that reduces costs – for example by being flexible with travel dates, as we noted in “11 Smart Ways to Save on Travel”:
“One of the best ways to save money on travel is to go when fares are low. Use airline ticket search and flight sites with flexible schedule booking features that let you see the best price in the dates window. And if you really want to save, consider booking in January or September.” , according to Hipmunk.”
7. Wasteful on clothes
The new heeled shoes you’ve been craving have finally been ditched. But if your budget says no, it’s wise to leave it at the store.
Many studies have shown that buying materials does not make us happy for long. Instead, we feel more satisfied with spending on experiences.
8. Indulge in pampering sessions
While your body may need a little TLC from time to time, heading to the spa or hair salon once a week can seriously damage your savings.
So why not bring the spa into your home for a fraction of the price? You will find plenty of items in stores and online that will allow you to replicate your spa experience at home.
9. Continue to pay for cables
Instead of subscribing to the most expensive plan, try basic cable. Or better yet, cut out the cable completely and look for cheaper alternatives, such as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix.
For more info on watching TV on a budget, check out “13 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month – Or Less”.
10. Pay gym membership fees
Being healthy and fit is important, but spending a lot of money to reach your fitness goals doesn’t make sense. Ditch the gym and find free or inexpensive activities at your community recreation center instead. Or try the great outdoors; A little fresh air wouldn’t hurt, especially during a pandemic.
If you must have a gym membership, at least check out the tips in 8 Ways to Save on a Gym Membership.
11. Reducing housing costs
It’s easy to drastically reduce the monthly costs associated with that new home or apartment. Before you apply for a mortgage or lease, use the affordability calculator to gauge what you can realistically contribute to housing expenses each month.
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