5 Things to Avoid to Save Money
While most want to achieve financial stability, many are still struggling even with a steady income source. This is because of living beyond their means and spending more than they earn.
Unfortunately, we live in a world immersed in spending-spree culture. New trends and fashion are dictating what we should buy even when it isn’t beneficial to us. Massive advertising in different mediums has gotten hold of us, and our pockets are suffering a major blow.
While in principle, to increase our savings, we need to either create another stream of income or save, practicing both is the best bet. Getting additional income is more complex; and even if you earn more, without the proper education on how to spend it reasonably, you’ll still end up in a financial crisis.
If you don’t change your bad spending habits, you’ll never save. Saving money actually includes learning how to spend it properly. In his book Guide to Investing, Robert Kiyosaki wrote that most people never save even if they earn more because, as soon as their income increases, so do their spending levels.
But not all is lost. We can still cultivate a wise spending and saving culture to help us achieve our financial goals. To start on the journey of saving money, cut your expenses on the following:
1. Eating Out Often
Food costs take a large chunk of our monthly income, but you can reduce your overall spending on food and still eat well.
It’s a no-brainer that eating out is often an expensive affair. While you may eat out only every once in a while, it will drain your pockets if you make it a habit.
Break away from getting fast and restaurant food to help you cut costs and even experience the health benefits of homemade meals.To stop eating out, create a habit of making your meals at home. Create a meal plan to kickstart the habit of cooking from home.
When you don’t know what to cook for dinner, the temptation to dash into a restaurant is higher, so having a plan on what to have for each meal will keep you from indulging in the temptation.
Planning a meal helps you to save on grocery spending as well since you’ll buy items in bulk. Also, if you do your shopping all at once, it reduces the trips you make to a supermarket.
To make things easy for you, do meal prepping when you’re free, such as over the weekend or when you get home earlier than usual one day. It becomes much easier to cook every night if the ingredients are ready. Some of the other habits you can adopt include:
- If you have any type of food that can be cooked beforehand and then frozen (like beans), cook them ahead of time and freeze them for later use during the week.
- If you have a crockpot or slow cooker, you can leave some food cooking and come home to a dinner that’s ready.
- When you plan to grill, put your meat in the refrigerator to allow it to marinate before you leave for work.
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The internet is awash with many different services demanding subscriptions. Most start as free subscriptions, but after a few days, months, or a little usage, you’ll end up paying for it.
Don’t get tempted into subscribing to some of these services, especially if you have to provide your credit or debit card details, unless you’re completely sure the services they are offering are what you intend to regularly use. The service provider may automatically get you subscribed without your consent and this could make you end up spending money you didn’t intend to spend.
Unless the service is crucial, you don’t have to subscribe to every single service to which you’re invited. Also, to save a few bucks, take advantage of free or bundled services. For example, you can likely have your internet and TV services bundled together, and it’s cheaper than paying for each separately.
Most people waste money buying new gadgets like the latest phones, cars, personal computers, or music systems every time there is a new release. If what you already possess is serving its purpose, you don’t have to go for the newest device in town.
Avoid buying gadgets just to impress your circle of friends or to be on par with them. Only invest in the newest gadget if it adds value to your life or improves your work. For example, if your work requires high-quality photos and the newest phone has the highest pixel camera, it would make sense for you to buy it.
Save your money and invest it in an income-generating venture instead of buying every other new gadget. By doing so, you will achieve financial independence much faster.
4. High-Cost Insurance Policies
While getting an insurance policy is vital, you shouldn’t buy every other policy just because the insurer approached you. Before you renew your insurance policy, shop around for better rates.
Obtain rates from competing companies and choose a cheaper one. However, remember that choosing cheap may not always be a prudent decision. Consider the insurers’ creditworthiness because you don’t want to end up in a company that can’t settle a claim.
Also, be cautious with the companies’ methods of premium collection. Some may have hidden charges. Research thoroughly and identify the company that will work best for you, and stick to it.
Furthermore, avoid hopping from one insurer to another or dealing with multiple providers as you may lose cash in the process. If you need multiple covers for different needs, seek financial advice from an expert.
5. Buying Brand items
Branded items can cost double the amount of common items, and these brand-name items are sometimes indistinguishable from off-brand ones that serve a similar purpose.
Don’t buy the brand-name items just because of the brand name. This will make you spend more than you should. Some generic versions of items like sugar, beans, vegetables, cheese, and paper towels are equally good as brand-name ones.
However, that doesn’t mean you should always buy everything generic. Just to be sure about the items you’re buying, compare the ingredients listed on the packaging. Consider whether the variances of these items are negligible, then buy the items that will best meet your needs.
Amanda is a senior writer at AdvanceSOS. She has more than six years of journalism experience, mostly in the finance sector. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Drew University.