If you are trying to spend less money every day, every week, or every month, there are certain items that you should stop buying. Avoiding unnecessary expenses can save your budget.
One easy way to cut back on expenses is to figure out which items you don’t need. This will help keep your budget on track. Below are a few items you should stop buying if you want to save your budget.
Going out to eat and ordering out for delivery could be your biggest unnecessary expense. If you are trying to save money, don’t buy expensive meals (yes, that includes Starbucks coffee). Calculate how much you spend at restaurants in one week. Then, add up the numbers for the month. If it is in the hundreds, you need to cut out this expense from your budget.
The cost of food from restaurants has increased tremendously. Spending money going out for lunch during the week adds up. Even if you only spend a few dollars per meal, you will save a lot of money by buying groceries, taking a lunch, and cooking for yourself.
Learn to say “no” to friends about eating out. Learning to cook the meals you love can save hundreds of dollars over time. Start cutting coupons and practice eating at home to save your budget.
Many times, we sign up for a free trial and forget about it. If you have put in credit card information, they can now charge you every month for a subscription, whether you use it or not.
It is best not to sign up for promotional offers if you are likely to forget about it. If you think you will forget about it, put it in your calendar to remind you to cancel it.
You also want to check your bank account frequently to make sure you are not being charged for a subscription that you do not use. If you do not need a subscription or do not use it, cancel it right away. You will be surprised how much money you can save by canceling subscriptions.
If you are spending more on gas than you would like, consider trying new ways to reduce this cost. Download the app, GasBuddy, on your smartphone to see where to get the lowest price for gas in your area.
To save even more money on gas, combine errands. Don’t make unnecessary trips every day of the week. Complete all your errands in one round.
If you have a long commute, see if someone you know is willing to carpool with you. This not only helps you save money, but it could also help a friend save money as well.
If you are serious about reducing your expenses, try taking public transportation. This can be a much cheaper way to get around town. Not only will you save on gas, but you will also save on car expenses and reduce your carbon footprint.
Items on Sale
How many times have you been convinced something is a good deal, only to feel like you spent money on an unnecessary luxury later?
This frequently happens with “Buy One Get One 50% Off” deals. Avoid the temptation if you want to cut costs.
Sure, you get the second thing at a reduced price, but you still have to buy the first thing at full price. This is just a store’s way of roping you into buying two things instead of one and spending more money than you normally would have. Don’t fall for this trick.
Just because something is a good deal, doesn’t mean you should buy it. If you don’t need it at full price, you don’t need it at a reduced price.
Is your hair color high maintenance? Salon visits every six weeks could be cutting into your savings. Not only is it expensive to get your hair dyed, but it is also expensive to keep your dyed hair healthy.
If you want to cut costs, consider a lower-maintenance hair color or style. If you frequently get regrowth touched up, consider a more rooted look – meaning your roots are your natural color and fade into your dyed color. This could be balayage, ombre, or some mix of the two.
You can also consider growing out your natural color or learning how to dye or cut your hair. If you are not comfortable with this, you can have a friend do it.
It’s safe to say that we need our phones. It seems like the world is built around them now, to the point that it is required to have a smartphone to pass a college class. Just because we can’t cut out this luxury, doesn’t mean we can’t save money on it.
If you do not use your smartphone frequently, you can switch your plan from an unlimited one to one that is based on how many minutes and how much data you use. You can always call your provider and ask about a lower-cost plan.
Another way to save on your cell phone bill each month is to check for unnecessary charges on your monthly statement. If you have automatic payments set up, your phone carrier could be charging you fees or charges without you even knowing about it.
Using the ATM
Have you noticed that ATM fees have gone up lately? Always try to go to your bank first to get cash. If this is not possible, try different ATMs. Some may have a smaller fee for usage.
Along with this is bank fees. Banks can charge fees for just about anything. We all know that banks charge hefty overdraft fees, but they can also charge account maintenance fees. If you think your bank is charging way too many fees, switch to a different one.
Add up how much you are paying for different TV services. If it is more than you want to spend, decide whether or not you actually use each service.
If you do use each of your TV services, research other providers online to see if a different one would be right for you.
Water is a necessity, but it can be much more expensive than it needs to be. This is a small expense that you can easily cut from your budget. Instead of buying bottles of water, whether at the store or out of a vending machine, you can bring water from home with you throughout the day—read more from Making Sense of Cents.
If you do not like the taste of tap water, you can buy a water filter. Consider a pitcher with a filter in it. Fill it up with tap water and put it in the fridge. That way, you will have cold, filtered water available when you are at home, and you can put it in a reusable cup to take with you.
Reevaluating your expenses is a great way to stay on budget. If something you are consistently paying for is not essential, you should cut it out of your budget. It may be challenging, but it is a quick way to boost your savings.
Image by Julia Sudnitskaya via Shutterstock.com.