In a world full of eye-catching advertisements and ever-changing trends on social media, it can take a lot of work to know where to prioritize your spending.
But you don’t have to buy that new kitchen appliance your favorite influencer loves or splurge on lottery tickets daily. Instead, if you cut out or find more innovative ways to access just a couple of these items from your spending, you can save a lot of money.
1. Over-Priced Gasoline
Gas prices are ever-fluctuating, which can be hard to calculate in your monthly or weekly budget. If possible, find a way to carpool to work or ride your bicycle in pleasant weather conditions.
However, most people need to use their cars to get around. Many apps are out there to help you find the cheapest gas near you. You can also sign up for rewards programs at your nearest gas station to help you save overall.
2. Late Fees
You may be subject to late fees if you don’t track your bill payments. Whenever this happens to me, I instantly become angry at myself because I know I could have avoided spending that money if I’d only planned better.
If possible, set up automatic payments, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to pay monthly bills. Another technique is to create a detailed monthly payment calendar to help remind you when your numerous payments are due.
3. ATM Fees
If you often use cash, avoid going to another bank’s ATM and stick with your bank. ATM fees are annoying because you’re essentially paying the bank to give you some money.
You can avoid that unnecessary expense by paying with your debit card or solely taking money out of your bank’s ATM. Some banks even offer plans to refund your ATM fees from other banks’ ATMs up to a certain amount per month.
4. Poop Bags
If you go online or walk into just about any pet supply store, you’ll find packages of poop bags for sale. While it’s essential to pick up your dog’s poop instead of leaving it in your neighbor’s yard, you probably don’t need to spend money to do so.
Simply save your plastic bags and produce bags from shopping trips to use instead. It’s free, easy, and will make a big dent in your spending.
5. Lottery Tickets
There’s something super satisfying about scratching a lottery ticket and winning a couple of dollars. But that’s the thing: you rarely ever win more than that.
The lottery system isn’t set up for your success, and most people who play the lottery spend more than they ever win. So consider cutting out lottery tickets from your spending to save some cash.
6. Tobacco Products
Quitting nicotine is one of the toughest challenges many people face in their lives. Not only can it cost hundreds of dollars a month to keep up with a smoking habit, but it also is detrimental to your health.
There are many resources to help you quit, like nicotine patches, support groups, and advice on the internet. Then you can save money and your lungs in one shot.
Do you and your friends like to frequent the casino for a fun night? While having fun with your friends is important, gambling may not be the healthiest way to do so for your wallet.
Gambling can quickly become an addiction. Luckily, if you seek help, you can overcome your gambling problem and save money for what truly matters. Or you can choose to avoid wasting money on it from the start.
8. Bottled Water
If you live in an area with clean drinking water, there is no reason you should ever buy bottled water. However, if you’re still concerned about your tap water, you can purchase a filtration device to make your water clean and tasty. Not only will you reduce your plastic consumption, but you will also save a ton of money.
9. Fancy Coffee
Do you go to Starbucks or a fancy local coffee shop every morning on your way to work? If so, it might be time to cut that out of your schedule. Starbucks drinks typically cost at least $4, which adds up if you go every week or every day.
Try investing in a nice coffee machine for your home. Then, you can make your own coffee just as tasty as they make it in a coffee shop, and it will taste even sweeter because you know you saved a ton of money.
10. 3-D Movies
3-D movies aren’t worth the hype. You must wear uncomfortable glasses for the entire experience, and the 3-D features rarely enhance the film’s cinematography.
If you want to go to the movies to enjoy a fun night with friends or to relax with your date, consider opting out of the 3-D option and go for the lower-priced regular viewing options. I promise you will still have a fabulous viewing experience.
11. Extended Warranties
While it can help to purchase extended warranties for some high-cost products like computers or cell phones, most of the time, these are a scam to get you to pay more at checkout.
Keep your new device out of harm’s way and deal with problems as they arise rather than spending money initially without any ideas of what the future holds.
12. The Newest Phone
It feels like Apple releases a new iPhone every time I blink. While the urge to have the coolest new phone can be powerful, it’s also not the best idea if you’re struggling financially.
You can still get a brand-new iPhone, but it doesn’t have to be the newest release. The previous edition is usually pretty much the same as the latest option, and you can typically save a few hundred dollars if you opt for an older model.
Inflation is causing food prices to rise, which means restaurants charge more and more for meals. Heck, even Mcdonald’s feels costly these days. The other day, I got a milkshake and large fries, which cost me over ten dollars!
Cooking can be a drag, but it can save you a lot of money if you prioritize making your food over eating out.
If you’re craving some takeout, consider picking it up rather than paying for delivery. The convenience of lying in bed and only having to get up to open the door before diving into a meal is very alluring, but the delivery fees quickly add up.
15. Diet Pills
The diet industry makes millions of dollars off women trying to lose weight annually. However, studies show that dieting rarely works in the long run. Diet pills are a scam to lure vulnerable women into spending money on a quick fix that rarely works.
If you want to improve your health and lose weight, don’t waste your money on diet pills. Instead, talk to a licensed nutritionist and create a sustainable workout plan.
This thread inspired this post.