If you’re a creature of habit and routine, giving up one or more of your guilty pleasures in life may seem tough, but it’s way less dramatic than it seems. Cutting costs doesn’t have to mean taking drastic measures or making life-altering changes. It’s often the smaller, everyday habits that drain our wallets more than we think.
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In the spirit of fiscal frugality, here are 30 things you can stop doing every year to reduce your expenses by as much as 30%.
Eating Out Frequently
Save significant money by cooking meals at home and packing lunches for work. Preparing meals yourself gives you control over ingredients, making this a healthier option too.
Impulsive Online Shopping
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Unsubscribe from marketing emails to resist temptation. Make a habit of asking yourself if the item is a want or a need.
Buying Brand-Name Products
Often, generic products offer the same quality at a fraction of the price. Reading labels can be enlightening as many store brands have identical ingredients to their brand-name counterparts.
Paying for Cable
Opt for cheaper streaming services, or better yet, free entertainment like books or outdoor activities. Cutting the cord can potentially save you hundreds of dollars annually.
Ignoring Monthly Subscriptions
Regularly review and cancel subscriptions you no longer use. You’d be surprised how much you can save by eliminating unused services.
Be mindful of energy consumption. Switch off lights, lower heating, take shorter showers. These habits are not only good for your wallet but also for the planet.
Paying ATM Fees
Plan withdrawals to avoid out-of-network ATM fees. Your bank’s mobile app can help you find in-network ATMs.
Buying New Books and DVDs
Use your local library or swap with friends. There are also plenty of free online resources and lending platforms to consider.
Paying Late Fees
Automate payments to avoid late charges. This not only saves you money but also helps keep your credit score healthy.
Buying Expensive Coffee
Brew your own coffee at home to save a small fortune. It’s also a great way to hone your barista skills!
Walk, cycle, or take public transport when you can. It’s healthier and cheaper, plus it reduces your carbon footprint.
Paying Full Price for Clothes
Buy during sales or shop at thrift stores. You can find high-quality, stylish items without breaking the bank.
Ignoring Coupons and Discounts
They may seem small, but they add up. It’s like leaving money on the table when you don’t take advantage of these savings.
Plan meals, utilize leftovers, and freeze excess food. This is an excellent way to cut costs and reduce food waste.
Not Maintaining Appliances
Regular maintenance extends their life and saves you replacement costs. Plus, efficient appliances often use less energy, saving you even more money in the long run.
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Buying Bottled Water
Invest in a water filter and a reusable bottle. It’s an easy switch that saves money and is more environmentally friendly.
Paying Credit Card Interest
Pay off balances monthly to avoid high-interest rates. If you’re struggling with debt, consider seeking help from a credit counselor.
Ignoring Your Health
Regular exercise and a balanced diet can save on future medical costs. Consider it an investment in your future self.
Not Using Cashback Apps
They can provide a surprising amount of savings. It’s essentially free money for purchases you would make anyway.
Paying for Gym Memberships
Utilize outdoor spaces or home workout videos instead. Nature is a beautiful and free gym, and there are tons of great resources online.
Buying New Furniture
Secondhand items can be just as good and much cheaper. Plus, giving furniture a new life can add unique character to your home.
Ignoring Tax Deductions
Understand what you can claim to maximize your return. You might be eligible for more deductions than you think.
Keeping Unnecessary Insurance
Review your policies regularly and eliminate what you don’t need. Be sure you’re only paying for coverage that is necessary and beneficial.
From home repairs to gifts, doing it yourself can save money. Plus, learning new skills can be fun and rewarding.
Paying for Expensive Cell Phone Plans
Compare providers and negotiate your contract. There are many competitive deals out there that can drastically reduce your bill.
Drink less, and opt for at-home socializing over expensive bars. You can have a great time with friends without the hefty tab at the end of the night.
Splurging on Vacations
Plan ahead, travel off-peak, and find budget-friendly activities. Traveling doesn’t have to be a luxury if you do it smartly.
Ignoring Vehicle Maintenance
Regular service can prevent costly future repairs. Consider it a preventative measure that protects your investment.
Buying High-End Electronics
Most people don’t need the latest or most expensive models. Wait for sales or consider refurbished items to get more bang for your buck.
It’s detrimental to both your health and your wallet. The money saved from quitting can be substantial, not to mention the potential healthcare savings down the line.
Implementing these strategies might require a change in habits and lifestyle, but the financial payoff is significant. Remember, the goal isn’t just to survive on less, but to thrive, freeing up funds for the things that truly matter in life. With some patience and discipline, cutting back by 30% is a wholly achievable goal. Happy saving!
The article above was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates’ editorial team.
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