We all know the less money we spend, the more we save. Simple, right? It sounds straightforward, but cutting costs can actually be pretty hard. Here are some unnecessary (and unhealthy) habits to kick that will help you save a few bucks. And every penny counts.
Emotional & Impulse Shopping.
Start noticing how you feel when you get the urge to buy something you know you don't truly need. Are you stressed, sad or really excited? If you’re often emotional when you splurge, make the decision to put off purchases until you feel more balanced. And avoid the impulse buy. Walk away from that unnecessary item for at least 24 hours and see if you still feel as strongly about the purchase a day later.
If you’re constantly forgetting to pay bills on time, then you’re wasting a significant amount of money on late fees each month. Set up reminders on your smartphone to help you stay aware of deadlines, and set up online bill pay with MAX to make the process even simpler.
Walking away from cigarettes is important to more than your monthly budget; it could save your life. And it will definitely save you some cash. The cost of being a smoker goes up every year, and it includes more than the pack price. Life and health insurance premiums are more for smokers, and associated health issues could bump up your number of doctor visits and your pharmacy and medical bills.
Sometimes you win, but more often, you lose. If betting is something you do only occasionally for fun, just make sure you take your losses out of the “allowance” or “discretionary” spending that’s in your budget. If it’s more than that, you could have a problem that will ultimately bust your budget and hurt your financial future.
If you’re eating out more than a few times a week, a big portion of your monthly budget is going toward food. Consider cooking at home more, and if you don’t like to cook (or don’t know how), do a little research online. There are hundreds of easy (and cheap) recipes available on the Internet, including many that only require a slow cooker and less than five ingredients. And pay attention to how quickly trips to the vending machine add up. A couple of dollars a day spent on candy, chips and soda equals a few hundred dollars a year (and none of those items are good for your waistline either).