Want to end up with more money in your wallet or bank account at the end of the month?
This extra money could be for a vacation, a home renovation, your retirement plan, or even just simple savings for that day when you decide what you will do with all the extra cash.
Or maybe you live paycheck to paycheck and you are ready to make a change – a change in your spending habits so that you don’t live with that stress anymore – a change that can bring you more financial freedom.
While there are some things we cannot cut spending on, why not cut out some of our most wasteful spending habits – ones which are not necessary.
Consider doing away with these 13 very typical expenses easily. Some are, of course, easier than others but…because most are absolutely unnecessary, it is easy to eliminate them.
1. Cut the Cable TV
Are you a subscriber to cable TV? Do you really watch it? Do you watch it often? Does it really provide you with the programs you want to watch? How much are you paying for it?
If you answered these questions honestly, you will probably have figured out that you could do without this little used cable service which can be quite expensive.
At an average cost of $75 per month, that works out to $900 per year. That could go a long way to the beginnings of a winter or summer vacation, right?
Save your money on cable TV. Spend it instead on specific streaming services or how about just 1 streaming service. This will cost you a fraction of the cost of a full cable TV service.
2. Forget the Expensive Coffees
How much do you spend on your morning coffees? How often do you do this? Everyday?
Some of these coffees can run into the ‘over $5’ range. This simple pleasure everyday will add up. $5 per day for 30 days adds up to $150 per month. Put that in a retirement fund (401K or RRSP) or investment and you may see your retirement date come up sooner than you think.
Try making your own coffee at home, or take advantage of the free coffee at your work – if they offer it.
Regardless of the type of coffee you buy daily, if you cut back on this, you will have more money in your pocket for other things – or for savings. Even a $2 coffee every day adds up to $60 per month. That could be invested or seen as the insurance payment for your car, as an example.
3. No More Gym Memberships
We all want to be in shape, right? Well, I know I would like to be in relatively good shape.
I have had gym memberships before and they were great. I really enjoyed them.
However, as my workout needs have changed throughout the course of my life (and getting older), I find that I need different workouts – workouts that I find I can do at home with a video (or not).
As a result, there really is no need for any gym memberships.
Also, we can always find ways to exercise without spending much at all. Cycling, walking, jogging, simple calisthenics, yoga, the Tibetan Five (find out more in my detailed article) are all doable without spending much or anything at all.
Of these modes of exercise, only cycling requires a major expense of owning a bike and bike helmet. Other than that, simple shoes and mats are all that is required.
Stay in shape both physically and financially.
4. Let Go of the Luxury Vehicles
Everyone loves a Porsche, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Cadillac or any other more expensive luxury car. But, do you really need it? The answer is no – for everyone.
Now, if you answered yes to that question, you are sadly mistaken. You do not NEED a luxury car, you simply WANT one – which is fair.
But, ask yourself, do you really need it and are you giving up something else just to get from A to B in higher style.
All of this to say that a luxury vehicle will do what it is supposed to do – get you where you want to go. The thing is that it will cost you much more per trip than a normal car.
Of note for luxury cars: They will cost more to buy. They will also cost more to maintain. The parts and specialized mechanics required to repair them are always more expensive.
Oh, and it may go without saying…If you have an expensive luxury car, you will want to store / park that luxury vehicle in a garage where there is little chance of unexpected damages.
And what does that mean…it means you require a more expensive home which has a garage…oh it is a vicious cycle.
5. Eliminate Expensive Restaurants
While we all may want to eat out at gourmet restaurants, I have to say I don’t really like paying $20 for a glass of house wine.
Oh, wait, there is more to the meal than wine. Yes, I am aware. And yes, I don’t really like paying $25 for a plate of simple pasta – especially when I know I can make my own for a fraction of the cost.
As well, if you want a good steak, you can most certainly buy a good one from your butcher and have a gourmet steak at home for a small price of an expensive restaurant.
If you want that nice glass of wine with your dinner, go buy yourself a $40 bottle of wine. It will be much better than the $20 glass at the restaurant – and you will be able to have a second glass…oh, and to share it too.
Whether you splurge once in a while or not on an expensive bottle of wine, you should get yourself some nice wine glasses. Wine really does taste better in the proper wine glass.j
And think of it, even if you spend $80 (which you don’t really have to) on a set of nice wine glasses, that will be less than the cost of 1 meal at an expensive restaurant – and you will enjoy the glasses for years.
6. Drop Expensive Smart Phones
I don’t know about you but, the price of smart phones these days sometimes takes me a back.
Paying over $1200 for a smart phone seems like a whole lot of money to spend on a phone. I realize that it does do a lot – and yes I mean a lot.
However, that ‘a lot’ means that you will probably never use all of that ‘a lot’. There will be numerous features on an expensive cell phone that you will absolutely never use – never, not once. So, why pay for them?
Buying a less expensive smart phone – assuming it does most of what you need – make phone calls, text messaging, search the internet, take photos – will do just fine. It will probably be the camera which will differ the most on newer, more expensive smart phone models.
7. Waive Costly Weekday Work Lunches
Similar to buying morning coffees before work, buying lunches at work can add up.
If you spend $10 per day on lunches at work, you are spending about $200 per month just on lunches.
That is not to say that we don’t need lunch. Yes, you should eat lunch and yes, you should take a break from work and lunch time seems to be a good excuse to do that.
However, you can make your own lunch for much less cost.
Try to make extra food the night before so you can take some leftovers for lunch.
Even if you simply grab simple items such are an apple, orange, or any fruit, a cucumber, a bell pepper, carrots, celery or any other vegetable, you can have a lunch pulled together fairly easily.
Get yourself a practical and nice looking adult lunch box to keep you motivated to make and take your lunch to work everyday.
8. Let Go of Lawn Care
While there ares some tasks in your yard which will require a professional – such as removing large tree – you can do most of the work yourself.
You can cut your own grass. You can weed your own gardens, You can water your grass and plants. You can cut and trim your shrubs and bushes.
Doing these tasks will not only save you money but they will provide you with fresh air, sunshine and exercise. What could be better than that!
Note to self: If you decide to take on this garden care task to save money, and don’t love to do this type of work, do not plant a large garden. While you may want to have a prettier front garden, this will only lead to more work for you – and the prettiness won’t last for a long time if you neglect it.
Keep your garden and lawn tools stored in a neat and organized way to make it easy to get your lawn work done faster.
Add some beautiful and unique large planters to your garden for easy care and maintenance.
9. Phase Out Paid House Cleaning
Who loves cleaning toilets? Not me! But, it must be done. And so, I do it.
But, honestly, it is not that bad.
As with most house cleaning, if you do not leave it too long and have a regular schedule, it won’t take you long at all to complete it.
To stay organized and have easy access to all of your cleaning supplies in one place, why not use a handy-dandy cleaning caddy to store your cleaning supplies.
10. Cancel Monthly Subscriptions
Monthly subscriptions of magazines, books or music will add up at the end of the year.
Try visiting your local library for the latest books and magazines. As well, with music, try loading free music services instead of a subscription.
11. Stop Eating Fast Food
Along the lines of some of the other ways to save money, making your own food is a big part of it.
And because fast food is generally so bad and unhealthy, it is only obvious that you should cut it out from both your diet and your financial budget.
I won’t name names but you know who these fast food joints are. They tend to offer very fatty, salty, greasy, non-nutritious and high caloric foods – so, really not good for you – and they are not that cheap either. So, why eat them at all?
On a side note: If you do cut out fast food, you may live longer so you will need more money to support yourself longer.
12. No More Prepackaged Food
Oh yes, we are all looking for convenience sometimes – most times? Whatever your scenario, you have probably grabbed for that box of pasta and cheese powder – again, no naming names – once or twice in your life.
Well, if you only do that once or twice in your life, you are fine. But, if you find yourself buying more prepackaged food than that, you should probably stop.
Prepackaged food can include pre-made frozen meals, pre-cooked pasta in cans, and prepared meats.
If you look at the ingredient list – just once – you will most likely see things that you cannot pronounce or would rather not ingest.
So, do yourself – and your wallet – a favor and stop buying these prepackaged foods.
After all, it really isn’t that hard to make a batch of macaroni and add some melted cheese. There, you did it – you made mac and cheese – just like that!
I am sure you will find that it tastes much better too.
13. Dump the Dog Walker
Sorry, that may sound a bit harsh but, why don’t you take on that task yourself, save some money and get even more important fresh air, sun and exercise.
While walking your dog will provide you with great exercise, you may find that you get even more out of it than just some physical benefits. You may just meet more dog-loving people, who may become your new dog walking acquaintance.
There is nothing better than a motivator to keep you motivated.
Hopefully, this article has motivated you to cut your wasteful spending habits in order to save more money.
Whether that extra money is for getting out of the living paycheck to paycheck mode, for investing in a retirement plan, saving for a vacation or saving for your child’s post secondary education, you are sure to feel more than just a financial freedom which comes with having made these cuts.
You will see unexpected benefits from these spending cuts – eating healthier, more exercise, less watching TV, more time outdoors, etc. – more than you could ever have imagined.
Now, let’s get cutting!