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It’s human nature for people to walk into a store and want something. Whether it’s a freshly baked muffin from a coffee shop, new clothing from a retail store, or even a new book from Chapters, buying and using items is a part of life. That being said, there is, or at least there should be, a limit to how much money you spend on unnecessary items. As we’ve said time and time again, sticking to your budget is a crucial part of maintaining financial stability and reach goals. Yet, rarely do people actually listen and stick to their budget.
In our opinion, cutting back on unnecessary spending is one of the best ways to help you stick to your budget. To help you out and provide some inspiration, here are 10 things we think you should stop spending your hard earned money on right now.
What about things you should be spending your money on? Check out this article.
If you work downtown or anywhere that requires paying for parking every day, you may want to consider a cheaper alternative. In most major Canadian cities you can expect to pay $3 or more an hour to park on the street and roughly $12 in a parking lot to park for the entire day. Parking in a lot five days a week can cost up to $60 a week, totaling up to $240 a month giving a grand total of $2880 a year, assuming you work all year. Spending almost three thousand dollars on parking every year is absurd and not worth it. Wouldn’t you rather go to Mexico for a week with your significant other or Las Vegas for the weekend with your friends? If so, take public transportation to work or school. It can take the same amount of time, or even less, to get to your destination and it’s even better for the environment. On top of that, you lower your chances of getting parking tickets, which really do add up quickly. With fewer gas emissions, less money wasted on parking, and more money in your pocket, parking is an easy expense to cut out of your life.
Smartphones are great, they allow us to stay connected to our friends, family, and even to work at all times. But if you’re looking to cut back, you might want to consider just how much you want to be connected and how much you’re willing to pay for it. Yes, it’s likely that we all need phones, but do we all need data?
Adding data onto your cell phone plan will likely cost you an extra $30 a month depending on how much you need. This is an extra $30 a month, which totals to an extra $360 a year spent just on Internet access. Just think about how much you’re already paying to have Internet access at home. Considering that there is WIFI almost everywhere, is data really necessary? Unless your job requires you to have Internet access 24/7, which is rare, saving $360 a year and waiting to use the free Wi-Fi at the office or at home is worth it. Besides, do you really want to be able to read your work emails anywhere, wouldn’t it be nice to leave work at work.
Purchasing cases of bottled water and individuals bottles while out and about are two serious wastes of money, especially if you make a habit of it. While we totally understand that sometimes it’s necessary to buy a bottle of water, but if you always buy bottled water, never make an effort to fill up a reusable bottle and are having trouble saving money, you definitely need to rethink this habit. Breaking the bottle water habit may be annoying, but if you can save hundreds of dollars a year just by switching to a reusable water bottle, why not follow through?
Depending on how much fitness is part of your life, joining gyms can be costly, especially if you’re not going as often as you planned. While all of us hope to go as much as we original say, life gets in the way. Why spend hundreds a year on a gym membership when you can work out outdoors, doing almost all the same exercises as you would in the gym. Especially with such gorgeous weather coming our way, wouldn’t you rather jog around a local park and breath in fresh air instead of running on a treadmill in a smelly gym? Circuits can all be done outside and you can even make a plan to workout with friends, so they don’t also need to join the gym to work out with you.
Want to get fit on a budget? Click here.
Using an ATM machine, which is not associated with your bank, to withdraw money can cost users a relatively large sum of money over time. Usually, the machine charges around $3 to pull out cash and then your bank might also add on its own fee for using an ATM that’s not theirs. Spending this amount of money every time you need to withdraw money is a complete waste. Make sure to go to your bank and pull out money there, where there will be no charge. Thus, if your bank’s logo isn’t presented on the ATM, do not use it. If there aren’t any convenient ATM options in your area, consider switching to a more accessible bank.
Similar to ATM fees, late fees are also a big waste of your money. Making a late payment on your credit card, subscription service, or utility bill, will more than likely result in a late fee. We are all humans, who sometimes make mistakes, so paying these fees once in awhile is acceptable. But, if you find yourself paying late fees often, consider setting up automatic payments online, which will automatically pay your bills for you before they are due. This will ensure that you’ll never need to pay a late fee again and of course help you save money and stick to your budget.
Grocery shopping is one of the best ways to help prevent yourself from wasting too much money on restaurant food. Not only is buying fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store cheaper than going to restaurants every day, it’s also healthier. Once in awhile, it’s okay to take a break from cooking, but it’s also a good idea to get into the habit of making yourself packed lunches for work and meal planning for weeknight dinners. Both of these are essential to living a financially and physically healthy life.
With summer just around the corner, you may be making up excuses to go shopping and buy a few new pieces of clothing for the season. If you’re currently in this situation, we can’t recommend enough that you consider purchasing quality items that fit you well and will last for the next few years. Try skipping out on cheap stores this year where you’ll more than likely end up buying shirts that will have holes in them before the end of the summer and shorts that don’t fit you properly.
Quality over quantity is an important aspect to consider when making purchases because you save money in the long run. So this season, buy fewer items that are of better quality for the same price as buying too many cheap (in price and quality) items.
As ridiculous as this may seem, you would be surprised to know how much cutting out gum can save you. Firstly, depending on how often you buy gum and what type you buy it quickly adds up and you wouldn’t even realize. It costs about $1.20 for each pack of gum you buy. Assuming you buy a pack a week, this adds up to 60$ a year without taxes. Besides saving this amount of money, you will also be saving your teeth as some gum contains a high amount of sugar. Nevertheless, when was the last time you pulled out a pack of gum around people and didn’t give out half your pack? Considering this fact, we can assume we buy closer to 2 packs of gum a week, totally to 120$ a year.
Check out our essential guide to saving, here.
This generation spends enough time in front of screens. Whether it’s your computer, TV, or cell phone screen, it seems as though people are always plugged in. After spending your entire day working or studying in front of screens, going home should be a time to reconnect and speak to your loved ones about your day, not sitting in front of the TV watching shows till you fall asleep. Cable can cost between $80-$100 a month, adding up to 1200$ a year depending on your cable plan. With the ability to stream videos online or pay for Netflix (a cheaper alternative costing about $10 a month), paying for cable doesn’t add any value to your life and therefore should not be a necessity.
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