From the moment you step out of your house to the time you go to bed, you make dozens of purchases daily. Many of these purchases of course, are necessary. The food you eat, the water you drink, as well as the ride you take to go where you need to go. But are all of these really the best buys for your buck?
Cash Down the Drain Daily
Unknown to many, their everyday purchases can take a great toll on their finances, and these purchases can all be replaced by better, more economical choices. Because most are so used to buying the same things every day, they fail to see that what they’re really doing is wasting hundreds of dollars annually.
Here’s a list of the most common things that people buy on a daily basis that they really shouldn’t. You may be surprised to find more than one thing in it that’s already grown roots in your everyday expenses.
- Bottled water – Experts view this as one of the most overpriced consumer products, and yet people still purchase it on a daily basis. Bottled water can cost you around $2 a day which can pile up to around $500 a year. The better alternative? Get reusable water bottles and fill up from the tap. There’s nothing wrong with tap water, but if you want to be extra careful, simply buy a filter and save hundreds of dollars.
- Fast & store bought food – Sure, fast food may be convenient and tasty, but it will not only hurt your health, it’ll hurt your wallet as well. Averaging about $10 a day, you could spend almost $3,000 a year on those fast food lunches and store bought breakfasts. Of course the better (and healthier) way to go would be to eat breakfast at home and bring your own lunch to work. But if preparing your lunches early in the morning requires too much willpower which you currently don’t have, then prepare your lunches the night before. You can cook a big dinner and save some of it in the freezer for lunch the next day, or prepare your entire week’s lunches over the weekend so all you have to do is grab one and go.
- Coffee – This is a must for almost all working men and women, but that doesn’t mean you have to get it from a fancy coffee shop or restaurant. One cup from these places can be costly, almost 3$ a day or over $700 a year. Save those hundreds by brewing your own cup at home or at the office.
- Vending machine food – When you’ve got the munchies, it’s easy to fall into the trap of getting food from the vending machine. But beware, it can be a sinkhole for pocket change. A mere $1.50 spent daily on vending machine treats can result in almost $400 spent yearly (not to mention the added calories you’re going to get from the sugary and salty snacks). To avoid this senseless spending, bring your own healthy snacks to work.
- Music or movies – With online services offering songs and movies at lower prices or for free, there’s really no need to buy albums with songs you’re iffy about, get cable or watch 3-D movies for which you have to pay an additional $4. In total, you could end up saving $300 a year.
- Alcohol – While it’s good to get together and share a pint every now and then, drinking alcohol in bars can get pricey, especially if it’s weekly and if it’s in a fancy new bar. Weekly you could be looking at $75 in expenses, or almost $4,000 a year. Tough as it may be, if you want to stop spending this much you’ll have to limit those booze fests, or just organise get-togethers at your place, where drinks are cheaper and you don’t have to leave tips.
- Cigarettes – Buying cigarettes daily can cost you more than $500 a year, and as you may already know, cost you your health as well. If you really can’t quit the habit, then keep track and limit how many sticks you smoke so you won’t spend too much.
- Apps – Apps are amazing little things. They can help you get organised, manage your loans and finances, schedule your days, get you inspired, get things done or simply entertain you when you’re bored. But apps can be a waste if you spend a dollar for each. To minimise this expense, try free apps instead, or move away from the virtual and get an actual organiser.
- Lottery tickets – While it may be fun to find out if you could get lucky, buying lottery tickets is mostly a waste of time and money. The odds of you winning are, realistically speaking, microscopic. You’d be better off using your money to pay off a loan or pay for your retirement.
- Magazines – They’re great just sitting on top of coffee tables, but their cost isn’t great sitting on your wallet. A couple of magazines monthly can cost you over $150 a year. If you want to stay updated, it would be better to turn to the online versions of these publications or opt for money-saving subscriptions.
Little expenses every day can add up to a lot especially if it’s for things that you don’t really need. By cutting off these few unnecessary expenses daily, you’ll be able to save and spend more. It’ll be easier to pay off loans and debts and you’ll have extra cash for emergencies, retirement and other more important things.
About the Author: This article is written by Debra Wright. Debra enjoys a multi-hyphenated identity. She is an online marketing specialist, writer, cat lover, and aspiring cupcake critic. Wright’s articles about money saving draws on her passion for learning and dedication to share her discoveries to others. Get updated on what she’s discovering now @debrawrites