As we strive to get out of debt and track our spending, we will still find it hard to let old habits die easily. While we may understand there are cuts we need to make in our budgets, it may be hard to let go of something that bring us comfort or at least the things we don’t think we can live without. It is these little things that we purchase that can really add up and prevent us from using our money to pay down debts. Getting sale items and grocery coupons are only 40% of the solution.
Here are 5 things you really pay too much for and make your wallet happier:
Of course we must drink water each day to keep our health in check but there are much more savings-conscious ways to stay hydrating than picking up 3 or 4 pricey bottles of water from the convenience store each day. At more than $2 a pop for a bottle of H20, you can easily end up paying $40 a week or more during your average work week.
Recommendation: Invest in a filtration pitcher for your tap water and recycle those used plastic bottles for a quick refill. Another way is to get the 1 gallon of water and carry around. It’s not embarrassing to save water right? It also shows you go to the gym a lot.
Sure it may save you some time and aggravation by picking up a fruit or veggie tray at the grocery store. But think about it this way, wouldn’t you rather learn how to cut your own food? You’ll have to cook eventually and learn how to all that. It’s definitely not healthy eating out and I really feel it’s great way to learn how cut simple vegetables, fruits and meat.
Recommendation: Obviously the recommendation will be to buy your own uncut foods. YOu can save a spending more than 50% off. To make it easier to grab and go and prevent waste, slice and wash what you bring home as soon as you get there and store them in air-tight, easily accessible containers or grab and go snack bags. It will make everything a lot easier. Trust me.
ATM Fees, Overdraft fees, etc
Whenever you use an ATM that is not associated with your bank, not only do you incur charges from the ATM sponsor, you also will get hit with fees from your own bank. I’m sure there’s a spread of the so called “overdraft fee” disease. We tend to realize how much is in our account or keep track of what we spend with our debit card.
Recommendation: Take the time to find out where your nearest bank is. If you need to burrow money from a friend, burrow it. It’s not worth it to see all the fees in your statement. I wish overdrafts fees can just disappear. Prevent your self from using your debit card as a credit card. That tends to happen to a lot of over drafters. Keeping track on your debit transaction on your smart phone or mini note pad helps tremendously. Don’t be the victim and always check your account. Spend wisely and always check the bank overdraft fee rules.
Movie Theater Experience
Not much beats experiencing a big action thriller on the big screen but with the ever increasing price of box office tickets and snacks, a family of four is looking at up to $40-$60 for one night out to the movies, not including dinner.
Recommendation: Save the big bucks and open an account at Netflix or Blockbuster. The cost of one movie night out can equal up to 6 months of an online membership. They’re older movies and recent new ones. Refrain from going out and just wait till the new movies comes out. They’re plenty shows to watch before it comes out. If you have a favorite movie, ask someone who owns costco membership, discounts at work, or living social/groupon. They can get discounts ranging $8 a movie ticket.
Credit Card Fees
As credit card rules keep changing, there are millions of account holders who are struggling to keep up with their debts and end up making late payments or missing entire payments on their credit card accounts each month. These late or missed payments can cost you not only in the short-term but also for years to come. $30 + fees plus additional charges for memberships, balance transfers, and other transactions can put your credit card debts in serious straits.
Recommendation: Setting up automatic payments each month can help reduce or eliminate the amounts of fees you have to pay each month. You can also cancel cards that incur membership fees and keep your credit spending down to the bare minimum. Don’t be afraid about insufficient funds or overdraft fees. You’ll need to be cautious and make sure every month that there’s a specific balance you cannot spend on. Balance and set a standard on your accounts.