5 Ways You’re Overspending and How to Fix It
When most of us fantasize about being rich, the shortcut we use to get there is winning the lottery or getting a high paying job: increases to our income, essentially, and income is generally how we assume wealth accumulates. And while that’s undoubtedly a huge part of how the rich get rich, it’s also worth remembering that no matter how much money you make, you can always spend more.
What’s ironic about the mindset that income is the primary driver of wealth, is that for those in lower financial brackets, saving money is actually a far more effective method of improving your financial status. Often we spend more money than we realize, and just cutting back in a few key areas could save a lot of money without really impacting our lifestyle.
To that end, here are five ways you’re overspending and how to stop.
Cut Down on Coffee
This may seem a strange point to start our list off with: after all, what’s the harm in spending a few bucks on a cup every morning? Multiplication is the unfortunate answer.
Let’s say that you buy one cup of coffee each day for work. And let’s say each cup is 3$. There are five workdays a week, so each week you’re spending 15$. Four weeks in a month, so each month your coffee budget is 60$. Twelve months in a year, so yearly you’re spending 720$ just on coffee.
That escalated quickly, didn’t it? Small expenses over a long period can add up to huge ones. Luckily, to save money you don’t need to completely forsake your false coffee idol: instead of stopping by Starbucks on the way to work each morning, try and brew a pot at home instead. It’s significantly cheaper in the long run.
Stop Eating Out
Cooking is a pain. No matter how many cookbooks and cozy memories you have of your mother or grandmother cooking, there’s no getting around the fact that having to feed yourself three times a day is a brutal, relentless business. It’s one of the reasons, besides just taste, that eating out is such a tempting option.
Just like with coffee, there’s nothing wrong with eating out once in a while as a treat to yourself, but depending on it as a regular mode of consuming food is far more expensive than you’re likely aware.
Ok, fine, you hypothetical reader may say to yourself, I’ll stop eating out at fancy restaurants. And while that’s a fine start, just like with coffee, small amounts can add up over time. On top of that, fast food is notoriously terrible for your long-term health, which means that each time you eat fast food you’re upping your healthcare costs in the long term.
Don’t Over-Do Holidays
Everyone loves the holidays, but there’s no denying that they’ve become a cash cow for stores and companies. The way Christmas decorations sprout the day after Halloween is more than proof of that. This year don’t let yourself fall prey to their predations.
The best way to save money come the holidays is to pick out ahead of time a few key items you may be missing and limit yourself to those. Unless you’re throwing away your decorations each year (which if you are, you should stop doing) your holiday decorations will accumulate quickly, and you won’t have to spend money to fill your house with holiday cheer.
Not Using Thrift Stores
One of the obsessions and markers of class that companies desperately try and sell us is that buying new is superior to buying used. And while that’s true in certain cases, in many a used item is just as good as a brand new one, and usually a fraction of the cost.
Next time you’re going clothes shopping, instead of starting at the mall, try perusing your local thrift store. Often you’ll be surprised at what you can find. And clothes are just the tip of the iceberg: also price shop before buying anything new to see if you can find it cheaper at a thrift store or even online.
Not Buying In Bulk
Here’s a question to mull: when in life will you not need to use hand soap? Detergent? Toilet paper? There are certain household staples that you will always need to buy. And because you will always need them, and because buying in bulk is always cheaper than singly thanks to economies of scale, it makes sense to buy them in bulk.
For those of us commitment-phobic, it may feel like a big step to buy twenty rolls of toilet paper, but by making the leap we can stop overspending where we don’t need to.
Title Your Loan
Another way to save money is to use a payday or Tennessee title loan to strategically handle short term emergencies. Both are fast and simple and net you the cash you need in just an hour or two. Learn more about the title loan process here, and if it sounds right for you to get started now by filling out the form at the top of the page for your title loan.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.