Do you think you are saving money? You clip coupons; you set a budget. You even shop by your grocery list, to the letter. Chances are, you could still be saving money. Here is a list of 7 things you are probably wasting money on. I bet you can point to at least one or two of them.
1. Bottled water. Get a water filter system and a pitcher instead. If you must have a bottle for work or exercise, get a refillable washable bottle.
2. Brand names. Whether clothing or food, you spend more on the brand than the product itself. Shop off brand and save big. If you HAVE to have brand names shop the thrift store or online at Twice, Thred-Up or Schoola.
3. Entertainment. The occasional movie is nice. You don’t need to do it every week, nor do you need to spend money on theater food. You also don’t need to take your partner out to an expensive dinner every week. Instead, plan a picnic for the two of you, or a nice hiking trip. Do something that lets you enjoy each others company in an intimate setting.
4. Your utility bills. Start replacing items in your home with more efficient items. If you own a home, for your next project, replace your standard water heater with a tank-less one. This will save you big on utilities. If you have an old toilet, put two standard bricks in it. This will lower the tank’s water volume so that you use less water on a flush. Exchange out all incandescent bulbs with compact florescent or LED bulbs. Read Don’t Let it ZAP Your Pocketbook! 14 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill
5. Credit card interest. If you must have a credit card for an emergency, only use it for an emergency and pay it off as quickly as possible. If you want to keep credit built up, pick 1 expense you always pay for, and put it on the credit card. When the bill comes, pay it in full. You can do this with all your weekly household expenses: gas, groceries. Unless your utility charges a fee for credit card payments (avoid this), even put utilities on the card. Pay in full every month with the money you shovel over into savings. By paying the balance in full, you’re charged no interest. You show plenty of open credit. In addition, if you find out you need to reduce your open credit, you can close a credit card with no balance with just a phone call or better, have the bank reduce the credit line for you.
6. Your bills. Some things you are stuck with. You can’t shop your water and power bill. You can shop your cell phone bill. You can also shop your cable bill. Better yet, how often do you actually watch television? Weather and traffic reports are available on the internet and on your smart phone. Hulu and Netflix give you the opportunity to watch shows at a fraction of the cost of cable. You can even hook up your laptop to your HD television. Find out how we get basic cable for FREE.
7. Your electronics. Buy last generation. I do not mean that you’re going to be getting a computer from the 1990s (hey, I remember when a 4 GB harddrive with 128 RAM was top of the line). Computer generations change about every year. Whatever is new, find out what was out before it. If you need a new computer or must upgrade, that is the way to go. Avoid using a laptop as your primary computer. It is good to have a decent laptop (see #6) but you will save money down the road on computers if you have a box you can upgrade as you go. Buying a refurbished computer or cell phone means you are buying something previously owned that a technician has cleaned and made repairs on. A refurbished computer will save you hundreds of dollars.
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