Saving money is on the minds of millions of families every day, but many do not know where they can begin, or if it is even possible to tighten the belt any more than they already have.
This article will expose the top ten money drains that you may not be aware of and how you can plug them up!
Yes, we all need to eat, and it is preferred that we all eat well. The problem is that many of us have forgotten what that actually means.
In many homes, fresh fruits and veggies are just for decoration, or simply go bad in the fridge while the kids snack on pizza and junk food.
In other cases, fresh fruits and vegetables are just an idea, and people purchase boxed macaroni and cheese and ramen noodles to survive.
If you are lucky enough to have some choice in the food you buy, then begin not only by changing the brands you look for, but by reading the labels of what you buy.
Stop the cycle of buying empty calories and you will quickly notice your whole family eating less food, and your monthly food budget going down.
9. Beauty Treatments
It is estimated that women spend nearly $2,000 per year on beauty treatments in salons. Haircuts, dye jobs, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, and even tanning all rack up this amount.
Surprisingly, men are quickly catching up with nearly $1,500 spent every year on “maintenance.”
Instead of the indulgence of spa manicures and beauty treatments, try getting together with a few friends for the day and doing them yourselves. There are many homemade versions of your favorite body scrubs, moisturizers, and even hair wax, and these all-natural alternatives are not only cheaper – they are often better for you.
While necessary, your utility bills are most likely eating up more money than they need to. With just a few steps you can lower your monthly bill by up to 30% – for an average yearly savings of $600!
First, be sure to replace all of the lights in your home with energy-saving versions. Next, write reminders for yourself to turn off your computer and lights any time you are not using them, and unplug electronics that consume energy even when they are off – you can spot them by looking to see if any lights are still present when the device is off.
Also check your provider’s website for hints on how to save money on your bills in other ways.
7. Your House
This may be a step far too drastic for some, but the reality is that around 25% of families have a home that is too large for their needs. If you have one or more rooms dedicated to “storage”, then you fit in this category.
A guest bedroom is good only if you ever have guests – otherwise it is just empty space costing you thousands. If there are wasted rooms in your home, then you may want to consider downsizing to save tens of thousands over your lifetime. Bonus: you get to sell some of the stuff you never use and actually make money as well!
Much the same as too much house, too much insurance, or the wrong kind, can cost you quite a lot of money over time.
Many people choose the lowest deductibles and the highest coverage rates just to be on the safe side in case something happens, but simple math can explain why this may not be the best idea.
You may want to speak with your agent and look back to see how much you’ve spent hoping for the lower deductible – you could be surprised to find it hasn’t saved you anything.
Aside from possibly paying too much for your cable channels, your entertainment bill is most likely putting a serious and unnecessary strain on your finances.
To begin cutting down, try subscribing to services like Blockbuster online or Netflix rather than renting movies. You can also cut out one “outing” to dinner, plays, or movies per month.
Gas prices rise and fall regularly, but the general trend over the last decade has been a steep incline in the amount we pay per gallon, and that trend shows no signs of stopping.
In some cases you will need to trade in that gas guzzler for a more sensible option, but you can also try riding the bus, walking, and riding a bike for short-distance travel.
Regardless of the ongoing debate of coffee’s effects on our health, most of us are still drinking 1–3 cups per day, and many of us are still buying our coffee at the local shop each day.
If you buy a coffee each day, you are spending close to $120 a month – and that’s if you don’t get any “extras.”
Try brewing your coffee at home, or buying instant coffee for a quick fix. If you already brew your own, try drinking less of it each day and you could still save a few bucks on it.
As high as the numbers may seem for coffee purchases, water has recently surpassed it in our spending. Many of us are spending as much as $300 every month on bottled water!
To cut down, consider buying a filter and bottle to carry your water in. If you absolutely must have sealed bottled water, buy in bulk to save up to half the price.
1. Dining Out
For years you’ve probably been told that dining out is one of the largest money drains we have, and perhaps you’ve even cut back. What you may not realize is that dining out includes any food that you eat outside of your home.
Quick lunches at the café near work, a stop at the fast food joint on the way home, and brunch with friends are all in the same category, and they all add to this drain on your finances.
The best tool for managing this drain is awareness, so start by writing down every cent you spend on dining out for one month, and then begin your own personal plan for savings from there.
You can begin by having water instead of drinks at dinner, and skipping the appetizers or desserts. Also try searching online for last-minute dinner deals – sites like Table Pouncer let you do this.