We all have good and bad habits. But sometimes we aren’t aware of how much money they might be costing us. So, these habits often become the difference between achieving your financial goals and living hand to mouth.
Yes, we get it. Breaking a habit isn’t easy. You have to make a consistent and deliberate effort to change how you think. That’s why we are here to help you identify habits that cost you money and replace them with good money habits.
7 Bad Spending Habits and How to Control Them
1. Spending on Bottled Water
We Americans spend a lot on bottled water. Sure, it’s convenient to just get a water bottle wherever you are, but it can get costly in the long run. To give you some idea, consider this: On average, a 20-ounce water bottle costs around $1.50. It translates to approximately $9.60 per gallon on average. Just imagine if gas prices were that high!
Solution – Use Tap Water
According to some estimates, you can fill up approximately 4500+ water bottles for just $2.10. If you do the math and assume one water bottle costs a mere $1.00. It shows we pay about 2250 times what we would if we chose tap water to fill our water bottles instead of bottled water. That’s a massive difference.
2. Mindless Mobile Shopping
Let’s get candid, we all scroll through our mobile screens while waiting, and that’s fine. The problem starts when you find yourself overspending on shopping sites. Whether in the doctor’s waiting room, in the line at the store, or a public transport station, if you are mindlessly mobile shopping, expect a hefty bill at the end of every month.
Solution – Divert your attention from shopping sites
The best way to stop mindless mobile shopping is by diverting your attention from shopping sites. Watch Youtube videos instead, or read whatever interests you. Personally, I always open up a book on my mobile phone when waiting. You can also try talking to strangers to test your communication skills. You get the gist, right?
3. Eating Out on a regular basis
Well, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a bite with your friends every once in a while. But, you are eating out regularly or ordering pizza multiple times a week, it can be problematic for your monthly budget. On average, Americans spend about $3000 every year on takeouts. That’s more than enough to take a vacation, renovate your home, or start a new business.
Solution – Always pack your lunch.
When you go out in the morning, always pack your lunch. Often, when you eat out, you rarely look at how healthy the food is, but when you pack your lunch, you can decide what healthy foods to have during the day. Secondly, limit your eat-outs to weekends and pizza nights to once or twice a month only.
4. Dry Cleaning your clothes
Dry cleaning can cost a pretty penny. Especially if you have a lot of “dry clean only” clothes, the cost of dry cleaning expenses can add up. Unfortunately, it’s one of those expenses that are very easy to forget. But, if you can save even $50 a month on your dry cleaning costs, you can save around $600 a year.
Solution – Know your fabrics
Do you know that “dry clean” and “dry clean only” are two very different things? When a fabric says “dry clean,” it means the manufacturer recommends dry cleaning, but it’s not an absolute must. But, when a cloth says “dry clean only,” you must not put it in a machine or handwash. Therefore, keep this difference in mind when purchasing new clothes.
Alternatively, you can use a home dry cleaning kit if your clothes need a refresher. These kits are as affordable as $5, and sometimes you can even dry clean multiple pieces of your clothing with a single kit.
5. Daily coffee routine
While picking up a latte in the morning is a great energizing ritual, it’s not as invigorating for your wallet. Even if you get a $4 drink each day, it adds approximately $84 every month – or $1020 yearly. Not to mention, if you are ordering multiple drinks a day, the cost escalates dramatically.
Solution – Brew Your Coffee At Home
Thankfully, you don’t have to forgo your caffeine intake to save some bucks. Depending on the model, a good coffee machine for a home costs around 50 to 150 dollars. Moreover, brewing coffee at home costs approximately 17 cents per cup. You will just have to invest in insulated bottles to keep your cold or hot coffee at optimum temperature.
6. Paying for unnecessary subscriptions
Are you still using your online TV subscription? What about that magazine website that you subscribed to but never got the time to read it? Do you still need a subscription to that job listing mobile app? Paying for subscriptions that you don’t use eats away your budget. Even if the monthly cost is a few bucks, it’s an absolute waste if you don’t need it.
Solution – Make an inventory of your subscriptions
You should know ALL of the subscriptions that you pay for. So, make an inventory of your regular subscriptions. You should also check your bank statements for any subscription fees automatically withdrawn from your bank. A drop makes an ocean, so eliminate all those subscriptions you don’t need anymore.
7. Making Impulsive purchases
We have all gotten carried away while shopping. It’s very easy to get on a roll when you are with friends. Everyone is shopping, so you end up purchasing way more than you need. However, the things we don’t plan on buying in the first place cost us the most in the end. Mainly because we don’t really need these items.
Solution – Try a no-spend challenge.
First, make a list of essential spendings like your bills, transportation costs, and everyday groceries. After that, give yourself a no-spend challenge to stop spending money. Don’t purchase anything else until the challenge period is over. This way, you will not only save money, but you will also get a much better understanding of what you value the most.
So, these are some of the bad spending habits keeping you broke. By becoming more conscious of your frivolous spending habits, you can eliminate all the unnecessary practices and see your bank balance grow slowly. We hope these solutions will make it easier for you to spend wisely and save some cash. Thank you for reading and good luck!