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Article By: Jo and Leisa (joleisa)
If one of your resolutions for this year involves saving money by cutting down on your spending, then you have come to the right place. By the way, well done to you for recognizing the benefits of cutting down on the unnecessary spending. I will now share seven unnecessary spending habits that most of us have. These habits are preventing us from paying off more debt, and getting out of debt, saving for family holidays, deposit on a house, or even for retirement. We do have to be careful as all the unnecessary spends do add up.
1. Food Waste
The United States of America dumps a lot of food every year. This food comes from households that have not planned properly. The answer to this is proper meal planning. This would mean you are buying just the foods you need to prepare a set meal for the family. I agree that this will take some getting used to, but the more often you do it, the more you will be operating like a well-oiled machine. Learn how to do composting that will make use of any uncooked plant food that you need to get rid of. The compost can then be used to spruce up your vegetable garden. Check out the beginner’s guide to composting here to get started.
2. Cell Phone and Landline Services
I have not used a land line at home for more than six years! When I consider that I was paying for the ‘privilege’ of getting constant cold calls from all over the world, I stopped the service and saved my money. I still do have a phone line in my house only because of the WIFI services. With current mobile phone packages available, I didn’t see the need for a landline.
I also put a cap on the amount of data, call hours and text messages that I can use. I set that up with my mobile phone provider so that it is impossible for me to go over my limit. So I am well aware that I have to curb the amount of time I spend using the phone.
There are also some providers that offer family packages at a lower rate on average when compared to taking out 2 or 3 phones separately. Remember to set a cap on each with the phone service provider.
3. Gym Membership
What is your favorite piece of equipment at the gym? You know, the one you use the most when you are there. Save the gym membership and buy one of those pieces of equipment. You could buy a used one from a site like Shpock, eBay or community selling pages on Facebook. You could even look for one free on FreeCycle.
Unless you are a professional player or sports person, walking, running and jogging can efficiently provide your body with adequate and beneficial exercise. Save on the gym membership and go smiling to the bank.
4. Bills That Automatically Renew
I’ve long learned that there are several price comparison websites that you can use to check on the best prices for car insurance, building and contents insurance, and home insurance. If you make a note of when each of your policies come up for renewal, you can do a quick online search in less than 10 minutes and almost always pay cheaper each year than the year before. Try it; there’s nothing to lose, just some savings to gain.
5. Cable, Netflix, Sky TV, Virgin Media, Sling TV, Premium Channels
I am well aware that I might have stepped on a few toes here. Until you try it, you will not know how well you could do without all these that, apart from draining your pocket, they also waste your time. You can only watch one movie at a time, and guess what? You are paying for all the ones they have available whether or not you watch them. Now, who’s laughing all the way to the bank? Is it you or the cable providers?
Don’t worry you don’t have to give up all your tv privileges! The Roku device is a fantastic affordable alternative, and it’s just a tiny device, it comes in stick form too so you can plug it into your tv. You don’t have to deal with the channels you don’t want because the menu is fully customizable, you build it entirely yourself with what you want to watch. You can find out more information on the Roku device and purchase it here.
6. Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions
I do hope you don’t find yourself in this position. After all, who still pays for magazine subscriptions? This tip is a waste of money as any information contained in these, is readily available online.
7. The Hairdresser
I’ve cracked this one! No, I haven’t gone for hairdressers training! What I’ve done is to get together with my sister and a friend to do each other’s hair! Together, we are saving £60 each time we meet up! Sure, we miss the comfort and the gossip at the hairdressers, but we have a real goal that we want to achieve. And we are well aware that continuing to go there and forking out cash each time, is preventing us from reaching our goals. Invest in some quality hair tools to save some extra money and do your hair at home.
So whatever it is that you need to save up for, remember that you have to be purposeful about it and desist from leeching your money away with unnecessary spending.