The 8 things we were wasting money on
When we first started our budget in January 2016, I knew we were spending more money than needed but I wasn’t sure where that money was going. In order to pay off debt, we really needed to cut spending. It took us a few months but as we tightened our budget, we found the following 8 items to be draining our hard-earned cash from the bank account.
1.) Eating out/Ordering In
With both of us working full-time there were plenty of nights where we did NOT want anything to do with cooking and feeding ourselves. During the work week we’d order delivery 2-3 times and usually treat ourselves to dinner out at least twice a month. If I had to guess, I’d say we were spending $400+ per month on mediocre, unhealthy food with delivery fees and tips. That’s a lot of money! And that doesn’t even include groceries!
For most people, it’s Starbucks that needs to be cut from their budget but for us it was this constant need to buy drinks whenever we left the house. Checkout lane coolers, gas station stops, the convenience store at the end of the street. Again, this was unhealthy for our bodies and frivolous for our spending.
3.) Name brands
I used to only buy name brand items at the grocery store just because. When we switched to store brand, we didn’t notice a different in quality, but we did notice the cost savings!
We haven’t had cable since it came free with our apartment and to tell you the truth, we don’t miss it. So we’ve never really wasted money on cable. However, with Netflix we noticed that if we weren’t binge-watching a series, we weren’t using that either. So we deactivated the Netflix account and save ourselves $10 per month. We can reactivate at any time, so why not?
5.) Nonessential Home Items
This is a biggie. Anyone who shops at Target doesn’t need this spelled out for them. There was so much stuff that we just didn’t need that we were buying because it was there. And a lot of it went to Goodwill when we moved because we just didn’t want it.
6.) Stuff We Already Had
When you have too much stuff, this happens too easily. We’d be putting away new groceries and finding out we already had that item in the pantry. Oh, and I have two Swiffers because I thought I needed the one that squirts cleaning liquid on the floor. I didn’t need that at all, I prefer a traditional mop. And candles, and video games, and magazines, and toiletries, and sneakers. It’s a long list. Seriously, only buy what you need and if you’re replacing something you already have, sell or donate the old item.
7.) Things We Could Do Ourselves
The car wash is a $15 expense that is completely unnecessary when you have a hose near your driveway (except for those road-salty, winter months). And when you think you need a handyman, you should check Youtube first, do some research, and see if you can do it yourself. Also, food doesn’t need to be delivered to you if you have a car and can pick it up yourself. All these things add up.
8.) Interest Rates
Every loan and every credit card balance is costing you money. If you want to make yourself sick, take a second to calculate how much money you’re spending each month on interest alone. Not principal. Just interest. Some of my student loans were costing me upwards of $30 per month each… just in interest! This is why it’s important to pay off your debts quickly, reduce those interest rates when possible, and stop giving your money away. Try to make extra payments toward the principal of your debts and the interest will lessen.
These are really just a few of the many areas you can cut costs in your own budgets. What are some things that you know you’ve been spending too much money on? Comment below and share what things cost you too much money!