Considering how most Americans are in debt and struggling to make ends meet, it certainly helps to lower your spending wherever possible. One way to do this is by not buying more stuff. Seems unrealistic? Okay, you probably can’t curb spending altogether (you do have to eat, after all), forgoing the urge to purchase certain items can actually save you a lot of money while still allowing you to live a rich life with plenty of enjoyment.
In this article, we’ll take a look at eight things you should stop buying now if you want to save money. While the decision to buy or not buy something is always an individual choice, there are some ways in which you can reduce your expenditures on these products and services considerably. If you need further convincing that these purchases aren’t worth it, just read from the list below.
Stop Buying Bottled Water
Bottled water is very convenient; however, it can also be expensive. Consider how much of it you drink, and then think about what the savings would do for your bank account over the course of a year. When you consider both quality and price, tap water is usually better than bottled for all occasions except when traveling.
In terms of health, some bottled water brands are no healthier than what comes out of your faucet at home. So get a reusable water bottle and save your dollars for more important things. And you’re really concerned about water quality, buy a water filter pitcher. You’ll still save a bundle over the long haul.
Stop Buying Cigarettes and Alcohol
Okay, this one is controversial, but we all know the truth. Neither of these items is good for your health or your wallet. Long before they begin to cause expensive and irreversible health problems, they also take a massive toll on your budget.
You’ve wanted to quit for years because you know it’s not good for you, but if you stop buying booze and tobacco now, you can save hundreds—perhaps thousands—each year you abstain. In addition to the savings, you’ll feel better and spend less on doctor’s visits.
Stop Buying Elaborate Coffee Drinks
If your motivation for visiting Starbucks every morning is because you think it tastes better, then you have probably never tried making your own coffee with fresh beans. Paying $5 or more per drink puts a serious dent in your savings and certainly does not provide any more caffeine than an extra scoop in your coffeemaker at home would do.
Maybe it’s worth it to you because of convenience, but how convenient is it really? Do you have to stand in a long line or leave early for work to stop and get your coffee? You probably could actually save time making it yourself before your commute. So, buy some beans and learn how to use them. You can find recipes online for amazing coffee drinks that will rival any fancy store-bought brand.
Stop Buying Lunch
Eating out at restaurants costs money and can be unhealthy if done too frequently. Instead, plan your meals ahead of time and cook at home. It’s likely you already have a refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, and all the cooking utensils needed to prepare healthy meals. You probably even have a few gadgets you bought just for this purpose. (We’re looking at you, neglected Crock-Pot.)
Bring your own lunch or brown bag it. This way, you can control the ingredients. Take the time to put together something fresh and healthy instead. Besides, would you rather eat overpriced sandwiches every day or have that money in your bank account at the end of the week?
Stop Buying Overpriced Car Insurance
If you’re a responsible driver with a late model vehicle, you are likely overspending on your vehicle insurance. Depending on the make and model of your car, you could be spending hundreds more a year on what it would take to replace it anyhow. You only need to acquire the legal minimum liability insurance in many places, which can be significantly less than comprehensive coverage.
The cost of auto insurance can vary widely between insurance companies as well. Check around. In this case, the ads are often spot on. You really could be saving hundreds of dollars a year on your insurance.
Stop Buying Brand New Clothes
Americans love brand names; however, the addiction to trendy brands is wasteful and unnecessary when it comes right down to it. Clothes go out of style quickly. And if you are buying expensive brand names for your kids, they will grow out of them even faster than they can wear out.
A great alternative to buying clothes brand new is shopping at a local consignment store. First of all, you can find some excellent deals on high-quality items that have been taken care of properly at a fraction of the cost of their off-the-rack counterparts. Secondly, you will be extending the life of these items and keeping them out of the landfill. Lastly, many people who run these stores don’t mind haggling over prices with you, so you can often get an item for even less. Once you start bargain shopping like this, you’ll never be satisfied with buying new clothes again!
Stop Buying Expensive Cable
Unless there is some compelling reason why you need so many channels, you can probably do without cable TV. Most televisions now are equipped to stream services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, and these platforms will more than satisfy your need for the best programming.
If you need cable to run your internet, just settle for the basic package and forego the expensive add-ons. After all, if you’re trying to make money with an online gig like taking surveys for cash, you will need WIFI. However, even the busiest remote workers can usually get away with basic cable.
While you’re at it, stop paying for a landline too. Have you even used that thing lately?
Stop Buying Anything Full Price
You may think that clipping coupons is only for people without a life, but it actually doesn’t take much time and can really pay off. And it’s not just coupons that can help you save. In this day and age, nearly every retailer and brand has some kind of money-saving app that you can use to get a discount on whatever you’re planning to buy.
So, please do yourself a favor, and the next time you want to make a purchase (whether it’s for food, clothing, entertainment, beauty products, or something else), check online for a coupon or discount code first. Make a pact with yourself to never, ever pay full price for anything again.