For most people, building wealth usually requires that you live on a budget and live on less than you make. That might also mean: stop wasting money on some things. Here is a list of 10 things you might be wasting your money on.
1. Pricey cell phone service
Without a doubt, this is a big one.
So many people spend hundreds of dollars to operate a cell phone. But there are so many cheaper options out there.
If you can cut your cell phone bill by 75% or more, why not take advantage of it? It will save you a ton!
A great option for this is to switch to a cheaper option like Mint Mobile. That’s what I use, and I love it!
2. Leasing cell phones
Similar to pricey cell service, cell phones themselves are another costly expense.
It seems that most people get suckered into the latest and greatest technology by the convenience of cell phone leases – where you pay full top dollar, but stretch out the cost overtime. But this, obviously, adds more costs to an already pricey phone bill.
This generally adds an extra $30 – $40 a month to your bill, so it is substantial.
This makes operating a cell phone very costly.
Instead, why not buy your phones outright? That’s what I do!
You can generally find good phones on Amazon for a fraction of the price, helping you save a ton.
3. Not making a grocery list
Making a grocery list is an easy way to buy what you need and only what you need. If it’s not on your list, don’t buy it!
This helps you stay on task and on budget; it will keep you from buying items that you don’t actually need.
4. Paying for cable
The amount of money people spend on cable has always blown my mind. I know some people who spend $100, $200, or even more a month on cable – probably for a bunch of channels they don’t even watch.
It almost seems as if the more options you have, the harder it is to find something to watch!
I get that some people have certain channels that they have to have, but cheap streaming options can make good alternatives to cable – Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV, etc.
Also, you can always get local channels for free (in HD) – just by purchasing an Indoor Antenna.
The indoor antenna, along with a cheap steaming service, can probably get you close to what you need – for a whole lot cheaper.
Related: How to Save Money: 8 Simple Tips
5. Using a Keurig
I know this one will ruffle some feathers, but I gotta say it:
Keurigs pretty much suck!
I have had a few in my day, and used to be a big fan. But after years of experience, I have concluded that Keurigs really are not worth the money and hassle.
I do like the idea of a single cup serving, but you can do that with any coffee pot, honestly. You don’t have to brew an entire pot – even if you don’t have a Keurig.
I used to think the single serving idea was clever – not to mention, it was a lot cheaper than going to Starbucks or somewhere.
However, when you compare those savings to the amount of savings you get out of a regular coffee pot, it’s really not worth it.
Another issue with the Keurig, is how expensive the machines are to begin with. I have went through two or three because they simply stop working after a year or two.
Almost everyone I know has had similar problems with theirs. And $100 for a Keurig can set you back pretty quick.
Yeah, you can buy descaler and purified water and make them last longer, but that just adds to the cost of operating them. Keurigs are a money pit, almost kind a boat (not really).
The units are expensive, the maintenance is expensive, the coffee is expensive, and they just don’t last very long.
I’ll take my Mr. Coffee pot over a Keurig any day! It’s more than half the price; it’s virtually indestructible; and it’s way cheaper to operate and maintain.
At the end of the day, I just want a good cup of coffee, and regular coffee pots works just fine.
6. Buying name brands
This is an easy one.
When you go to the grocery store, look for the generic brands, like Equate, Great Value, etc.
Most of the time, these items are made with the same ingredients and quality as the name brands are. This is especially true with medicine.
For example, what’s the difference between Equate (Ibuprofen) and Advil?
There isn’t any – only the price!
In fact, some items tell you to compare to the name brand right on the label. It’s the same stuff for half the price.
7. Eating out
If you are serious about saving money, this is something that can been done right away: stop eating out.
Or, at the very least, keep it at a minimum.
Instead of buying lunches from the cafe at work, or the restaurant down the street, bring your lunch instead.
Instead of going out to eat on the weekends, cook at home.
This is a great way to start saving right now.
8. Not making a budget
I think everyone should have a budget, even if you’re rich and don’t think you need one.
You have to have a handle on where your money is going and what you’re spending it on. A budget will help you do that.
Write down all your expenses, minus your income, and see where you’re at.
From there, figure out the amount you’d like to spend on everything else – gas, food, groceries, entertainment, etc.
Use an app to keep track of those expenses – that is your budget!
If your budget is $300 until you get paid next, track your expenses to make sure you don’t go over that.
If you make a habit of living on a budget, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you can buy something – your budget will decide that for you. It ensures that you aren’t spending more than you make, or more than you should.
9. Buying lottery tickets
If you’re buying lottery tickets, please stop. You’re not going to win.
How do I know that?
The same way I know you are not going to get struck by lightning 7 times in a row. Seriously, the odds are that bad.
Instead of spending a dollar or two on a lottery ticket, try saving a dollar or two on your budget. That is a way better investment! When you free up money in your budget, you’ll have more money to save and invest.
10. Buying books
Books are not cheap!
Instead of buying books, why not check them out (for free) from the library?
Chances are, once you read a book, you’ll probably not read it again anyway. Why spend $10 to $30 on it to read it once?
If you want to re-read it, you can always check it out again – for free.