How to save money faster? 7 things I’ll never spend money
Have you ever asked yourself if you could be spending your money more wisely? Do you find that no matter how hard you try, at month’s end, you have next to no money to show for all the hard work you put in? What if I told you that there were 7 things you could cut from your budget right now that would save you a significant amount of money every month helping you reach your financial goals much sooner? In this article, I will tell you 7 things I will never spend money on again.
Item #1: Banking fees
Have you ever looked at your bank balance and wondered where all these small charges came from? These charges are likely convenience fees and these types of fees are kind of like someone picking money out of your pocket on a monthly basis. These fees are usually costs for withdrawing, transferring or exchanging money and while a couple dollars here are there may seem harmless, paying $5-10 dollars a month adds up over time.
Think about it, that’s the cost of a Netflix subscription every month that you are just freely handing over to the bank. When I realized just how much I was being charged by my bank, I realized I had to put a stop to it. So in order to avoid these charges, I talked with my bank representative and told them that I would move my money elsewhere unless they waived these fees and what do you know the fees were gone that same day!
Item #2: Gambling
When I first hit the legal age to gamble, my favourite thing to do on a Friday night was go to the casino. I would sit down at a slot machine, insert my money and pray that I would strike gold and win the jackpot. At that time, I had more money than brains which led to me to losing hundreds of dollars each and every visit which is money I can only wish to have back.
Sadly, I had absolutely no idea just how bad my odds of winning were. In fact, the odds of winning the grand prize on a slot machine is on average 1 in 49,836,032 so my chances of retiring on a big casino win were minute at best. Unfortunately, many people fall victim to the perils of gambling. Whether they play to win big or to just pass the time, gambling is never in the favour of the player which is why there’s the saying “the house always wins”. Once I learned my odds of winning, I promised myself that I would never spend money on gambling ever again!
Item #3: Credit Card Interest Charges
As of 2019, Americans are in over $1 trillion of credit card debt which is up from $850 billion just five short years ago. Besides having outrageous amounts of debt, collectively, these people are paying billions of dollars’ worth interest each and every year. While credit cards can be a useful tool when used properly, many people fall victim to the vicious cycle of only paying the minimum balance. You see, paying the minimum balance only gets you so far. Sure, it can help you avoid ruining your credit score but each dollar of debt that isn’t paid off will be subject to an interest charge, the average being 19.24%, meaning that your original purchase just got costlier.
For instance, if you have a $1,000 balance on your 18% interest credit card and you only pay the $100 minimum every month, it will take you 11 months to pay it off, of which almost $100 of it is just interest. In order to never pay credit card interest again, only charge your credit card an amount you know you have the money in the bank to repay. Taking this one step further, set up automatic credit card bill payments because even if you have the money on hand, failing to remember to pay your bill will cause that interest to start compounding.
Now, if you already have credit card debt and are paying exorbitant interest charges every month, there is hope. In order to avoid paying these high costs, inquire as to whether you can move your debt onto a lower interest line of credit which will instantly cut down the interest expense related to your debt so you can focus on paying the principle amount instead.
Item #4: Cable
When was the last time you actually watched a show at its intended time? For most people, paying for cable simply isn’t worth it, making watching live television a thing of the past. As of 2018, more than 33 million Americans have cancelled their cable subscriptions and have opted to spend this money on cheaper entertainment outlets.
For instance, more than 150 million people are watching Netflix every single month, followed by 90 million on Amazon Prime and 55 million on Hulu. Using these streaming services is not only cheaper but often times they have better original content than most television stations making the switch to streaming a no-brainer.
Item #5: Expensive Gym Memberships
I’m sure you’ve seen it before. Someone gets excited as the new year rolls around, signs up for a premium gym membership, hoping to make this upcoming year the year they get fit. Then, within a few months they are back to their sedentary routine while their gym pass collects dust. Statistics show that about 80% of people who sign up for a gym membership quit within the first 5 months and what’s worse is that many of them become too embarrassed to admit defeat and continue to pay for a service they’ll never use.
This issue is only compounded when those aspiring gym goers pamper themselves by signing up for expensive gyms thinking it will push them to work out more regularly. Now, obviously a gym membership isn’t a waste for consistent gym goers but even these people need to ask themselves if they are paying for more than they really need.
Nowadays, many expensive gyms mimic the feel of a spa and make sure to charge you as if they were one. If you want to save money while getting or staying fit, ask yourself, what is the real reason I go to the gym and are there more budget friendly options I should consider?
Item #6: Extended Warranties.
You are seconds away from completing your transaction when the salesperson asks one final question, “did you want to get the extended warranty?”. Being a cautious person, you opt to add in the extended warranty, increasing the total cost by almost 50%, but at least you’re covered right? If this sounds like you then don’t worry, you’re not alone. In a 2018 survey, about 30% of respondents said that they regularly opt in for extended warranties on home electronics, major appliances and cell phones and I too was once this person.
However, over time I came to realize just how much of a rip off this really was. I was spending sometimes up to half the value of the product in the case that something would go wrong (which almost never happened). Personally, I have stopped buying extended warranties all together but if you still feel the need then before shelling out extra money ask yourself the following things: If this item breaks, can I afford to replace it without causing financial duress? Does the product already come with coverage from the manufacturer? and Would buying a higher quality item outweigh the cost of adding an extended warranty to this purchase?
Item #7: Trying to impress people.
Stemming from primitive times where tribe members would either be accepted by a group or die, humans have always had an inherent need to fit in. Over time, our ability to survive in our environment has become significantly easier however our need to be accepted hasn’t changed which has led to a culture of spending money to fit in.
As quoted in Fight Club, “we buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like” and for most people, this statement has been or continues to be true. Whether it’s buying a new outfit to impress a girl at school or purchasing a larger home to show off to your friends, spending to impress is not advisable.
Sadly, I used to be someone who would buy all designer name clothes to show off to my classmates. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve luckily become much wiser, realizing that the people worth having around will like me for my personality and not for my wardrobe. But beyond making more genuine connections with people, there are actually many other benefits to avoiding this frivolous type of spending.
For instance, when you don’t spend to impress, you end up saving more meaning that instead of just looking rich you can actually end up being rich. So next time you put that item in your shopping cart, ask yourself, am I buying this for me or someone else?
And there you have it guys, 7 thing I hope to never waste money on again! 1. Banking fees 2. Gambling 3. Credit card interest charges 4. Cable 5. Expensive gym membership 6. Extended warranties 7. Trying to impress people. Thank you guys so much for reading, and let’s chat in the comments section. What useless things do you waste your hard earned money?
Credit: Practical Wisdom