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You’re bound to find a lot of advice on the Internet and from friends and family about saving money. From tips on how to change your spending habits to cutting out unnecessary purchases (we’ve all heard the one about skipping the expensive gourmet coffee every morning), saving money shouldn’t always be so hard. Consider these five things you’re wasting your money on and see if you’re guilty of any of them.
Big box warehouse stores and shopper’s clubs are still pretty popular, and many people think buying items in bulk is a good way to be saving money. Well, that isn’t always true. Some shopper’s clubs only carry specific brands of items, and you could be saving money buying a different, less expensive brand somewhere else.
Also, when you buy perishables in bulk, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll end up throwing away a good amount of it, and that’s just wasting money. If you must buy in bulk, be smart about it — compare the bulk cost to regular supermarket costs, and use coupons if possible as well.
Store credit cards often entice you into making purchases by rewarding you with discounts or points towards future purchases. But if you don’t pay off the balance in full each month, the interest is going to cancel out any discount you might have gotten. In fact, you might wind up spending even more on some items if you take a few months to pay off the credit card bill.
Don’t let the convenience of a credit card and any rewards influence your purchase decision. Try to avoid making any purchases unless you know the balance can be paid off in full before it begins accruing interest.
Sometimes paying someone else to do something you can do, such as lawn maintenance, can save you time, but it isn’t saving money. If you have the time and the skills needed, there’s no need to be wasting money paying for things that you can do yourself.
You might think you’re saving money when you buy cheaper products, but sometimes the more expensive alternative is well worth it. Consider light bulbs as an example—cheap light bulbs will burn out quicker, meaning you’ll have to replace them more often, while a more expensive light bulb could last you an extremely long time, saving you money on replacements.
When you’re intent on saving money, consider what it is you’re buying and decide if it might be more prudent to get something more expensive, or if the cheaper version is okay.
It’s nice to eat out once in a while, but do it too often and you’ll be wasting a lot of money. When you eat out, you tend to spend more on things you wouldn’t normally have at home, such as appetizers and special cocktails, or beer and wine. There’s no reason you can’t make yourself a nice meal at home, or, at the very least, pick up an easy to prepare meal kit from your local supermarket.