Hi there. We all probably know the obvious ways to save money – spend less, duh!!
But, in this video I want to talk about 10 sneaky expenses that can add up over time and totally wreck your budget.
Stick around till the end for a bonus tip to save money as well!
1. Cable TV
In a world that offers a plethora of online streaming options, are you still paying a hefty cable bill simply out of habit?
Think about how much cable TV you are actually watching vs how much you are spending per month… not to mention all the time spent on flipping channels just to skip ads!
Simply switch over to a streaming service and reduce the cost by up to 90%. You heard me – it’s one of the quickest ways to save money!
2. Pick a Couple of Good Streaming Services
I know it can be tempting to opt for multiple streaming services given how attractive their pricing is, but there are only so many hours in a day we can spend watching TV.
So go for free trials to evaluate the content before you decide but ultimately, pick no more than 3 streaming options so you can do them proper justice.
3. Trial Subscriptions
When opting for trial subscriptions, (man… I am loving all the segues) it is very easy to lose track of when the trial ends and continue paying for regular service without even realizing.
Set a reminder for a day before the trial ends and on that day evaluate whether you want to continue or cancel the trial. Either way, it will be a conscious choice!
4. Magazines and Newspaper Subscriptions
Speaking of subscriptions, (I am on a segue roll here:)) we tend to get carried away with all the magazine and newspaper subscriptions both physical and online as they don’t seem too expensive individually.
But, unless you are reading ALL of them, you are not really getting your money’s worth. You are much better off getting your news from free sources and paying for one or two publications you really enjoy. This is a simple way to cut expenses and save money!
5. Subscription Boxes
Continuing with the subscription theme, how many of us are guilty of subscription boxes – be it for toys, art, pets, fitness, vitamins, meal prep, candy, clothing, beauty and lifestyle, or clubs like wine clubs, beer clubs, coffee clubs, book of the month club, fruit of the month club, cheese of the month club, hot sauce of the month club (yeah, that’s a real thing!).
While it might look like a great deal given the variety and convenience they offer for the cost per box, eventually we either get overwhelmed or bored and just let things pile up, unused.
Instead of wasting your precious dollars, just cancel the subscription and make a one-off purchase of something you’ll really enjoy!
6. Gym Memberships
Very similar to subscriptions are the gym memberships that we enroll for. No doubt, we have the best of intentions when we sign up for a gym membership but, life happens, and we are not always able to use it regularly.
Instead of donating to your local gym month after month, explore other options that don’t cost as much – like running outside, free online workouts you can do in the comfort of your home, etc.
But if you are a fitness enthusiast and practically live in your gym, then by all means keep the membership.
7. Club Membership
Wholesale club memberships are very enticing and the prices are too good to pass up – and getting a wholesale club membership sounds like an obvious way to save money!
But, unless you need that 72 pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano and you have the space to store all the bulk purchases and use them up before things go bad, you are better off shopping in a local grocery store and avoiding the club fees!
8. Premium App Memberships
Most apps start out as free to get people to start using them and once we are hooked, we realize it has a lot more to offer but at a price (app creators need to make money too, right?).
While it is fine to pay for a premium version of an app or make in-app purchases, you need to be wary of recurring payments or premium memberships that auto-charge your credit card every month.
Again, while cost per month may not be a lot, if you are not using the premium features extensively, it is a sunk cost. Save money by uninstalling such apps, or switching to a free version.
9. Auto-Delivery Options
A lot of online sites offer auto-delivery options for your favorite or essential purchases under the “subscribe and save” model.
While the model is great on paper, not all of us always use up the same products at the same frequency given how much we are spoilt for choice!
And what happens when we don’t use them? That’s right folks, we waste our hard earned money and the products collect dust in our home. You are again better off just buying what you need when you need it!
10. Timely Return of Unused Items
All of us have succumbed to impulse purchases one time or another and for some of us, retail therapy has become an integral part of our lives.
While there is nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while, making it a habit can be bad for our wallet and mental health. And more often than not, once we make the purchase, the thing we couldn’t wait to get our hands on doesn’t seem that exciting anymore.
And that’s where the generous policies of the retail industry can really help. Make sure you return new, unused items that are no longer appealing or useful to you within the stores’ return window and they will gladly give you back your money.
Again, you can set reminders a few days before the return window ends to reevaluate your purchase (provided it’s still unused, of course!).
And now for the bonus tip… drum roll, please…
Bonus Tip to Save Money: Travel Insurance
Although most travel sites will project a doomsday scenario to guilt us into spending on travel insurance, what a lot of people don’t remember is that many credit cards have travel insurance built in – which means, as long as we make payments for flights, hotels, rental cars etc. using that card, we don’t need a separate travel insurance….
Yes, I told ya there’s a bonus tip at the end – and you thought I was going to talk about not spending on fancy coffees, din’t ya??
But, seriously, that too – especially now that we are used to our home-made coffee (uh-hmm the coronavirus lockdown), we know we can live without $5 coffees every single day.
Cut Expenses & Save Money: Conclusion
Thanks folks, for watching the whole video. Leave me a comment below to let me know what other topics you would like to see in this series.
And remember, Finance is your Friend!