It’s really easy to let small spending go. A few dollars here, a few dollars there… but we develop bad habits, and our small amounts of money start to really add up. We all know there are some things we spend way too much on, so here are 5 things you should stop buying to save money this year.
Lottery and Scratch Tickets
Full disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of the lottery. In fact, I think the lottery is a big game of what if. I think there are many better ways to spend your money on things that could build you a sustainable income.
According to CNN, American’s spent $73.5 billion on “traditional lottery tickets” in 2016. And while not everyone plays, the spend averaged to $325 per American adult. Meaning if you are someone who plays, you probably spend way more than that yearly.
So you should stop buying lottery tickets. Instead of spending that $325, $650, $975… or whatever you spend, invest it in yourself or someone else!
Seriously, I get that people really appreciate caffeine but do you really need to spend $5 a cup on a fancy coffee? Apparently, the average American worker spends $20 a week on coffee. That’s over $1,000 a year!
If you need a fancy coffee daily, you can get yourself a single-serve coffee machine like a Keurig for less than $100, or if you want something a little fancier, you can get yourself an awesome espresso machine for less than $250. Interested in a real Starbucks look? Get yourself a fancy $20 to-go cup to drink your homemade coffee out of!
Stop buying fancy coffee. Making your own coffee, even if it’s the top-of-the-line at home coffee can save you upwards of $500 a year!
Books and Magazines
Hardcore book lover here so this is really hard for me to say, but you need to stop buying books… and magazines (which is also bad news considering I recently spent $42 on magazines myself). At least, if you live in a major city with a public library.
As much as I absolutely love purchasing books, neither my wallet nor my 650 square foot apartment can take it. But I am an avid library user, and for a small fee (or in some cases no fee) you can have access to almost any book you want to read. In the past month, I’ve read six or seven books and paid nothing!
And in the case that you do need to purchase a book, try grabbing it electronically as the eBook version tends to be a few dollars cheaper!
Not like in general, you do need to eat lunch. But you do need to stop eating lunch out. According to CNBC, American’s spend over $3,000 a year on eating out. And if you buy lunch at work every day you’re looking at a bill of somewhere around $2,500. It’s a completely unnecessary expense!
So this year I vote we all make a serious effort to pack our lunches. If you want to eat out, build it into your budget as a special occasion!
For Ladies: The Female Versions of Products
We’re talking pink razors, hair care products (shampoo and conditioner), deodorant and lotion. It’s often referred to as the “pink tax,” but products that are designed for women are typically more expensive than those same products designed for men, sometimes as high as 40 percent.
Now granted you likely can’t start purchasing men’s dress shirts or pants for work but you can swap out your razors (as a side note I find men’s razors to be better quality anyway), some of your lotions and hair products. When you stop buying these, it won’t necessarily make a huge impact, but in the long run, you might be able to stave over $100 a year!
It can be a challenge to make big changes in your life, but if you start slow you could have a great year of money saving ahead of you!
What do you think you can cut out to save money next year? Tell me about it below in the comments!
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Tae started out as a journalist before following the money into the corporate world. But it turns out that the grass isn’t always greener and now you can find her spending most of her time writing about all the things she loves. Namely, money, travel and business with a hefty dose of self-deprecating humor. She is a podcast fanatic, blogging aficionado and loves to find new ways to turn passions into cold hard cash!