Have you ever seen people that complain about being broke as they buy the newest iPad or iPhone?
If so, you’re definitely not alone.
Saving isn’t a huge part of our culture here in America.
Instead, we’re influenced to consume as much as possible to help the economy.
If you’ve fallen into this trap but you honestly want to save money, here are a few things you can cut back on by just thinking a little bit before you spend.
You’ll be surprised by how little you miss them!
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t remember eating out a ton when I was a kid. Over time, it seems we find ourselves dining out more and more each year.
The problem is, dining out is expensive. I was reminded of this the other night when my wife and I paid $4.99 for a large french fry to share at Five Guys. I probably could have cooked the same french fries at home for just $1 or maybe $2 max.
If you dine out at all, you have an opportunity to save money by eating at home. Sadly, it isn’t as fun and carefree as dining out and, yes, you do have to do the dishes when you’re done cooking.
However, it’s worth skipping out on dining out it if it will save you a bit of money so you won’t be so broke.
Want to learn other ways you can save money dining out? Check out our guide to 23 ways to spend less money dining out at restaurants.
Not Combining Multiple Car Trips Into One
Gas isn’t as expensive as it has been in the past, but it seems like prices are starting to inch up again. For a while, people were shocked and appalled by the high gas prices, but now we’ve more or less accepted gas is however expensive it is.
Unfortunately, that means we aren’t as conscious as we could be about saving trips in the car.
Rather than just going out to only one place to pick up one thing, make a list of all of the places you need to go as you think of them. Once you have all of your errands written down, find a way to run all of your errands in one trip.
Chances are you won’t have to drive nearly as far as you would if you took each trip separately.
Saving trips out in the car will help you with more than just your gas bill.
If you make fewer trips and drive fewer miles in your car, you’ll reduce your maintenance costs on things like oil changes, new tires and even the most expensive automotive expense, car replacement.
Not Getting Cash Back On Your Purchases
Getting cash back on your purchases is easier than ever today. In fact, you can often double dip and get cash back in multiple ways on the same transaction. Here’s how it works.
First, sign up for a credit card that offers at least 2% cash back on every purchase.
My favorite is the Citi Double Cash card which gives you 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% cash back on your payments.
Put all spending you can pay off in full each month on this card and you get an easy 2% rebate on all of those purchases.
Next, sign up for Ebates and install their browser extension. I personally use Ebates and get cash back for most of my online purchases by taking an extra two seconds of time and clicking a button before I make a purchase.
Whenever you’re shopping online, all you have to do is click the Ebates button to see if you can earn cash back on a purchase through that website.
You can sometimes earn 12% or more cash back on some purchases which is a great deal for simply clicking a button.
What’s even better is Ebates will usually give you a $10 gift card or $10 cash back just for trying them out after making your first qualifying purchase. Learn more and sign up for Ebates here.
Automatic subscriptions can be a huge time and money saver if, and only if, you continue to use them. I always use my subscriptions a ton in the beginning, but as I get used to having them I generally use them less and less.
Take a look at your credit card or bank statement and see what subscriptions you’re paying for each month, quarter or year. If you aren’t using the subscriptions, simply cancel them and save yourself some money.
No one likes paying bank fees. They serve no purpose other than to make banks more money. Sadly, you might end up paying a lot of overdraft fees if your bank balance hovers near zero often.
A quick way to quit paying overdraft fees is to ask your bank to turn off overdraft protection. It might be embarrassing to get your card declined, but it isn’t as embarrassing as paying $29 in fees to make a $2 purchase.
Overdraft fees aren’t the only useless bank fees. ATM fees, low balance fees and inactivity fees can eat your bank balance alive. An easy way to avoid many of these fees is to use a bank that doesn’t charge them.
Some banks will waive ATM fees and many banks don’t even charge low balance or inactivity fees. Shop around and find a bank or credit union that works best for you.
Buying In Bulk Then Throwing Away Groceries
Buying in bulk is a great way to save money. Well, it’s a great way to save until you end up throwing away half of the food you just bought because it went bad.
I’ll be the first to admit that we throw out a lot of food that we either don’t get around to eating or we just plain forget about in the back of our fridge.
Luckily, there are a couple of simple solutions to this problem.
First, if you plan your meals, you’ll find you throw out a lot less food. Next, post a whiteboard on your fridge and pantry and write down everything that’s inside, along with the date it goes bad.
Between these two tips, you can make sure that you always know what food you have and how long you have to eat it. It should also help you buy foods in more reasonable quantities once you get used to seeing how much food you normally consume.
These six tips should give you a good start to saving some money.
Once you get started, you should be able to find even more places where you can save a little bit of money until, eventually, you have enough in the bank to have a little bit of breathing room.
The hardest part is getting started.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out our massive list of over 100 ways you can start saving money today.
Have you ever wasted money in any of the ways we’ve discussed? Do you have any other ways you’ve wasted money without even thinking about it? Let me know in the comments!