It’s no secret that Americans are struggling financially. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, median incomes have fallen 8 percent since 2000 after adjusting for inflation. At the same time, costs for essentials like healthcare and education have continued to rise.
If you’re looking for ways to save money, one of the best places to start is by evaluating your regular expenses. There are many things you can stop buying today in order to reduce your spending. Here are some examples.
TAKEAWAY COFFEE AND TEA.
If you’re spending $50 a week on Starbucks, that’s $200 a month – or $2400 a year! Making coffee and tea at home is not only cheaper, but it’s also better for the environment.
LANDLINE PHONE FEE.
The average landline phone bill is $40 per month. If you’re not using your landline regularly, there’s no need to pay for it. You can save money by cancelling your landline service and relying solely on your cell phone.
A one-year subscription to a magazine can cost upwards of $30. Do you really need to be reading magazines on a regular basis? If you’re looking for something to read, there are plenty of free options available, such as blogs, online articles, and eBooks.
Packed foods are generally more expensive than their unpackaged counterparts. For example, a bag of pre-washed salad greens will cost you more than a head of lettuce. By buying whole fruits and vegetables and preparing your own meals, you can save a significant amount of money.
FACE AND LIP SCRUBS.
Exfoliating your skin is important, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy face and lip scrubs. There are many DIY recipes available online that use inexpensive ingredients, such as sugar, honey, and olive oil.
MUSIC ALBUMS AND SONGS.
With streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, there’s no need to buy individual songs or albums. For a monthly fee, you can listen to any music you want, whenever you want. This is a much cheaper option than buying CDs or digital downloads.
A GYM MEMBERSHIP.
A gym membership can cost anywhere from $30 to $100 per month. If you’re not using your membership regularly, it’s a waste of money. Instead, take advantage of free workout classes offered by your local community center or park district. You can also save money by working out at home with streaming services like YouTube and Fitness Blender.
SPICE MIXES AND RUBS.
Homemade spice mixes and rubs are not only cheaper than store-bought versions, but they also taste better. By making your own, you can control the quality and quantity of the ingredients. Plus, you can customize the flavor to suit your preferences.
A night at the movies can be expensive, especially if you’re buying tickets for a family of four. Instead of going to the theater, wait for new release movies to come out on DVD or streaming services. You can also rent movies from Redbox or your local library.
MANICURES AND PEDICURES.
Manicures and pedicures can be expensive, especially if you’re getting them done regularly. If you want to save money, do your own nails at home. You can find instructions and tutorials online for a fraction of the cost.
If you’re buying salad dressing from the store, you’re wasting money. It’s easy to make your own dressing with ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, and spices. Plus, homemade dressing tastes fresher and is better for you than store-bought versions.
Convenience foods are typically more expensive than their non-convenience counterparts. For example, a frozen pizza will cost you more than a pizza dough and toppings that you can make at home. By cooking from scratch, you can save money and eat healthier.
YOUR LUNCH AT WORK.
Eating out for lunch every day can be expensive, and it’s not always the healthiest option. If you pack your own lunch, you can save money and eat healthier. Plus, you’ll have more control over what goes into your food.
Greeting cards are a nice gesture, but they can be expensive. If you want to save money, you can make your own cards with materials you have at home. Or, you can send an eCard instead of a physical card. There are many free options available online.
Bottled water is a convenience that comes with a high price tag. In most cases, tap water is just as good as bottled water. If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, invest in a filtration system. This will save you money in the long run and help reduce plastic waste.
These are just a few examples of things you can stop buying today in order to save money. By cutting back on your spending, you can free up more money for the things that are truly important to you.