Sometimes financial stability takes a little bit of discipline. It can mean taking a look at all of our spending habits — big and small — and cutting out some things that are not essential to ensure that we can make it to our major financial goals. There are a number of things we all spend too much on, but a few painless tweaks can add up to major savings!
- Work Lunches
“Treat ourselves Fridays” often turn into “I- was-too-busy-to-meal-prep Mondays,” leaving us stacking multiple work days back to back where we’re forced to buy our lunches. Depending on where you work, this can easily be a #2,000 daily expense, and doing it on the daily is an expensive habit to get into. To curb this habit, save lunches out for a truly special occasion and schedule it with your work crew to make it something to look forward to. Resources abound for healthy lunches we can make ourselves, so our wallets and our waistlines will thank us if we can reign this one in!
- Late Fees
This expense is worth getting under control ASAP because sneaky late fees not only rack up quickly but also aren’t great for our account balances and credit. If you’re routinely having this happen, it may be time to revisit your home budget. But if it’s just a lack of planning, there are a few quick fixes. Put as many of your bills as possible on auto pay — either through the service provider or your own bank. If that’s not possible, be diligent about setting payment reminders and alerts on your phone a few days before anything is due.
- Brand Name Household Items
A lot of times, we spend way too much on brand name household cleaners or basics when there are a number of store brand alternatives that would suffice. Many store-labeled products in this category perform just as well as their famously named counterparts, so this is an easy way to trim expenses. Since most of the store-labeled products come in big boxes, retailers often sell this stuff cheaper in bulk with recurring subscription orders options. Make yourself more satisfied with these basics by decanting them into cute bottles, and you won’t even miss the fancier stuff.
- Drinking Out
Grabbing a cocktail with friends has become your regular bonding ritual, the tab can add up quickly! About 51% of us cop to heading to the bar at least once weekly — and we’re often tacking on a dinner out after that, making for a pricey evening. Pregame at home whenever possible and learn how to stock your home bars. Oftentimes our plans involve ‘dinner and drinks,’ and, let’s face it, that’s almost like ending up with two dinner bills at the end of the night if we’re stopping off multiple places. Building out a cute home bar will make you excited to entertain at home and save some cash.
- Trendy Clothes
We all want our wardrobes to feel fresh and current every season. This can, unfortunately, trick us into dropping a lot of money at fast fashion retailers and sometimes result in a closet full of clothes that either won’t last or won’t look quite right in another year. Limiting ourselves to just a couple of trend pieces per season ensures we’re set up for a timeless wardrobe with quality pieces. Quality classics can come at a variety of price points, so this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend like crazy on clothes. It just means we all know that in a couple of years we won’t need an entire closet of bell-sleeved blouses.
Extra transport expenses are slipping into our lives more quickly than ever! Many of us have passed on having a car, but adding up ride shares and public transit can often equate to the fixed expense of owning a car. For most of us, grabbing an Uber when we could just designate a driver or even take a long walk is a major culprit of overspending in this category. Committing to a primary mode of transportation — either your own car or public transit — will help shave off unnecessary expenses. And as the responsible girl that I really am, a chic travel umbrella that never leaves my handbag keeps me from shelling out for a #3,500 cab every time it rains.