Last updated on April 28th, 2023 at 07:52 am
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There are multiple reasons why people want to cut down on their expenses.
It could be because you…
- Want to form better financial habits
- Are saving up to buy something
- Desire more cushion room for a rainy day
We all only have a finite amount of money (especially us in our 20s) so we need to be careful about how we spend it.
Whatever your reason is, this blog post will go into detail about ways you can reduce spending.
Avoid Unnecessary Expenses #1 – Beverages
A lot of people are crazy about their morning beverages. Some can’t even start their day properly until they get their cup of coffee.
If you’re not already doing so, make your coffee at home instead of buying it at a coffee shop.
Get into the habit of making your drink by yourself.
You might have to wake up a bit earlier to get your coffee made but you’re not losing out on much because you’re saving yourself time from lining up at the store.
The trade-off is you need to make more of an effort as it’s no longer a quick grab-and-go situation. It might be a bit of an adjustment at first especially if you’re feeling lazy.
If waking up early is an absolute no-go, a lot of offices have a coffee machine or at least a kettle. That way, you’re not sacrificing too much and can still get coffee before you start your work day.
Ordering coffee from a coffee shop should be seen as a nice treat instead of treating yourself every day. You’ll appreciate it so much more when you do get one.
Depending on how often you buy a cup of coffee, reducing this expense alone can save up thousands of dollars per year.
2) Bottled Water
When it comes to bottled water, this shouldn’t be difficult to cut from your life.
Most of us either bring our water bottles to work or already have a cup by our desks.
For me, I tend to buy water bottles on the weekends because I either forgot to bring my water bottle with me while I’m out or I didn’t bring a big enough bag to fit it in.
I only buy bottled water when I feel like I’m dying of thirst. It’s expensive and a waste of money. It also hurts the environment.
Train yourself to bring your water bottle everywhere with you.
It might be a hassle if your hands are carrying your water bottle when you are using a smaller bag like my Gucci Soho Disco. However, if you are running quick errands, you shouldn’t be out for too long.
If you are out all day, remember to grab your water bottle with you. Place it near your keys or whatever place you always check before leaving the house so you won’t forget.
Check your monthly bank statements to see what you’re still subscribed to.
You’ll probably be surprised by at least one or two subscriptions you forgot to cancel.
A lot of these companies are sneaky too. They might give you one month free before charging you. People who are not analyzing their monthly bank statements will fall victim to their schemes.
When you sign up for their subscription, the company will often send you an email confirming the details. They will also tell you when the next payment date is (in very small words).
A tip you can do is write the date down on your calendar when you sign up for their free month of service.
Keep this calendar near you to know when the next payment date is. As the day inches closer, take action so you won’t keep being charged for something that brings no value to your life.
If you don’t keep track, you’ll soon find yourself having a pile of unnecessary expenses.
For the monthly subscriptions you decide to keep, be honest about how often you frequently use their service. If you’re not getting good use out of it, it’s another unnecessary expense. It’s time to say goodbye.
I recommend you to have two or three ongoing subscription service if it’s something that you will use often. For me, it’s Spotify. I’m an avid music lover (fun fact). Yours might be Netflix, Amazon Prime, or, even a gym membership.
A cab will take you from door to door but you’re paying extra for the convenience.
Take public transportation whenever you can.
Most of us work office jobs and have a sedentary lifestyle. We’re sitting all day either at our desks or on our couches at home.
Taking public transportation might mean you need to walk more from one place to another but this adds to your exercise routine. It’s terrific news for those who don’t enjoy going to the gym. These extra steps will help you burn more calories and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Depending on where you live, your city probably has multiple transportation options. In Hong Kong, there’s the ferry, MTR, minibus, double-decker bus, and tram. A local can go a long time without flagging a cab down the street.
Limit yourself to taking taxis when you absolutely need to.
For example, if you have a lot of things to bring home from work today, consider taking a taxi. It would be too difficult to carry everything on public transport.
Taking a cab is a luxury you should indulge in once in a while. Taxi fares have gotten more expensive too. By reducing your transportation expense, your wallet will thank you.
Avoid Unnecessary Expenses #5 – Newest Technology
There is no need to constantly buy the newest tech gadgets.
A majority of us probably have one phone and one computer.
(Some of us might have two phones – one for business and one for personal contacts.)
There’s always the latest new ‘it’ item with upgraded features. Technology is constantly evolving so chasing after the newest edition of a device is a poor decision for you and your bank account.
Also, many technology devices don’t last that long. They have a limited shelf life. People usually switch their phones every 2-3 years and a new laptop every 4-6 years.
Although you rely heavily on your phone and computer, there is no need to get a new one unless it’s broken or has issues that are too expensive to fix.
6) Eating Out
Eating out is often a social activity. It’s extremely common to schedule a hang-out with friends at a new restaurant after work or on the weekends.
Living in a city means there are never-ending options for food. It’s fun to catch up with friends while eating at this new place. You get good food and company.
However, avoiding unnecessary expenses means you can’t spend money frivolously. Instead of eating out at restaurants, think of other substitutes like staying at home to cook with friends or taking a walk in the park.
You guys can scour the internet for the perfect recipe and you get to control all the ingredients. If you feel that there’s too much sugar in the recipe, decrease the amount. Tailor-make a dish. Gotta be careful though – a simple change can throw off the entire thing.
Whipping something up yourself brings on a feeling of accomplishment that can’t be replicated by ordering takeout or dining out.
It’s also not healthy eating out all the time.
Food expenses often creep up on you. When you make an active effort to slash this out of your budget, you’ll see your food expenses slowly go down.
Cook more at home and soon, you’ll be craving home-cooked food. You can save money and trim your budget too.
7) No Impulse Shopping
Don’t put yourself in situations where you are tempted to go impulse shopping.
Whether it’s going to a grocery store or needing new clothes, make an exact list of what you need to buy.
Focus on those and ignore everything else in the store.
When we have more time on our hands, we might walk around the store and gradually add more stuff to the cart.
Get in the store and get out.
This one can be pretty difficult because you might convince yourself you’re already here so you might as well look around.
Remind yourself of your goal to spend less and quickly leave. You’re more likely to give in the longer you’re there.
No more lingering around the store like you used to.
8) Buy Discounted Items
Purchase discounted items when you can. Go on a detective hunt for coupons so you buy fewer full-priced items.
Some things can’t be helped but for others, it’s a choice.
You’re going to have to be a little more flexible because there’s no saying when things go on sale.
Weigh the importance of buying something. Can you afford to wait a little longer before owning an item? Or is it something non-negotiable you need now?
Keep an eye out for sales. Ask your family and friends for their advice (many of us have that one family member that’s amazing at looking out for great deals).
Final Thoughts – Avoid Unnecessary Expenses
Spending money is so easy that we often swipe our credit cards without thinking but that’s how all of these unnecessary expenses add up.
By deliberating making the right choices, your bank account will be fatter and your heart happier.
No more asking yourself where has your money gone because you’re being more careful of your spending.
Don’t destroy your budget over carelessness and temptation.
Now to You – Avoid Unnecessary Expenses
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