You love your café au lasts, shopping online, and picking up crisp shirts from the dry cleaner. You like to treat yourself well because you deserve it, right? You do, but you also owe it to yourself to stay out of debt. That means controlling your spending. Many of the things you buy regularly may not seem like much – until they’re added up. With that in mind, here are bad spending habits to avoid.
“If you use this list to create improved spending habits, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and watch your money grow. If you’re already in debt from credit cards or other unsecured obligations and want a fresh start, contact Freedom Debt Relief.”
Using Out-of-Network ATMs
You wince every time you “agree” to pay up to $3 a transaction at an ATM that’s not on your bank’s network. But you still do it. That’s hundreds of dollars annually if you hit up a machine twice a week. Either change banks or open an account at a bank that’s close to where you live or work.
Frequently Changing Your Oil
It feels satisfying to change your oil, right? And it is a good habit to stay atop vehicle maintenance. However, if you’re changing your oil more than every 3,000 miles, you’re wasting money. In fact, late-model vehicles frequently use synthetic oils that can last some 7,500 miles.
Using Incandescent Light Bulbs
These lightbulbs aren’t as efficient as those corkscrew-shape bulbs called compact fluorescent lamps, which are pricier but last about five times longer and use 75% less electricity. Go that route.
Buying Brand Name Products
Many advertisements sure are effective, aren’t they? Even if we don’t realize it. We seem to automatically reach for brand name items. However, we can save at least 20% by trying generic and store brands.
Buying Lottery Tickets
You already know that if you buy these tickets regularly, on the occasion that you do win a few bucks, you’re just getting back what you’ve been investing – if that. Anyway, your odds of winning are long. This habit needs to go.
Paying Late Fees
Did you know that U.S. residents shell out more than $20 billion annually in credit card late fees and various penalties? That’s a lot. To make sure you’re on time with your payments, set up automatic pay through your bank for routine monthly bills. If you’re already in over your head with your plastic, get help at Freedom Debt Relief.
Buying Bottled Water
Many of us invest in these bottles because they’re super convenient. But, downing a bottle or three a day can get expensive. Try putting tap water in a refillable bottle or buy water in larger containers. Those are usually less pricey overall.
Buying Coffee Everyday
Many people find it hard to resist swinging by the drive-through for their daily java fix. But at around $4 a pop, this is a very expensive habit. Consider treating yourself once a week, or even better, brew your own coffee and invest in a thermos.
Going to the Cleaner
Nowadays, very few clothes require dry cleaning. For garments that do not, wash them in cold water then air dry. You can also purchase an at-home dry cleaning kit.
Browsing Online Shopping Sites
You may tell yourself that you’re “just looking,” but more often than you’d care to admit, you end up pulling out the plastic and making an unplanned purchase. Avoid temptation by only going to these sites when you’re specifically looking for something.
We all like someone else to prepare our meals from time to time, and occasionally dining out with pals is nice. But if you aren’t careful, those trips can really add up. In fact, the average American forks over more than $3,000 annually on restaurants and carryout. Try limiting your restaurant trips to Saturdays, say, and start packing your lunch.
Paying for Unused Subscriptions
Perhaps a monthly subscription to a newspaper or magazine is just a few dollars a month, but it’s a waste if you’re not reading the publication. The same goes for subscriptions to job-listing websites or online TV subscriptions. The kicker is that many of these subscriptions automatically renew. So, look over your bank statements for such withdrawals and put a stop to them.
If you use this list to create improved spending habits, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and watch your money grow. If you’re already in debt from credit cards or other unsecured obligations and want a fresh start, contact Freedom Debt Relief.