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Our parents have told/taught us to save money for years, and now that we are older, we understand the need for it.
Especially, if you are away from your family in a different country, (or continent, like me) and have to fend for yourself then every saved penny counts.
Items purchased regularly without giving them a second thought can add up over time without us realizing it.
These might be your daily dose of €3 coffee or your multiple €1.99 purchases at the local grocery store.
They might seem like small change when you pick them up but added up over time they will probably cost you the camera you were longing to buy or the bed you need to replace.
Every little bit of saving counts!
Eliminating regular unnecessary purchases when there are cheaper (and sometimes, healthier) alternatives will help you inch closer to and achieve your financial goals sooner.
So here are 5 things you can skip out on buying to save money fast.
STOP buying those morning doses of espressos, mochas, pumpkin spice lattes or frappes. Hear me out and before all you caffeine lovers pounce on me, let’s do a little math, shall we?
A cup of coffee costs anywhere between $1 to $5 or €1 to €5.
If you buy one 5 days a week, one for every working day of the week, that totals to anywhere between $20 to $100 a month which translates to $240 to $1,200 a year!
The average cost for a cappuccino or latte here in Germany is about €3 which brings the total to a whopping €720 a year!
And do not even get me started on the math if you are a Starbucks enthusiast. Phew!
Invest in a coffee maker or French press and brew your fix at home itself. You will be able to brew your coffee just how you like it.
Think of this as an investment to save you tonnes of money over the years.
Here’s a tip: Latte Factor Calculator is a neat little website that shows you how much you can save if you skip those lattes.
#2 Subscription Services
Pitchforks down people. Answer me this, do you REALLY NEED to subscribe to 4-5 online subscription services simultaneously?
Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc. Yes, they put up interesting shows but if you have subscribed to a service for those ONE or TWO shows then let me tell you it ain’t worth your money.
Subscription services might be a boon with their auto payment feature setup but that’s where the problem lies.
You do not realise when the money has gone out of your account and before you know it, your wallet is begging for mercy at the end of the month.
Just add up all of your subscriptions and you’ll know what I mean.
Magazine subscriptions also count toward this. There are so many FREE versions online now so gone are the days when you would get your monthly scoop only through them.
Plus, online sites and, of course, the news end up showing most of the content anyway.
So, I suggest you review all your subscriptions and cancel any that you use less frequently or not at all.
Don’t keep it around for something that you MIGHT watch when you are free the next time around.
#3 Grocery shopping all day, every day
How many times have you stepped foot in a grocery store for that ONE item that you THINK you NEED and walked out with SIX items that you don’t need? Been there, done that, right?
Each trip to the grocery store will have you purchase multiple items that you do not need thereby spending more money than you intended to or budgeted for.
Instead of this, plan ahead. Prepare a meal plan ahead of the week.
Make a weekly, or preferably monthly, a list that you can cover in one grocery run a month and keep the last-minute grocery runs only for absolute NECESSITIES that you ran out of mid-month.
Meal plans take about 10-15 minutes of your time but it will save you hours of walking up and down and getting tempted in the various aisles of the grocery stores.
While you’re at it, don’t buy convenience items like pre-cut meat or pre-shredded cheese.
These cost more simply for the convenience they provide. Take a little extra time and effort to cut/grate it yourself unless you absolutely don’t know to or want to.
#4 Take-out and fast food
Do you know what the biggest money saver is? Cooking your own meals. Not only will your meals be healthy but they will also save you a ton of money through the month.
If you’ve followed the previous money saver step then you already have a meal plan in place for the week. You can prepare your meals over the weekend and freeze them so all you have to do before heading out is reheat them.
This will be convenient and quicker for you when in hurry. And it will still be healthier than take-out.
If you think that you’re not a good cook, subscribe to a local tiffin/box service which will work out to cheaper than your daily indulgences. And healthy too.
#5 Water bottles
Water bottles, especially the plastic kind, are not only harmful for the environment but they are also a waste of money.
Is it really worth the expense? Stop constantly buying a new one every time you step out.
As an alternative, carry a refillable pouch or a reusable bottle (not plastic) when you step out. Or get a filter for your home (if you don’t use one already).
It might be a one-time expense but it will come in handy for all those refills.
These alternatives will not only be environment but pocket-friendly too! Planet Earth will thank you.
Using these steps/ tips to stop mindless spending will save your money fast. Say goodbye to your unnecessary expenditure and hello to your in-progress financial empire.
I can already hear my wallet go ka-ching!