Adult life seems to be something of a routine, paying bills and earning money. However, occasionally you might come into some extra money whether you win it on the bingo or are given it as a present. So how do you know what is the best way to spend your winnings and other cash you may happen to have leftover at the end of the month? One way you can be sure you are spending wisely is to avoid these ten bad spending habits.
1. Ditch the Coffee
Don’t panic; we don’t mean that you can’t have coffee. We simply mean that you shouldn’t be regularly buying your coffee from a take-out coffee house. You will save a fortune for spending on niceties if you purchase a reusable cup and take your coffee with you in the morning.
2. Bring Lunch
Another way to ensure that you have plenty of spare money to buy luxury items is to bring your own lunch to work. It may not be as exciting, but you will undoubtedly save a small fortune if you do not regularly go to a coffee shop or other sandwich outlet every lunchtime. You could use up the leftovers from the night before or make a sandwich before you leave for work. It is also a great way to help you get your summer body ready as it avoids the urge to overeat.
3. Watch for Hidden Fees
Be careful when it comes to withdrawing cash, we have headed towards a cashless society anyway, and most places take contactless cards, so withdrawing from a cash machine is actually becoming a chargeable activity. It may only be a few pounds here and there, but it soon adds up if you regularly make cash withdrawals to pay for things.
4. Do You Really Want it
Did you know the average person will buy and sell about 10 exercise bikes in their lifetime? Of course, there are plenty of people who like to keep fit and regularly use their gym equipment, but for many of us, a resolution to get fit involves buying an expensive piece of gym kit, not using it and selling it on until the mood strikes us again. Think about whether you really need something before you buy it.
5. Debt Traps
Robbing Peter to pay Paul is never a good way to manage your finances, and while it can be tempting to skip a payment and accept a late payment charge next time, it is not a great way to go. Late payment fees again may not cost you much money at the time, but they are a sign that you are not managing your money well and need to rethink. Work out a way to ensure you can meet all of your bills, even if that means you can’t spend extra for a couple of months.
6. Watch for Offers
Be less fussy when you are shopping with, you might have a favourite brand, but sometimes you can save money by purchasing an offer on a different brand. Crisps, beans, bread, you name it, at some point supermarkets will pop an offer on, and you can actually save quite a lot by buying more than you need and storing it at home.
7. Keep Track
While it can be very tempting to just pay your bills as they come in, it is better to track them and understand what you are paying and why. Things like credit cards can often be better utilised if they are paid off in full rather than the interest being added and paid each month. Create a spreadsheet with your monthly spending, and you will be able to see where you can reduce your outgoings.
8. Car Share
Being thoroughly disorganised in the morning can cost you money in the long run. If you can car share but choose not to because you cannot guarantee to be ready on time, you need to address your habits rather than turning down the opportunity to save some petrol money. Have a chat with other people in the office and see who a good carpool buddy could be.
9. Public Transport
Do you actually need to run a car? Public transport has improved drastically, and it might be possible to do your daily commute without needing a car in the first place. Weigh up the cost of public transport versus the full ownership cost of your vehicle, including tax, MOT, insurance and maintenance and see how it compares.
While it’s always nice to get a takeaway, a fakeaway could be a better option. Whether that involves frozen pizza, a takeaway Indian bag from a supermarket, or other convenience meals, you can still have a leisurely evening of cooking after a hard day in the office by opting to fake your takeaway instead of spending double or more on having food delivered.