No matter how good you are with cash, there’s going to be something you’re spending money on that you just don’t need. All this needless overspending is burning a hole right through your budget. So, how do you stop wasting money?
In this article, I’m going to go over 13 ways to stop wasting your hard-earned money and start dominating your budget!
You’re here because you’ve looked at your income, and you can see that you’re spending more than you earn every month. You thought you were good with cash, but where does it all go?
The key lies in where you’re wasting money and why you can’t stop.
All spending isn’t bad, though. Money is well spent if it’s on something you need. But if you are spending money needlessly, that money is going to waste.
Here’s how to work out where you’re wasting money and how to stop wasting it today.
Table of Contents
13 ways to stop wasting money today
1. Work Out How Much You Spend In A Year
Want a real eye-opener as to how you’re spending your money? Then this is what you need to do.
Most people have little luxuries that they like to buy. Whether that’s a coffee, the odd video game here and there, or a few beers after work, there’s always something.
You don’t think they cost much on their own, but you’d be amazed at how much you’ll be spending on them over the course of a year.
Check your bank account online, and look at every time you’ve made a certain purchase. Then, add up all the costs over the past year.
You may be shocked at how much you’re spending. For example, let’s say you buy a coffee every morning before work, and it costs you $2 a pop.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, right? What about when you’re buying one every single workday?
Depending on how many days you work, you could be spending as much as $500 a year on coffee. That’s a shocking amount, right?
If you know how much you’re spending, you’re going to be motivated to spend much less overall.
2. Sleep On It
Everyone has been there. You’re out shopping or browsing online, and you see something you really want.
It could be a new pair of shoes or a brand new TV. Whatever it is, now you’ve seen it, you want it badly.
Lots of retailers know if they grab your attention then and there, you’re more likely to pick up the item in question. They don’t want you to think about it; they want you to buy it right now.
You’ve got to resist the temptation to buy what’s right in front of you. Right now, it looks super tempting, and how do you know if it’ll be there tomorrow?
Despite these worries, you should go away and sleep on it. Even if you just do it for a night, it’s hugely helpful.
When you wake up the next morning, you’ve been away from the store, and the need to buy the item may have decreased.
Give it a night, and if you still really want it the next day, then you can buy it.
3. Check For Unused Subs
In this digital age, you’re likely to be signed up for all sorts of subscriptions. So, for example, you may have:
- TV subscriptions
- Gaming subscriptions
- Magazine subscriptions
- Gym memberships
- Subscription boxes
There’s probably at least one thing you have on this list that you’ve forgotten all about. Go through your bank statements, and look for subscriptions to things that you’re no longer using.
If you find any, go and cancel them right away. It’s amazing to see just how much money you can waste this way.
While you’re at it, consider the memberships that you have at the moment. Do you use that Netflix subscription enough to justify paying for it?
If not, cancel that sub too. It’s an amazing way to spend money.
4. Try The One In, One Out System
Here’s a good way to make yourself stop and think when you go to buy something. If you’re going to bring an item into your home, set up a rule that something has to go back out of your home too.
This makes you think if you really need to buy the item in question. For example, if you want to buy a new games system, are you willing to sell the system you have now to make way for it?
The rule also helps you stay on top of all the items you have in your home at any given time. So if you find yourself constantly having to have full clearouts, this is something you need to try.
On top of this, selling an item to make way for another item helps you make some of the money back, too.
5. Plan Your Meals
Find yourself grabbing whatever looks interesting when you head to the store? Find that it all goes off before you get a chance to eat it, once you get it home?
You’re wasting your money, and you’ll want to find ways to stop doing so at the grocery store.
Before you head to the store, plan out your meals for the week. If you know what you’re going to eat, then you know what you need to buy.
If you know what you need to buy, then you’re much less likely to waste money as you shop. To really ensure you don’t impulse buy, make sure you eat before you go.
Shopping when you’re hungry makes you pick up items you just don’t need. Eating first is a very easy way to save that money.
6. Try Shopping For Groceries Online
If you find it hard to stick to a shopping list in-store, why not try shopping online? You can see a running total of everything you’re buying as you shop, so you know exactly what you’re spending.
Plus, you won’t be tempted to pick up extra items, as you won’t be passing them by as you would in the store itself.
Now, you will need to pay a delivery fee, but in many cases, you’ll still save a packet when you shop for food this way.
7. Opt For Nights In
Are you someone that often splashes the cash when they’re at a bar or nightclub? It’s amazing just how much you can spend without even realizing it.
If you want to save money this way, invite your friends to a party instead of going out. That can be a dinner party, BBQ, or a good old-fashioned house party.
You’re not paying cover charges; you’re providing the drinks, so they’re a lot cheaper, and you don’t need to pay for a cab at the end of the night.
Just swapping one night a month for a home party will save you a huge amount of cash.
8. Quit Smoking
If you smoke, have you ever worked out how much a year you spend on it? Try adding up how much you spend on smokes, and you’re going to be unpleasantly surprised.
If you’ve always wanted to quit, this could be just the push you need to do it. There are lots of ways to quit, and there are resources at most pharmacies if you need some help.
When you’re quitting, remind yourself what you’re saving every day by not buying a packet of cigarettes. Even better, put that money in a savings account.
When you do, you’ll see that cash pile up fast. You could then put it towards a big purchase, like a house or a dream holiday.
9. Work On Reducing Energy Usage
One big way you could be wasting money is through how you use energy. There are so many things eating up energy in your home, and they’re all costing you money.
For example, you can do simple things like turning electrical items off rather than leaving them on standby and turning lights off when you leave a room. If you’re going on vacation, unplug as much as you can to ensure that you’re not spending money on energy you won’t use.
Your AC system can be costing more than you’d think, too. Turn your thermostat down by just one degree, and you’ll be able to save a whole heap of money.
If you are using your AC, make sure you don’t have windows open. There’s no point using it if the cooled air is escaping outside.
There are so many ways to ensure you’re not losing energy in your home. Look for ways to save energy, and you’ll save money too.
10. Look For Open Source Software
In the good old days, your PC would come with all the software you needed pre-loaded onto it. These days though, you need to buy it separately.
Even worse, many software titles need you to pay a yearly fee just to keep using them. Software essentials like Microsoft Office, and popular editing software Photoshop, are just a couple of examples of this.
Rather than spending so much cash on these tools, you can instead look for open source equivalents. For example, you can use free software GIMP instead of Photoshop and get the same results.
Open Office is a very good alternative to Microsoft Office, too. You can save files to be compatible with Microsoft Office, so if you need to send files, they’ll work with the software.
There’s so much good open-source software out there; there’s no reason to pay expensive fees to use popular software when you have access to these free options.
11. Buy Remanufactured Ink Cartridges
If there’s one thing that costs way too much money, it’s ink cartridges. They cost an arm and a leg, and they always seem to run out sooner than you’d think.
Rather than buying brand new ones every time your one runs out, try looking into remanufactured ink cartridges. These are cartridges that are third-party and often recycle cartridges, filling them with new ink and selling them again.
Because of this, the cartridges are a whole lot cheaper than new ones. In some cases, you’ll see they last longer, too.
When you use them, usually, your PC will claim there’s no ink in the printer. This can be safely ignored, as it actually just can’t recognize a third-party ink cartridge.
They work just as well as new ones and are so much cheaper, so why pay more?
12. Swap Out Your Cleaning Products
You’re spending way more than you need to on cleaning products. When you want to save money, all you have to do is switch to white vinegar.
White vinegar is having a moment as a cleaning product right now. It’s acidic and can clean just as effectively as any leading brand name cleaner.
All you need is a reusable spray bottle, some water, and some white vinegar, and you can clean all kinds of things. Your bathroom and kitchen counters, hardwood floors, and more are all going to come up squeaky clean.
As a bonus, white vinegar is better for the environment. Plus, you won’t need to worry about pets and kids on freshly mopped floors, as there’s nothing harmful in what you used to clean them.
White vinegar can be bought very cheaply, so make the switch and see just how much you save on cleaning products.
13. Save Up Your Change
This is a very easy way to stop wasting money. Whenever you have some coins, save them in a jar.
This works because whenever you pay with a bill, you’ll think about whether you really need to. After all, rather than spending the coins, you’ll need to save them.
As a bonus, you can use that change once the jar is full to pay off a bill or a debt.
These are a few ways you can stop wasting money and keep more of it in your bank account. Just make some simple changes, and you’ll soon see the difference.