Every day we spend money on all sorts of things, whether it’s a morning coffee or an Uber to get home from a late dinner. Nothing’s wrong with dishing out cash when you need something, but you might be wasting money on a few items every week—and it probably doesn’t even occur to you that it’s a waste. But if you’re trying to save some money at the moment (and let’s be real, who isn’t), you might want to take a closer look at what you’re buying on a weekly basis, because money goes out the window faster than you might think.
You don’t have to be a financial adviser or investment banker to gain some useful knowledge on money-spending habits. There are a few rules that are easy to follow, and they’ll take you a long way in the money saving game. Take a look at the tips below and see if any of them sound familiar. If they do, the good news is, you’ll be able to shape up your wallet in no time.
Here are eight things you’re wasting money on this week.
1That second (or third) coffee
Buying any single serve coffee at a cafe is a waste of money, considering how much cheaper it is to make your own coffee at home. But it’s an even bigger waste if you’re purchasing a second of third cup every single day when you get tired. Instead of reaching for more caffeine, try to adopt a healthier—and cheaper—habit that will give you a boost of energy. You could take a brisk walk around the block, do a quick workout, or eat a homemade protein-rich snack. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your money adds up.
2Brand name foods and snacks
When it comes to chips and cookies, or cooking ingredients like soy sauce, the name brand stuff seems like it would be the best, especially when you see all those tasty advertisements. However, the generic brands often taste just as good, and they are way cheaper. Go with the foods that don’t come from the most popular companies, and you probably won’t even be able to tell the difference.
Banks will do anything they can to take your money. You might be dealing with some sneaky ATM fees or expensive charges for going below the minimum account or withdrawing too much from your account. You might have to switch banks or entirely transfer your money over to a credit union, because you shouldn’t have to waste your money on unfair charges.
Hey, did you know water is free? Or you can pay a low price to add a water filter to your sink. Plus, it only costs about $15 for an environmentally friendly water bottle. In other words, you’re throwing away money on bottled water. Instead of running to the vending machine every time you’re thirsty or buying big packs of bottled water at the grocery store, invest in a bottle that will allow you to cart around fresh, free water with you wherever you go. Similarly, if you’re at a cafe or restaurant, don’t ever buy a bottle of water out of the fridge. They have filtered water in the back, and a cup of that will be 100 percent free.
We understand the convenience of packaged and processed foods, because all it takes is a few minutes in the microwave and it’s ready. Not only is this highly unhealthy, though, but it’s also very expensive in the long run. It’s much cheaper to invest in fresh ingredients that you can use to make your own delicious food. Look up some recipes and decide which ones look good. Then you can make a list to bring to the grocery store. You’ll see the savings add up in no time.
Snacks make the world go ’round. But you don’t have to lose your money on your precious snacks every single day. If you find yourself buying protein bars or hummus packets every week, whether it’s at the drugstore or a cafe, you might want to consider making your own snacks at home so you can take them with you wherever you go. Buying the ingredients separately and making snacks yourself will leave a little extra room in your wallet.
7Fancy cleaning products
Things like Clorox wipes or Swiffer brooms are fun to use and may seem like they’re amazing products, but they’re much more expensive than the basic cleaning products. Buy a cleaning spray in bulk and then use a sponge or a rag to clean up your kitchen and bathroom. It may not be as glamorous, but it gets the job done just as well and you won’t have to spend nearly as much money on home necessities.
8Too many groceries
It sounds weird, but there are all sorts of mistakes you can make at the grocery store. If you buy too many things at once, you likely will end up with spoiled, expired food, and that’s literally throwing away some of your hard-earned money. Rather than bulking up on everything you set eyes on in the shop, only buy as many groceries as you need in the next few days or week in order to minimize the amount of waste in your kitchen—and in your wallet.