8 Things You’re Spending Too Much Money On — And How to Stop

Sometimes financial stability takes a little bit of discipline. It can mean taking a look at all of our spending habits — big and small — and cutting out some non-essentials to be sure we can make it to our major financial goals. There’s a handful of things we all spend too much on, but a few painless tweaks can add up to major savings!

 

1. Coffee

Coffee tops the list because with a bunch of alternatives to this habit, it’s one of the easiest cuts to make.  If you’re the gal who rolls out to the Bux for a daily 3pm fix, that can really add up! (Quick math — Our $5-a-day coffee habit can add up to $1,200 a year if we’re doing it every workday. At that amount, you’re well into fancy handbag territory — and wouldn’t we much rather be saving our money in that direction?)

 

The Fix

 

With a pretty minimal investment, it can feel like you have a barista right in your own kitchen. Pop your morning brew in a reusable cute mug and you get bonus points for being a little greener. Make note of the when and why you end up going out for big ticket coffee purchases. We all need an afternoon break, but sometimes just a quick walk around the block can be an equally refreshing (and free!) pick-me-up.

 

 

2. Gym Memberships

Gym memberships can be a solid investment if you truly are using them regularly and you’ve found a workout program that you stick with. If you’re ready to shop around for a new gym, there are a few ways you can save, like joining in a group or taking advantage of student discounts.

 

The Fix

 

This is a different number for everyone, but do the math of dividing your monthly fee into the number of times you actually go to the gym to get your “per workout” expense. If this makes you faint, the way I do when I see the price of a Soul Cycle class, then consider taking your workout routine home to the living room or outdoors.

 

 

3. Work Lunches

“Treat ourselves Fridays” often turn into “I- was-too-busy-to-meal-prep Mondays,” leaving us stacking multiple work days back to back where we’re forced to buy our lunches. In many cities, this can easily be a $10 outlay, and doing it on the daily is an expensive habit to get into.

 

The Fix

 

Save lunches out for a truly special occasion and schedule it with your work crew to make it something to look forward to. Resources abound for healthy lunches we can make ourselves, so our wallets and our waistlines will thank us if we can can reign this one in!

 

4. Late Fees

This expense is worth getting under control ASAP because sneaky late fees not only rack up quickly, but also aren’t great for our credit. If you’re routinely having this happen, it may be time to revisit your home budget, but if it’s just a lack of planning, there are a few quick fixes.

 

The Fix

 

Put as many of your bills as possible on auto pay — either through the service provider or your own bank. If that’s not possible, be diligent about setting payment reminders and alerts on your phone a few days before anything is due. And did you know a lot of places will let you change your recurring bill due date? If, for example, it’s easier for you to pay a hefty bill at the end of the month versus the beginning, consider calling up the vendor and discussing your payment timing options.

 

Source: City Sage

 

5. Brand Name Household Items

In my dream home, my laundry room is filled with baskets of The Laundress and there’s a boujee hand soap in every bathroom. In reality, a lot of times we’re spending way too much on name brand household cleaners or basics where a store brand alternative would suffice. Many store-labeled products in this category perform about as well as their famously named counterparts, so this is an easy way to trim expenses.

 

The Fix

 

We all know that big box purchases and online retailers often sell this stuff cheaper in bulk with recurring subscription orders. Make yourself more satisfied with these basics by decanting them into cuter bottles, and you won’t even miss the fancier stuff.

 

Source: Sazan

 

6. Drinking Out

If grabbing a cocktail with friends has become your regular bonding ritual, the tab can add up quickly! About 51 percent of us cop to heading to the bar at least once weekly — and we’re often tacking on a dinner out after that, making for a pricey evening.

 

The Fix

 

Pregame at home whenever possible and learn how to stock your home bar. Oftentimes our plans involve “dinner and drinks,” and, let’s face it, that’s almost like ending up with two dinner bills at the end of the night if we’re stopping off multiple places. Building out a cute home bar will make you excited to entertain at home and save some cash.

 

 

7. Trendy Clothes

We all want our wardrobes to feel fresh and current every season. This can unfortunately trick us into dropping a lot of money at fast fashion retailers and sometimes result in a closet full of clothes that either won’t last or won’t look quite right in another year.

 

The Fix

 

Limiting ourselves to just a couple of trend pieces per season ensures we’re set up for a timeless wardrobe with quality pieces. Quality classics can come at a variety of price points, so this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend like crazy on clothes. It just means we all know that in a couple of years we won’t need an entire closet of bell-sleeved sweaters.

 

8. Transportation

Extra transport expenses are slipping into our lives more quickly than ever! Many of us have passed on having a car, but adding up ride shares and public transit can often equate to the fixed expense of owning a car.

 

The Fix

 

For most of us, grabbing an Uber when we could just designate a driver or even take a longer walk is a major culprit of overspending in this category.  Committing to a primary mode of transportation — either your own car or public transit — will help shave off unnecessary expenses. (And if I were the responsible gal I really wanted to be, a chic travel umbrella would keep me from shelling out for a $10 cab every time it rains.)

 

How do you trim unnecessary spending? What are things you’ve cut back on to meet bigger financial goals?

 

This article was originally published on October 1, 2017.

  • Thanks for these very useful tips! I have to say that coffee is definitely my downfall. I’ve been getting into the habit of making cold brew so that I don’t have the excuse of not having enough time to brew a cup in the morning.

    -Helen
    http://www.sweethelengrace.com

  • Amanda

    Coffee is my downfall too. I seem to make it “my little thing” to go have a latè and read at a local cafè rather than reading at home. I need to make it more exciting to do at home instead so I can save. This post has been especially important since I recently moved into a larger home with a much larger mortgage! Thank you. 🙂

    • Creating a super cozy reading nook will definitely help!

  • Melissa Thompson

    I’ve gone ever deeper with saving money on coffee. I have a Keurig, that I love, but K-cups are not cheap. I was buying in bulk, but it was still an expense that was over-taking me. I now have a reusable filter that I can use with any ground coffee that I like! I bought a large canister at Aldi for $4.99, and it can make up to 270 cups! That’s basically $0.02 per cup. You can’t really beat that!

  • It’s amazing how quickly all those “quick drinks with friends” can add up. My college self would be proud to see the importance of pregaming never faded.

    Alexandria Drake | http://www.alexandriadrake.com

  • Oh wow…the good news for me is…I don’t really spend much money on ANY of these things. #1 – I get free coffee from the break room machine. Awesome. #2 – I don’t have a gym membership at all. I work out from home, if I do that much. #3 – I don’t take a lunch break and I wouldn’t have time to clock out to go buy food anyways. #4 – Late fees don’t happen to me. I’m always on top of my bills. #5 – I’m all about them generic labels and thrifted stuff. #6 – You get more beer if you buy a case, so I’ve all but quit going to the bar. #7 – THRIFT for your trends! #8 – I already take public transit to work, so I’m good there.

    https://on-th3-cusp.blogspot.com/

  • Oh wow…the good news for me is…I don’t really spend much money on ANY of these things. #1 – I get free coffee from the break room machine. Awesome. #2 – I don’t have a gym membership at all. I work out from home, if I do that much. #3 – I don’t take a lunch break and I wouldn’t have time to clock out to go buy food anyways. #4 – Late fees don’t happen to me. I’m always on top of my bills. #5 – I’m all about them generic labels and thrifted stuff. #6 – You get more beer if you buy a case, so I’ve all but quit going to the bar. #7 – THRIFT for your trends! #8 – I already take public transit to work, so I’m good there.

    https://on-th3-cusp.blogspot.com/

  • These are all, apart from coffee, things that I waste money on! Or should that be wasted money on, thanks to your fab post this is definitely going to change. Must stop buying work lunches!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • I am so guilty in coffee department! Since I moved overseas, I felt like I couldn’t find the coffee bean that I like in the store, so I always buy my morning coffee. I try to cut down now

  • I started doing so many of these after I noticed that my bank account wasn’t growing. I love making my own coffee at home now and have learned to meal prep my lunches on sunday so I don’t have to buy lunch

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

  • Nikki Laraja

    Lunches and drinks out are things I am definitely going to work on cutting back!

    http://www.shopthecoconutroom.com

  • DecodeCare

    Add health insurance to the list! The fix? Understand your plans and pick the right one for you.

  • Natalie Redman

    Yep pretty much do most of these!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Marina

    Regarding clothes spending, I would love to see seasonal articles on The Everygirl with a few classic investment pieces to add to my wardrobe. Fast fashion is so bad for our planet!

  • Marina

    Speaking of clothes spending, I would love to see seasonal articles on The Everygirl featuring a few classic investment pieces to add to my wardrobe. Fast fashion is horrible for the planet!