Over the past year or so, Kyle and I have really buckled down and started to save for our future. It started with the cars we wanted, and now it’s moved into more “adult” dreams, like a house. It’s amazing to look back and see how far we’ve both come in our careers, and the strides we’ve taken to build a more stable life. But one thing that constantly threatens our ability to budget and continue this growth are all the little things that we waste our money on.
I know we all do it, and I also know it’s not the end of the world to not be frugal 24/7. But you really never know when all that money you spent on silly little things will actually be needed for something important. I always worry that I’ll buy that $80 wallet I always wanted, just to find out that our cars need repairs, or we need to replace something in our condo. These things do happen, and usually when we least expect it. And it’s not just big purchases that we waste our money on.. Usually the more expensive things are the things we actually need/save for over time. The real waste comes from the things we don’t need. Here are the 6 things I need to stop spending money on:
It’s sad to say, but it’s been a long time coming. I buy an iced coffee atleast once per day, and if you follow me on social media than you know what my favorite is. Starbucks. The single most expensive place to buy coffee. So if I go there 3 days a week, and maybe Dunkin Donuts the other 2-3 days, it quickly turns into $20+ dollars a week on coffee. When you really break it down, it proves how ridiculous it is.
We have tons of coffee at home that we either bought for ourselves or we were given. It’s so easy to just make some the night before and turn it into iced coffee in the morning. I could make an entire pitcher of it for the amount that I buy 1 coffee at Starbucks.. Not to mention the fact that I could save $100 per month, atleast.
I have an addiction to buying workout gear, clothes, sneakers, accessories, etc. my reasoning was always that they wear out eventually, so why not stock up? But when you’ve got 15 pairs of black capris/leggings, it’s time to stop. Because no matter how many I have, I’ll always choose to wear my favorites and the ones that are just “okay” will sit at the bottom of the drawer until I buy more.
But worst of all is the tank top/tee-shirt situation. After high school and college, I kept everything. I have team shirts from freakin’ 2008. No, I’m not kidding. And when am I going to wear those again? Never. Yet I buy more shirts and tank tops. I have a pretty large bureau but it’s packed full of these damn shirts.
Going Out To Eat
We love going out to eat, who doesn’t? It means no mess, no dishes, tons of options, and great drinks! But it also means $30-$50 per trip, and doing that too often can really deplete your bank account. We need to get better about making dinner, even if it just means throwing something in the crock pot before we leave for work. It would save tons of money, and eating out would become more of a special occasion than just a regular visit.
This goes hand-in-hand with the whole coffee thing. Where I work, there are little bistros that are conveniently placed so that you can grab something on the go. They have snacks, drinks, meals, and deserts that can be picked up on the way to any meeting, and it’s definitely a nice amenity to have in our workplace. But it adds up big time if you go there almost everyday. I usually grab some grapes, a water, and some crackers or something, which usually adds up to atleast $5. At the time, it never seems like a lot. But just like with the coffee, it’s about $25 per week.
Whenever we go out to eat, we each like to get a “special” drink, which is typically a beer for Kyle and a margarita or some wine for me. Beer is usually $6+ and my drinks can be anywhere between $7 and $10. It’s totally fine to treat ourselves every once in a while, but it’s not necessary every time.
We aren’t big drinkers by any means, but we have plenty of wine and beer at home that costs way less than it would at a restaurant. It would be just as easy to wait until we get home, and have a drink there instead. I don’t want to limit us too much, but we could definitely cut some of these habits out.
Clothes That Don’t Fit
I buy clothes pretty regularly, and I honestly don’t buy a lot at once. But I hate trying things on it stores, so I usually just buy it and try it on at home. I always plan to return it if I end up not liking it, but lately I’ve been finding a lot of items in my closet with the tags still on them.
This past weekend I moved all of my summer clothes into totes and put them away, and took out my fall/winter wardrobe. I found 2 pairs of jeans with the tags still on them, both of which were a whole size too big. I had to wonder, why did I buy these? Why did I keep these? I could’ve returned them months ago and gotten my money back, or I could’ve taken the time to try them on and never bought them to begin with. It’s such a simple and common sense way to save money.
What are your biggest splurges? What advice do you have to budget better?