Investing might help you to make money, but it won’t stop you spending it. In order to cut down on your expenses, here are five everyday things you can save money on right now.
There are lots of ways to save a little bit of extra cash in your day-to-day life. Putting a proper budget in place, avoiding the allure of false economies, or even byboosting the money you have to work with by going out an earning some extra cash in your spare time!
Saving money doesn’t have to be a massive chore however. In fact, by recognizing some of the things you regualrly waste money on, you can make small changes and start to save money!
1. Gym Membership
Investing in your health is one of the best investments you could make, and a gym membership is usually an important part of that.
Unfortunately, far too many of us sign up with the best intentions in January only to forget where the gym is by mid-February. If we were rational beings, we would cancel the payments as soon as we stopped going. But inevitably we keep them up, telling ourselves that some day we’ll get back to it.
Try to think of the gym in terms of usage rather than on a per-month basis. If your monthly fee is $60 and you go everyday, that’s only $2 per session – a bargain!
On the other hand, if you only go once a week that’s $15 a session. In that case, it may be cheaper to switch to a gym that allows you to pay-as-you-go.
If you only use the gym for cardio, consider jogging or cycling outside – road miles are a lot better than gym miles anyway.
2. Bottled Water
If you regularly purchase bottled water, you’re literaly putting hundreds of dollars a year down the drain – excuse the pun.
Bottled water accounts for about 30% of all drink sales in the United States and is a massive cash cow for the likes of PepsiCo and Nestle. Each bottle is embossed with scenes of beautiful natural springs or streams running down a mountainside, leading us to think that it’s somehow better for us than tap water. Actually what you’re getting is usually straight from the faucet.
Invest in a good water bottle and save yourself hundreds of dollars a year.
3. Branded Drugs
It’s estimated that Americans waste around $32 billion a year buying brand-name pain relievers. If you have a medicine drawer full of Advil, Tylenol and other branded painkillers, you’ve been duped.
Generic painkillers and other over-the-counter medication costs a fraction of the price and does the exact same job. In fact, most generic brands have the same dosage and active ingredients as the expensive stuff.
When you buy brand name, you’re paying for nothing more than that – the brand name. All those adverts you see on television are being funded by your hard earned money. Ask anyone who works in the medical field (doctors, nurses, pharmacists) what they buy, and you’ll find out that they all go generic.
4. Pre-Sliced/Grated Food
Sure, there’s a convenience factor to having your fruit pre-sliced or your cheese grated, but it comes at a big cost.
Grated cheese has one of the highest markups of any product in the aisle. The same goes for pre-sliced fruit, vegetables, and cold meats. Basically, add any additional labour to the food you’re buying and you’re adding about 40% to the cost.
When buying any groceries, be sure to check the cost against weight -most chains now show this with beside the price. This will help you to determine if you’re paying more for the luxury of grated cheese!
5. Single-Serve Coffee Pods
As marketing executive Rory Sutherland points out, human beings have no objective measure of value. Every time we make a decision on the price we are willing to pay for something, our brain is unconsciously comparing it to the price of something similar. However, clever marketing sometimes tricks us into making false comparisons.
Single-serve coffee pods are a great example of this.
If you were to buy Keurig Green Mountain or Nespresso in a 48 ounce jar, it would cost about $200. That’s compared to $20 for instant!
The problem is that we don’t make that comparison. Because it’s presented in pods, we tend to compare the price to something like a $5 Starbucks. Even the inventor of single-serve coffee pods has renounced them – saying they’re overpriced and bad for the environment.