Saving money is really hard when there are so many things out there that get your grab attention. The truth is, about half of the items you own you don’t even need or use. The trick to saving money is the same trick that dieters follow: Cut the calories from the places you’re unlikely to notice, like using less sugar in your coffee, less butter on your toast or replacing juices and sodas with water.
You can follow the same rule when it comes to saving money. Learn to let go of the items that you don’t use very often and won’t be missed. By saving money in small ways without feeling like you’re making sacrifices, you’ll be inclined to keep it up and in doing so save the next month and so on. If you have tried to implement this saving technique before but didn’t succeed, the beginning of the year is always the perfect time to try these savings tactics again.
At first, it is possible that you won’t feel very satisfied with what you’re saving, but over the span of 12 months, they will start to add up, leading to a considerable sum of money for you to spend in the next year.
Take a look at these 10 items you can easily cut from your budget that you won’t even miss!
1. Gym membership
The beginning of the year is the time when everyone is tempted to purchase a gym membership that most of the time doesn’t get used. Even if you’re planning to stay in shape this year, ask yourself a question: Do you even need that gym membership?
There are cheaper options than a gym membership out there that you can try without giving away money monthly. For example, working out at home with inexpensive weights while following a youtube fitness tutorial is inexpensive and you won’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home.
Or, if you’re determined to work out every day and you have more space at home, you can buy some pieces of pro-style gym equipment you can use every day. Maybe you can find gym equipment at the sales or perhaps you can buy it from other people who have abandoned their fitness plans and are trying to sell or give away equipment other are paying to use in the gym.
2. Warehouse club membership
Warehouse clubs are tempting and have many offers that you won’t find anywhere else. However, if you don’t run a child care center, regularly throw massive parties or have to buy items in large quantities, then you don’t really need a warehouse membership.
There are many people out there that own a Costco or other similar warehouse store membership that never gets used. It means you’re spending money on something without enjoying the benefits, so it’s money being thrown out the window. If you’re one of those people, then now is the perfect time to cut off every item you don’t use. Start with canceling your warehouse club membership and shop from places where you can still find good offers without having to own a membership.
3. Rental car insurance
When you’re driving a rental car it often means you’re on streets and freeways you’re not acquainted with, heading to places where you don’t go very often. Accidents can inevitably happen, especially when driving on unfamiliar streets. The question is when picking up a rental car, do you really need that extra insurance they try to sell you?
First of all, that insurance isn’t indeed insurance, it’s more of a collision damage waiver. Stacy Johnson, the founder of Money Talks News say he doesn’t personally buy it and he explains the reason why.
“I personally don’t take out rental car insurance. If you have coverage on your car at home, you probably don’t need to pay for it either. There are, however, potential exceptions” says Stacy.
Anyway, before you make a decision, be sure to do some research on your own and check the coverage you have before getting on the road.
4. Magazine subscriptions
Let’s face it, from Vogue to National Geographic, magazines offer stories that can’t be replicated. Even though the information you get in a magazine is very valuable, there are many ways in which you can read the latest news for free.
For example, every public library subscribes to dozens of magazines, so there’s a good chance you can find what you’re looking for. From mainstream publications, like Entertainment Weekly, to the obscure, School Library Journal, there are so many magazines out there to choose from.
In addition, you can read the print version or download the e-versions as many libraries have that option now.
Also, if you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime or Apple News+, you get free online magazines as an addition to your subscription.
5. Auto-club membership
A membership in AAA (American Automobile Association) is a life-saver for some drivers. If by any chance you’re in the middle of nowhere and need a tow, having an AAA card and calling for help can be a huge relief.
However, there are other ways in which you can benefit from the advantages offered by the AAA. Research your existing car insurance, as they may offer the same benefits as AAA.
Nevertheless, the American Automobile Association definitely has other good deals, like their hotels and travel discounts, so if you travel quite a lot, this membership might be useful. Take a look at your own needs and see what works best for you!
6. Cable TV
Cable TV is beginning to be too mainstream, so it’s no wonder that it has been canceled in many households. With so many streaming services on the market, many people are letting go of cable tv. There are other ways to get video entertainment rather than spending $100 or more a month.
Live streaming TV is very popular nowadays and many people ditch the classic cable and save more money that way. There are services such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu that can be more affordable than your current cable service.
7. Food delivery
Food-delivery services can be very useful when you arrive home after a long day at work, You’re tired and have absolutely no desire to cook. Ordering a takeaway may be the easier option but it is definitely not the cheaper one.
Food-delivery apps make it so easy for you to enjoy the food without making any effort. The thing is, delivery fees can really add up, especially if you make a habit out of order every day.
Delete their delivery apps from your phone and if you must order out, take into consideration picking up your takeout food by yourself. Also, be sure to always be on the lookout for coupons and loyalty-club deals.
8. Landline phones
If you’re still clinging to a landline in this day and age, you should reconsider whether it is really a necessity or not. There are some situations when a landline is necessary, for example, if there is iffy cell reception in some areas or if you leave your children home alone without a cell phone.
However, if you keep that landline open just in case, without ever using it, it may be time to stop paying for it. There are many cellphone plans available in today’s market with very good offers, so keeping a landline phone might be an unnecessary expense.
9. Brand-name products
This is a great marketing trick that fools everyone in buying a product simply because of the advertised brand name on the label. This marketing technique is obvious at Costco, where the company’s Kirkland paper products are placed next to the more-interesting and colorful wrapped famous brands.
The same goes for paper towels and bathroom tissue, the difference is that Kirkland items have lower prices even though the products look exactly the same. Ignore the labels and brand names and you’ll get the same product for a cheaper price.
Not only that it is such an unhealthy habit, but it is also an expensive one too. Besides the fact that smoking is bad for you, have you stopped to consider how much money you actually spend on those cigarettes every year?
You’ll be shocked if you do the math, but let me tell you that it could be as much as six months’ rent!
In the technological era we live in today, there are many non-smoking apps, such as MyQuit coach and QuitNow! that can help you successfully quit this bad habit. A perk these quitting apps offer is that many of them provide an updated budget of how much money you saved as well as calculating the hours of life that you have regained.