Are you making some serious mistakes that may be costing you thousands?
Use these easy tips and avoid the budgeting mistakes that I’ve made. If you have access to Ebates, Ibotta, Aldi or Walmart types of stores, you’re going to enjoy watching your savings soar.
That’s because we don’t have access to all these wonderful incentives and stores. Our family income is not high and our cost of living is higher than the most expensive city in the world, Singapore. Yet when we use these simple easy tips, we still save thousands a year!
All of us are guilty of spending money senselessly at certain points in our lives.
The good news is, your behavior is normal. The not-so-good news is, you’re wasting YOUR hard-earned money.
Every day we get trapped in this spiraling vortex – doing things over and over again out of habit, getting so caught up in our daily grind, so set in our ways that we didn’t realize that we should hit the pause button: Are there some things we really should stop doing, to halt our precious money and time going down the drain?
When we take time to reflect on our actions, we see the times we made financial mistakes and did illogical things that don’t make very good money sense. We then feel lousy about our mistakes.
I’m in the same boat. But I’ve decided to stop beating myself up on most days (yeah it’s not easy) and focus on what’s more important – to learn from my budgeting mistakes and move forward to become wiser with my money.
Read on about the crazy money mistakes I made. Most of us are susceptible to them in one way or another.
You may have made these mistakes, but it’s comforting to know you’re not alone. On the other hand, if you haven’t, you can happily say, “Thank goodness I’ve never done that!” ?
Are you ready?
1. Remove the Temptation
Yep, while supposedly window shopping, most of us don’t realize that we’re getting maximum exposure to shop sales.
I often couldn’t resist buying things on impulse, simply because they were on sale. I didn’t consider whether I really needed those items. It never occurred to me that if I didn’t buy, I got to save all my money.
Common sales tactics – “Save 50%!” “Buy 2, get the 3rd one FREE!”
But remember, if you don’t buy, you SAVE 100%.
Strategy: Use a delay tactic. Take note of when the sale ends. You’ve got time to think about it, and if you can do without it, DON’T buy.
I’ve used this strategy, and it’s liberating. When I’m removed from that kind of environment, which can be quite exciting as all the attractive goods are displayed to entice shoppers like me, I‘m able to calm down and assess my needs in an objective manner.
Also, just a little note that if you’re feeling strong emotions, like if you’re happy about something, it’s vital to steer clear of window shopping. Not being your usual self puts you and your wallet at even greater risk of unnecessary buying.
But the best overall strategy is . . . to avoid window shopping altogether.
Now, if you love online shopping, avoid shopping websites unless you really need to buy something. Use special coupon codes if possible. I had to subscribe to buy my supplements which were on specials, as the website offered free postage only for new subscribers. But after I had received my items, I unsubscribed as fast as I could, because they started nearly spamming me with more offers!
Our savings: At least $400 a year!
What are your savings likely to be?
2. Stop Going for Costly Entertainment
My spouse and I stopped going to cinemas years and years ago.
Choose activities that are cost-free.
If you can, go for walks by the river or sea.
Explore different parts of your city, such as public gardens. Take time to appreciate Mother Nature.
It’s wonderful for your whole family and your wallet!
You save all your money, and it’s good for both your mental, physical and emotional health.
Take advantage of free events like public concerts, art gallery displays and exhibitions offered by your local councils. Museums are a win-win for adults and children—they’re often free and educational.
Libraries may offer free arts and crafts and story-telling sessions, and heaps of other free activities for children.
Give these places a call or google your town or city and type “free activities”. Scan posters in libraries or museums as they publicize such events.
Strategy: Think of FREE substitutes or alternatives.
Our savings: Quitting cinemas saved us almost $280 a year.
How much would it save you?
Always ask yourself: is there a FREE version or alternative
3. Stop paying for automatic car washes
It’s super easy to wash your own cars if you have a garden hose. You save money by washing your cars. You also keep your car looking better – car wash machines with brushes leave small scratches on your vehicle. Over time, it’ll dull your car’s paintwork and this lowers the value your car.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small compensation if you purchase through these links. You do not pay extra. I only recommend products that I trust and/or would love to use and/or have the potential to help you.)
For your DIY car wash, you just need a few cost-effective handy items which, over a short period of time, will more than pay for themselves. We have invested in similar items listed below and they have served us well, saving us hundreds every year.
Involve your spouse and family – it’s great family time and saves time on car washing.
There are other super easy ways that anyone can do to save hundreds on motoring. These tips have been carefully researched, for you to save heaps.
Related post: 11 Easy Ways to Slash your Motoring Costs
Our savings: $259 a year by avoiding automatic car washes.
How much would you save?
Strategy: DIY car wash
4. Stop sending clothes to be dry cleaned
Do you know what’s especially crazy about this?
The jackets I had were bought second hand from thrift shops for a few dollars each. The labels state that they needed to be dry-cleaned, so we got them dry-cleaned a few times a year.
In the end, we paid much more for the dry-cleaning than for the cost of the jackets! I can see you shaking your heads!
When I realized how silly I’d been, I donated the jackets to thrift stores! Dry-cleaning cost was probably why the jackets had been donated in the first place!
Our savings: $80 a year
What will your savings be?
Strategy: Stop or minimize dry-cleaning your clothes. Sell or donate your clothes that need dry-cleaning. You can also google to confirm if the material of your clothing really needs costly dry-cleaning.
5. Minimize or Stop Attending Paid Events
I know of enthusiasts who attend plays, pop concerts and football games. The admission tickets are sky high. In the United States, the average price of a music tour concert ticket is $84 per person, while the average ticket price is $85 for a National Football League game.
I have a colleague who attended a football match that cost more than $100 for each person.
An aging music teacher actually flew to another city just to attend a classical concert over a weekend. From my observation, he’s not rich. Yet he splurges on these events.
Strategy: You can listen to or watch free recordings. You may not get to watch events live, but it’s free or cheap!
Potential savings: Up to $500 per year
6. No more visits to hairdressing salons and the barber
I hated anything to do with hairdressers.
Most hairdressers I encountered were rough and on the verge of tearing out my scalp!
This stemmed from my younger days when my mom and I would visit hair salons and she would instruct them to have my hair permed. They poured all kinds of smelly chemicals on my scalp and kept at it for several hours, because my hair just wouldn’t curl sufficiently.
The salon was a torture chamber for me. You see, I was a compliant teen and saw no cause to complain.
Now, it’s a completely different story.
No more waiting and having my hair tugged, as my spouse is gentle with my hair when cutting it. ?
What you really need is a quality pair of hair cutting scissors. I experimented with a pair of kitchen scissors and it had a life of its own! There was absolutely no control over it.
Our own hair cutting scissors has served us for 20 years and is still going strong.
You may like to consider a good quality hair clipper kit which comes at a reasonable price. After throwing away several cheap and nasty ones which didn’t last, we invested in a good quality clipper. Don’t forget to maintain your hair cutting tools by cleaning them after each use.
You may want to consider a hair cutting cloak umbrella cape which will make hair cutting sessions a breeze.
You’re probably wondering why I’m suggesting that it’s a great idea to get these items – aren’t you supposed to be saving? The cost of a good pair of hair cutting scissors and a hair clipper kit will only set you back by about $36.
However, you get to save hundreds a year by giving one another haircuts!
When I mentioned this cost-saving measure to my ex-team leader several years ago, she patted her curls protectively, murmuring weakly, “Oh, I don’t know if it’s safe to let my husband touch my hair!”
Strategy: Reduce the number of visits to salons if you can’t bear to let your partner touch, cut or style your hair!
Bonus strategy: Take your own color dye or whatever special stuff you use on your hair along to the hairdresser. My friend paid only about $43 as she provided her own hair dye product.
Our savings: $216 a year
7. Our family has stopped eating out at restaurants regularly
It used to be twice a month. Now it’s a rare occurrence. Each time we eat out, it would cost $32 for the three of us.
Our savings: We save more than $700 a year.
What can you do to save?
Strategy: If you eat out three times a week, try cutting it down by one per week, so you won’t feel deprived.
8. Avoid getting someone to buy things on your behalf
When my spouse traveled overseas, we thought it was a great idea to buy shoes and clothes for me as they were so cheap.
We did check my measurements, but somehow they just wouldn’t fit well when they were brought back. It was money down the drain and we wasted more than a hundred dollars.
I hope that these ideas will spur you towards taking concrete actions to become a Super Saver.
Make sure you read the exciting conclusion of How to Transform a Super Spender into a Super Saver for Good (Part 2) where you’ll discover more budgeting tips.
Thank you for reading this article.
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