In America there are, unfortunately, millions of people living “paycheck to paycheck”. Even many that aren’t in this financial predicament are still having problems making ends meet.
One of the reasons is that, here in the States more than almost any other country, we tend to spend on frivolous, unneeded or unnecessary items, even if we don’t necessarily have the money to afford them.
If you wonder, at the end of every week, where all your money went, it’s a good possibility that you’re simply wasting money on things that you think you need, but actually don’t. That being said, this little blog will help you to identify those things and, if you’re keen on having extra money (and possibly putting it aside in an emergency fund or retirement account) at the end of the week, help you to do just that. Enjoy.
First there’s electronics. There are, to be sure, millions of “tech junkies” in this country, and many of them simply don’t need the latest smart phone or tablet, but they have them anyway. While the newest iPhone or Galaxy might be impressive, the fact is that the very first iPhone ever made still works quite well and doing exactly what it was meant to do, make phone calls. Tablets, laptops, flatscreen TVs, game consoles and electronics of all kinds are wonderful gadgets, no doubt, but if you don’t have enough money to pay for groceries, you probably should hold on to the one you have rather than purchase a new one every six months.
Going out to eat is another area where many people waste all sorts of money. We’re not talking about fancy restaurants either, but places like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Arby’s and the rest. If you eat lunch at a fast food restaurant every day and spend $8.00, that’s $40 by the end of the week, or enough money to make sandwiches and bring them from home for two or three weeks. (They’ll probably be much healthier also.)
Gym memberships. Let’s face it, unless you’re a meathead from New Jersey, most people purchase a gym membership, go for a few weeks (if that) and then never go again. Unless you seriously want to look like a bodybuilder, there are plenty of ways to exercise that don’t involve a gym and expensive equipment.
Hair and nail treatments. Yes, grooming is certainly important in this day and age. On the other hand, going to the nail salon once a week rather than doing it yourself sometimes, heading regularly to the spa for a massage or having your perm “touched up” too often will waste all sorts of money and, frankly, probably won’t make you look much prettier or more handsome than you already are. (And yes, many guys get their hair and nails done regularly.)
Cable television is another money waster, especially when you consider that most people watch an average of seven channels only. While it certainly might be nice to have all of those hundreds of channels (if all you did all day was watch TV) having the complete cable package when you’re barely watching anything and can’t even pay your electric bill is a complete waste of money.
There are other areas where people waste money, no doubt, including on lavish travel, clothing, cars, furniture and houses that are much too big for their actual needs.
Simply put, if you truly want to have more money and put more into savings or a retirement account, take a look at the lifestyle that you’re leading and ask yourself “do I really need all of this stuff?”
If your answer isn’t a resounding “yes!”, it’s time to take stock of your spending habits and get to work changing them.