If you ever look at your monthly budget and feel like you just don’t have enough to make ends meet, you aren’t alone. Especially during times of economic uncertainty, most people find that they need to find ways to trim spending if they want to keep their bills paid and save some money for emergencies. The good news, though, is that trimming household spending can often be much easier than you’d think. There’s a good chance that you spend money on several unnecessary things, either because it’s convenient or simply because you’ve always done things that way. This article is here to help. Are you sick of not having enough money left in your pocket at the end of the month? Stop buying these 5 completely useless things.
This is an obvious one. You already know that cigarettes do absolutely nothing to benefit you, and being addicted to tobacco will leave you spending the rest of your life with significantly less disposable income than you should have. The problem, of course, is that quitting smoking once you’ve started is incredibly difficult. This is where switching to a vape kit from a company like E-Cigarette Empire can help.
Compared to traditional nicotine replacement products, the quit rate for smokers who try vaping is typically much better. That’s because vaping gives you the enjoyment of trying many different flavors and because vaping delivers nicotine to the bloodstream through the lungs – which is much faster than nicotine delivery through the skin or mucus membranes. If you smoke and can’t quit or don’t want to quit, you should strongly consider trying vaping because the potential cost savings are enormous.
This Year’s New Smartphone
You can rely on Apple, Samsung and the other major smartphone makers to release new models every year, and for mobile phone carriers, subsidizing the cost of buying those new phones is a major profit center. The carrier gives you a new phone up front and makes the money back – with interest – over the next two years by placing you under a contract with a hefty early termination fee.
While owning the latest model of your favorite smartphone has a powerful allure, the fact is that you have to pay a hefty premium if you want to own the latest smartphone models as soon as they’re released. A phone that costs upwards of $1,000 today may cost half that – or less – in just a year or two, making it a rather poor investment in terms of the expected return that you’ll receive when you decide to part ways with your phone.
Although using last year’s phone may not be very glamorous, you can save an enormous amount of money if you own your phone outright instead of making monthly payments on it. In addition, owning your phone means that you’re not bound to a specific carrier and can change mobile phone providers whenever you like. By law, a mobile phone carrier has to let you keep your phone number, so changing carriers isn’t nearly as inconvenient as it once was.
If you switch to a carrier that lets you “build your own” plan based on the data you actually use, you can easily reduce your monthly phone bill by 75 percent or more if you aren’t a heavy mobile data user.
Single-Serve Coffee Pods
There’s no denying that single-serve coffee pods are incredibly convenient. The idea that you can just insert a pod in a machine, press a button and get coffee is very attractive for those who don’t particularly enjoy grinding beans and maintaining standard drip coffee makers. Single-serve coffee pods also cost significantly less than daily trips to Starbucks. The coffee from a single-serve pod doesn’t taste particularly good, though, and single-serve coffee is still a waste of money compared to buying and brewing your own beans.
If you’re reluctant to give up the convenience of single-serve coffee pods, here are two easy solutions for you to consider.
- As you likely know, coffee tastes best if you grind the beans right before brewing the coffee. Don’t want to buy an expensive coffee grinder or spend half an hour turning a crank grinder every day? Most supermarkets have automatic coffee grinders that customers can use for free. Buy whole beans and grind them in the store. It’s almost as good as grinding the beans yourself.
- Don’t want to go through the trouble of setting up a drip coffee maker every day? Try the cold brewing method instead. A cold brewer produces a concentrated brew that can last several days. You add just a bit of coffee concentrate to your cup before filling the rest of the cup with water and the creamer of your choice. It’s really not much effort at all, and the cold-brewing method produces a coffee that’s low in acid and very tasty.
Cable TV That You Aren’t Watching
Many households pay for bundled Internet, TV and phone service from their local cable providers because that’s the way they’ve always done things. If you need all three of those services, it makes sense to get them all from the same provider and pay a single bill.
The fact is, though, that many households haven’t actually needed cable TV service for a long time. When you watch television, are you watching it through your cable box – or are you actually streaming content from a service like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon? If you get your video content through a streaming service, then you’re essentially paying for two television services but are only using one of them. Cancelling your TV service should trim your monthly cable bill by a significant amount. If you have a phone with an unlimited data plan and don’t usually use your home Internet connection, you may even be able to cancel your cable service entirely.
Bottled water is an incredibly difficult addiction to break. It’s convenient, and it often tastes better than tap water. Bottled water, however, also has a host of problems. Assuming that you spend around $1.50 on each bottle of water and drink two bottles a day, that’s a total cost of nearly $1,100 per year. Water bottles – which are rarely recycled – are also some of the most common pieces of plastic waste found in the ocean.
The worst thing about bottled water, though, is that it’s a scam. Producers of bottled water try to pass their products off as somehow being better than what you can get from your tap, but the vast majority of bottled water is municipal water; it’s simply been filtered. You can produce exactly the same product by buying your own water filter. If you prefer high-PH water, get an ionizer. It’s an investment that will pay for itself in less than a year.