I always hear commercials for programs like “feed the pig” where they give you ideas to save money. I feel that a lot of people are creatures of habit and sometimes it really starts to add up financially.
I know when I was in college I used to go to 7/11 every day to buy a coffee and it wasn’t so much the coffee that I was going for. It became a part of my daily routine and for some reason just brought me comfort.
Thankfully I was hooked on going to the local 7/11 as opposed to the local Starbucks like millions of other people. I was spending about $1.39 as opposed to $5.99 or whatever the Starbucks drinks are going for nowadays.
Nevertheless, I was talking with a friend and we were just talking about the things that we catch ourselves spending money on that we really don’t need to.
It is kind of crazy, but a lot of these small things really add up so I made a list of things that end up costing you in the long run and that are easy fixes to get out of your life.
- Soda’s At Fast Food Restaurants
- Convenient Stores
- Unneeded subscriptions
Soda’s At Fast Food Restaurants
For me, I eat out a lot and I know I could bring a lunch but it’s the whole getting out of the office for 30-60 minutes that I enjoy. I have my typical lunch rotation that involves places like Chipotle, Jimmy Johns, and Taco Bell. But the one thing these all have in common is they really get you for the soda.
I read an article of the most marked up products out there and I instantly thought “booze of some sort would be number one” but it wasn’t. Number one money maker for restaurants was soda. I really took notice when I was at Jimmy Johns and my meal came out to over $10 and my sandwich was only $6.
Well I paid $1.99 for a soda and another $1.50 for chips equaling $3.50. Sure it doesn’t seem like much, but you can always get a water cup and it’s basically saving you 20% off your tab every time you go.
Remember when Subway had their stamps program where you got a free sub once you purchased ten?
I play mind games with myself and say “every time you get water instead of soda, you get a free entry after three or four times.”
People were very upset when subway got rid of that program but ditching the soda sure is a better deal and not to mention healthier.
This is especially true if you eat at a lot of sit down restaurants. Some places like Red Robin charge $3 a soda! When my girlfriend and I go out to eat we both get waters and save $6 each time.
The other thing you need to consider is how much soda are you actually drinking? I know my girlfriend drank about half of hers every time she did order one.
Gas stations, 7/11, Walgreens, and Rite Aids all fall under this category. Sure they are convenient because they are “just right there” but what’s the price you are paying?
I used to buy my Power Aids at the gas station and I was paying about $2.29 per drink when my local grocery store was selling the same thing for 79 cents. What was even worse is I was buying power aids there simply because that was the closest store that sold them to me. But the truth is there is a grocery store literally a mile down the street.
So I was spending about $1.50 every other day to save myself three minutes of driving. There is another mental aspect that it’s quicker to go in and out of a little store as opposed to a grocery store. But it really isn’t when you think about it. Sure you aren’t parking right in front of the grocery store like you would a 7/11 but you are really only walking about an extra 20-30 seconds.
Also, have you ever been stuck behind lotto guy? The dude who has the clerk check about ten lotto tickets to see that he won five dollars?
Then what do they do with that five dollars?
You guessed it, they buy five more scratch tickets and if you’re lucky, they have a strategic system on which ones they want. Nevertheless, it’s not hard to get held up at a gas station.
Do you subscribe to things mainly because the deal is so cheap it you almost feel like you would be losing money if you didn’t?
I’m that way and every month I see charges of $8.99 for my Netflix account that I haven’t used in about 6 months. When I see this charge, I instantly think “oh yeah, I need to start watching Netflix” and I never do.
As painful as this is to say, the same can be said about my gym membership. Granted I have a killer deal but I’m paying $10 a month for a membership for a place I haven’t stepped inside for over a year.
And before you judge, I exercise plenty! But in the summer time I’d rather jog with the dogs and go hiking than go in a gym and run on a treadmill.
Find The Easy Things To Cut
My friend went through all his subscriptions and found about $100 a month worth of stuff he never used. Granted the two of us are in different tax brackets, but $100 is still $100.
I told him he can just give that to me every month since I do more for him than those subscriptions to blogs and other stuff he pays for.
The way I try to view things in life is by putting a value on my time. Depending how busy I am, I need to start thinking in terms of “how much I will save if I do this, and how long will it take me”.
In cases like going to the store as opposed to the gas station, it’s usually a few bucks for a few minutes. Now that is something that is worth my while.
But I’m not going to drive an extra 5-10 minutes to save five cents off a gallon. When all is said and done I’m saving a whole 60 cents to fill up my tank.
It’s good to get into the habit of buying in bulk as well. Like when I go to the grocery store I’ll buy 10 power aids and take them home. This move alone saves me about $15 as well as saving me over half an hour of my time as opposed to buying one power aid ever day.
It’s not much, but it all adds up and the bottom line is it’s not that hard to do!
- Let us know your thoughts or easy options as well in the comments below!