When it comes to trying to save money, it can be tough to build new habits. In fact, studies have shown that it takes about 20-30 times of doing the same behavior before a new habit is built. However, if you can focus on just a few simple things to change, your bank account will thank you and you will start building wealth!
1. Coffee Shops
The first thing you should try to avoid is spending a ton at coffee shops. I don’t want to tell you not to go to a coffee shop and enjoy time with friends, but the real issue with spending at coffee shops is the price. Unless you are getting a drip coffee, you will pay at least $2-3 dollars for some type of espresso beverage. And, over time, this can really ad up quickly. If you do think just once a week, you will end up spending over $150 per year. Then multiply that by how many times you really go, and that could be substantial savings.
2. Drive Thrus
Drive thrus are another thing you should avoid if you’re trying to cut back on your spending. However, it isn’t the drive thru that is the problem (heck, drive thru prices are usually pretty cheap). The problem is that you’re in a rush and are trying to eat on the go. This means either you didn’t eat enough earlier or didn’t eat well. Going to a drive thru is just a temporary fix, and chances are you’re going to be hungry again later, which is turn means spending more again later. If you go to drive thrus, look at your spending and really see how it adds up.
3. Impulse Buys
The last time you went to the grocery store, did you find yourself looking at magazines or tossing a pack of gum onto the checklanes before the clerk finishes ringing you up? The reason these items are there are to force you to buy them. In an ideal checkout situation, the checker would ring you up so fast, that you wouldn’t have time to browse, and would just decide to buy the magazine and read it at home. But if you add up all your trips to the store, and all the items you’ve bought, it adds up over time!
Sales are a great way to get a good deal on something. However, too many people just buy something “because it was on sale”. Stop! Only buy what you need when you go to the store. Sales can be a good deal, but it doesn’t help if you don’t need what you bought anyway! Save some money and stick to your list.
5. Not Even Knowing
Finally, this isn’t a spending habit, per se, but not even knowing what you spend is something you need to avoid NOW. Sign up for a free program like Mint and start tracking your spending so that you can really know where are those $1 and $2 transactions start to add up!