Little Financial Dont's

So many articles talk about what to do to save money and the smart things to do to come out ahead. Though much of what I’m going to tell you today could be the same as what others have said, I want to approach it differently. I want to look at what NOT to do in order to save a few bucks. Sometimes just stopping an act you are already doing might be easier than starting something new that you have to add in to your daily schedule. Usually you are shocked that you never thought of it before.

Here are my top 10 things to STOP doing in order for your pocket book to multiple:

1. Extensive cable/cell phone packages – Believe it or not you probably have a premium cable/cell phone package that is costing you a mint. Do you really use that call forwarding enough to justify the extra $ it is costing you? Do you watch all of those extra channels that you probably don’t even know what they show on a regular basis? When you first upgraded, you probably reasoned that it is just an extra $10 a month. You can easily afford a lousy $10. But when you add that $10 to the other $5 on the other bill and the extra $15 on the other monthly items, you start to add up. Before long all those little extras can cost hundreds of dollars. Take another look at your monthly bill for both your cable and cell phone. You’ll be surprised at what you can “live” without and not rush the end of the world.

2. Too much insurance – Insurance is one of those things you start off thinking that you cannot have too much of. Well, that is a myth that has been passed down for years. You actually can have too much of a good thing. So many times we buy all the insurance that we can get without really thinking. When getting insurance for a car, do you really need all the categories? Take charge and talk to your insurance agent. If they really want to look out for your best interests, they will sit down and go over your current needs. This is important, too, since your life can change day after day and so does your insurance needs. Make an appointment with your agent today and make sure that what you are paying for reflects your current needs. You could save yourself hundreds of dollars a year.

3. Name brand groceries – This is another myth that you probably have been telling yourself for years. You feel like you have to have only the name brand. To be honest, so many of the “off-brands” taste just as good as the more expense name-brands. Now, I’m not saying that this is true all the time. I’ll be honest that there are times when the name-brand is worth all the extra dough that you put out for it. But how much extra $ are you spending needlessly and you don’t even realize it? This week, be more intentional in your grocery shopping. Since you already know what the name brand tastes like, choose the store-brand and compare. It might not be exactly the same in taste and quality, but can you survive and not gag as you try to swallow? If so, look at how much you save each grocery run if you start to buy just the store-brands. Your grocery bill could lower a hundred or more dollars each week (especially if you have a large family). It won’t kill you. I promise. (Another note along the same line would be to shop at the discount stores such as Aldi and Sav-a-Lot. You can really rack up the saving and many of the foods are just as good as name brand.)

4. Going out to eat – I love to go out to eat. I feel special to be waited on and I don’t have to clean up afterwards. I win every which way except in the pocket book. Eating out can be fun and convenient, but not always the smartest thing to do. Try to eat at home more or bring your meals from home more often. A sandwich that you make at home could cost you less than a $1.00. Going out to eat at my local diner costs me around $8.00 after tip. Multiple that times each meal x each day x each week and you are spending loads of money to have someone else do your cooking. Usually when one does that a lot they are a member of the rich and famous. Keep it up and you won’t be for long.

5. Club fees – Are you a member of a fitness club or social club? It could be the YMCA, Bali, Bridge club, or whatever else is your interest. In many cases we don’t even use these memberships. We might have signed up for a New Year’s Resolution and didn’t make it past the first three weeks before caving in. It might have been a peer pressure or status decision. But do you really use that membership? Do you use $200 a month worth of exercise? Couldn’t you go in with a few friends, buy some equipment, transform a garage into a gym, and get the same thing cheaper? Did you know that cleaning house is a great, cheap form of exercise? Stop and re-think your membership fees. If you look around you can also find where some school rent out their equipment for really reasonable rates.

6. Unnecessary sale prices – It was on sale so you just had to buy it, right? How many of us buy things just because they were on sale though we don’t need them? I would say that most of us do. Stop! Don’t buy something just because the price was slashed. Before putting it in the cart and heading toward the checkout, stop and think of what you are really buying. Do you need it today? I mean really need it. Do you need it this week? Will you use it up before the next comet? Don’t answer that you might need it one day. That day may never come and you just spent $10 on a $100 item that you never would have bought at $100 anyway and now will never use the $10 worth that you did buy. So did you really save $90 or give away $10 for a dust collector?

7. Buying in Bulk – To save money stop buying in bulk! To save money start buying in bulk! Have I confused you yet? We tend to think that if we buy in bulk we are saving money. Well that is true and yet can be entirely incorrect. When you buy in bulk, you are only saving money when you actually use all of the product that you are buying. If you buy a 50 pound bag of flour and only use 5 pounds before having to throw it out, then you did not save a penny. More than likely you wasted the 45 pounds thrown out and the value of it on top of it. Before buying in bulk because the per pound or per piece cost is so wonderful that you can’t pass it up, think if you will really use or it if you will be wasting the product and your hard earned money. If you can, talk to family and friends and go in on the bulk purchases. That way you are all saving money and helping each other out.

8. Fancy coffees – I’m guilty of this. I love my lattes and mochas. But do I really need to spend $3.50 a day per coffee? Probably not. If you do some research you can find ways of making similar drinks at home for a fraction of the cost. Even investing in some of the tools to make the great drinks might be cheaper in the long run than buying a drink every day, or two a day, or maybe even a third. Not like I’m talking about me or anything……

9. Latest gadgets – Do you have the latest thing that comes onto the market? The latest DVD player and all the gadgets though your current one was purchased 6 months ago and works just fine? The latest cell phone with the really cool keypad and ring tones though you just took out a loan for the last one 2 months ago? Think before you rush out and buy the latest think advertised on TV. Do you really need it today when in just a few weeks it will be old news itself? Use what you have till it doesn’t work anymore. You’ll have hundreds and thousands of dollars a year and sometimes a month.

10. Replacements – What do you do when something doesn’t work right or seems to have broken? Rush out and get a new one while tossing the old one in the trash? Did you know that you could be throwing hundreds of dollars in for the garbage man? So many things can be easily and cheaply fixed if you just spend a few minutes looking into and tinkering. You might even know someone with the gift to fix all things broken. Don’t let that talent go to waste. Our television was on the fritz. My husband tinkered a little and it lasted another 9 months before we had to go spend money. That is a lot of time to save some money and not have to put on a credit card and pay interest.

Stop and think before buying. Really consider your needs and what will really happen to what you purchase. If you really have trouble doing this, please enlist a financial accountability partner to review your books and your spending habits. They might even be there for you to call BEFORE making a purchase that you will regret.

Remember that sometimes to do the right thing it is all in stop doing the wrong thing.

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Comments 30 comments

rockinjoe profile image

rockinjoe 7 years ago from Standing right behind you!

Nice input. I'm with you on virtually everything in your list. We cut down to basic cable, cut out Netflix and we're shopping cheaper. I still won't give up my Count Chocula cereal. I have to draw the line someplace.


pgrundy 7 years ago

Yes, I like these too, but I NEED good coffee. I really do. you just don't want to be around me without it.

The crazy thing about buying in bulk is you also have to actually check the cost per pound. More than once I've reflexively reached for the larger size only to notice it is MORE expensive per pound or ounce or whatever than the smaller one. People especially get into trouble with this at Sam's Club and Costco and those kinds of places that have weird, giant, odd sizes that make it hard to compare the actual price to what you usually buy. You assume the big weird size is cheaper but it isn't always.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

buying in bulk is a waste at my house because they open whatever and don't put it away properly so then you waste ten times the amount. I didn't renew Costco this year, despite the chance to be fed corndog bits while walking down the aisles


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Joe, I guess we'll let you slide with the cereal since I'm going to have to let Pam get away with the coffee. I've seen some people without their special coffee. I don't want to see it again.

Mr. goldentoad, I agree. We have quite a few people in our household so it would pay off if it was taken care of. You don't save any money when you throw it all away.


DarleneMarie profile image

DarleneMarie 7 years ago from USA

Great advice RGraf...I espcially like #2. You can over-insure and it can cost a forturne!


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

You are so right, Darlene. We learned that lesson the hard way because we had been taught to insure! insure!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

"You assume the big weird size is cheaper but it isn't always." A lot of shops have the price per 100g or 1kg on the labels, which is very helpful. Saves walking round with a calculator!


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Good point! You've got to be a wise shopper. Most people just walk in and grab the first item. You won't save money that way.


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

These are some great tips and ideas. I know I am guilty of the "It's on sale, so it's ok to buy it" mentality. I still buy almost everything on sale, but only things I need, and I don't buy things just because they are on sale.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Training yourself to do that can be very hard. Good for you. I've never had that problem but my husband has which then becomes my problem :)


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Thanks for some great ideas like #10 replacements. It seems not very long ago I bought a new coffee maker and it just took my daughter 5 weeks home from college on a holiday visit and she ripped the cover off the machine. I've been thinking about buying a new one but maybe I just will now take a close look and see if there is a way it can be repaired at home to save a few bucks. Thank you :)


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Glad I could help! Good luck with the coffee pot.


BDazzler profile image

BDazzler 7 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

I buy paperproducts and canned goods in bulk. TP doesn't spoil :)

Great hub!


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thank you. You are right TP doesn't spoil, thank goodness :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Excellent advice all round, most of which I follow anyway, and fortunately save a fortune on the fact I hate coffee in any form other than chocolates or cake :)


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Good for you! I like it in cakes, too. Maybe a little too much :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

MMMMM...... Coffee and Walnut Cake. Yummy!


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

RGraf, thank you, the coffee pot is all fixed, lol. I asked the husband to use some of his tinkering talent.

#10 works wonders and saves bundles!


EspianScrolls profile image

EspianScrolls 7 years ago

Great Hub!

I will remember those tips when I start having to pay my own bills, Which isn't that far off! I look forward to hearing more from you!

Espian~


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Dottie, That's great! A real testimony on it. Give the husband an extra cup of joe for this one :)

Espian, thanks for visiting and your kind words.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Coffee I save money on by always making at home. I on the other hand like having the combined cable/Internet/TV because that is my entertainment since I never go out, plus I write online to make extra cash. My writing efforts pay for the entertainment, so to me it is worth it.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

Great hub. Did you know that you are number one on Google's first page under financial dont's? Congratulations, excellent work!


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Princessa, WOW! I didn't know that. Thank you.

SweetiePie, I'm starting to make the coffee at home and save $. it takes some discipline.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

It's an easy one for me. I don't like coffee, and I make tea the way I like it more than a cafe does!


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Good for you! I'm learning to do that. I go through phases of drinking it.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

A lot of good tips here. I have to say "Bravo!" on the bundles and coffee tips. I have one cup (occasionally two) of very strong, very delicious coffee every day. I make it myself and it's better than anything I've ever had anywhere else (with the possible exception of Turkish coffee many, many years ago which I don't know how to duplicate).


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thank you. Since I'm the only one who drinks coffee in my house it is almost a waste to make a pot.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

That's an easy one: Get yourself a coffee press. I buy, mix and grind my own (octane fueled) coffee beans at the store - anywhere from a half to full pound. Making one cup at a time, it lasts quite a while.


Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 7 years ago from Wv

Another tip DON'T go to the grocery store hungry. Also check out prices at you local Dollar Store before going to Target or Walmart. Sometimes your everyday things you need are cheaper there :) Nice hub


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Those are great tips. Thanks. I always make sure that I've eaten something before going so that I don't overbuy.

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