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6 Budget Killers and Ways You Can Keep More of Your Money
When it comes to money it can so easily slip right through our fingers and in the blink of an eye we are broke again. Society, manufacturers and advertisers are constantly trying to part you from your money. There are many budget killers and of course they can vary from person to person, but I have identified six things that can easily be replaced at a huge monetary savings.
- Smoking. Hmm, it doesn't really need to be replaced it just needs to stop. Aside from the health problems it causes, have you honestly looked at the price of cigarettes lately? While standing in line at the gas station recently I was looking at the prices for the first time in years. I can't imagine anyone actually having the extra money and being willing to part with that much money just to smoke a cigarette. For someone who smokes a carton a week you could spend hundreds of dollars a month on cigarettes. Just think what you could do with that money and that should be motivation enough to quit.
- Soda. I don't drink much soda but I do need my caffeine every day. I usually drink iced tea, but when I am traveling will typically opt for a Coke over anything else. Having just been out of town for a few days I was surprised at the cost of a soda. A medium drink typically ran between $1.50 and $2 a pop at whatever restaurant I was at. If you buy a twelve pack of soda at the grocery store each week this can add $4 or more to your grocery bill. Over the course of the year that is more than $200 spent on soda. If you buy a pop from the vending machine each day (at $1 or more each time) you are spending over $300 each year on soda. Water is free, delicious and the best thing for our bodies.
- Manicures and pedicures. If you go for a weekly manicure and bi-weekly pedicure you are likely spending $100 a month or more on nail polish. For $1200 a year back in your pocket, don't you think it is time to learn to paint your own nails? Invest in the proper tools to give yourself a luxurious manicure and pedicure at home for $50 or so and you will reap the savings for years to come.
- Ordering pizza. While convenient and tasty, this pizza comes at a high price. The last time we ordered pizza for my family of six it was almost $30. You can get frozen pizza (kept on hand for times you would have likely ordered pizza) for $5 each or make your own for even less. If you have pizza every single week you can save over $1000 a year by either making frozen or cooking it from scratch.
- Alcohol. Aside from red wine, alcohol is not nutritious and it certainly isn't necessary. Many people go through life never having a drink. Now, I will have a glass of wine a couple of times a week, so I am not against alcohol. I just think you can have it and save money too. Rather than pay $7 for a glass of wine at the restaurant have a glass at home before you head out or when you get back. Instead of paying $18 for a dozen fancy beers, learn to make your own at less than half the price of store bought.
- Movies. I will admit, I am not a movie person. But I realize that some people are. Movies are ridiculously overpriced, but you can still see them and save money. Of course renting them after they come out on DVD is preferred (or even borrowing from the library) but I know people like to go to the movies. So, go to a cheaper showing. Price shop the movie theaters in your area and find one that is less expensive. Look for discounts online, go to the matinee, stay away from the snack bar, purchase your tickets in advance, earn gift cards to the movies, etc. There are ways to save on this expensive entertainment.
Typing all of this out, I feel like I am saying "no" to all the fun things out there. I am certainly not trying to limit how much fun you have in life, just trying to get you to think outside the box and figure out ways you can do what you want and still save money.