When you need to tighten your belt, here are some expenses you can minimize or do without.
Expensive habit to cut out: The gym. Gym memberships can set you back a lot and, although we all want to stay fit and look great, they’re not actually a necessity. Avoid this massive monthly bill and exercise at home or outside instead. You can go for a run in the park or do some sit-ups or push-ups in your garden. You could also invest in some cheap exercise equipment, such as some free weights, some exercise bands, a kettle bell and a skipping rope. If you enjoyed the social side to the gym you can still pop on your lycra and head to the odd exercise class.
Expensive habit to cut out: Your nails. If you love sexy talons or smart and primly polished nails you may need to do a DIY job to save money. Salons charge lots of money for a relatively simple accessory and with some practice you can get the look you want for less. If you want a professional look buy a book that gives you a step-by-step guide to nail art.
Expensive habit to cut out: Eating out. It can be so easy to nip out to your favorite restaurant or call for delivery and relax while others do the hard work. Remember though that eating out regularly costs a small fortune and can easily hike up your bills. To save, prepare a batch of meals you love eating on your day off and freeze them. Then when you’re hungry just pop one of your healthier meals in the oven for fast and cheap dining.
Expensive habit to cut out: Your car. First comes the insurance, then comes the tax, then comes the fuel and on top of all that comes the parking costs; put simply, cars are ridiculously expensive. Most people can’t imagine living without a car because they have become such a big part of most of our lives, but could you do without one? If you use your car to commute look into carpooling, or cut back on the number of days you use it. Although it’s a big change, ditching your car more often could save you thousands every year.
Expensive habit to cut out: Coffee.Getting the odd pick-me-up coffee or tea from cafes is a great way to treat yourself and make your day a little brighter, but it should be kept as just that: a treat. Buying drinks or snacks from coffee shops can become an expensive habit and it’s one that doesn’t give you many benefits. If you miss your coffee that much, brew your own or buy a decent instant coffee and make a flask up at home. If you go to coffee shops for somewhere to sit or socialize find a new spot in the park.
Expensive habit to cut out: Drinking.Without realizing it, drinking can easily become a part of all of our lives. We pick up a bottle of red on the way home or go for one or two cocktails after work; but remember it adds up. Research recently found that the average American household spends $435 on alcohol per year–imagine what you could buy instead with that cash?
Expensive habit to cut out: Facials.Everyone loves that polished and fresh feeling you get from indulging in a little facial. But these beauty treatments cost big bucks and if you’re looking to save a little money it’s time you considered other alternatives. Even if you’re not very practical you can make an inexpensive and highly effective facemask yourself. Some great mixes include manuka honey and aspirin or a simple natural yoghurt mask.
Expensive habit to cut out: Haircuts. Want glossy locks but can’t afford the salon prices? No worries, we’ll let you into a little-known secret: a grad student may be the answer. When hairdressers are in their final years of college they need to practice on real models. Although they can be a little nervous and it can take longer than normal, student hairdressers are excellent because they get graded on their cuts and they want to impress. Plus the charges are minimal and will often be less than your cab fare home. Happy days.
Expensive habit to cut out: Starting a new hobby. Everyone enjoys the odd hobby, but starting a new one is expensive. You need to buy the right tools, or the right kit or a new helmet. Before you invest in the equipment make sure you really want to pursue this interest. Then, once you’ve tried and tested the hobby for at least a month, shop around for the gear you need. Ask other people in your area where you can get the best deals or if they are selling anything they no longer use. You can also search for second hand items in shops or online.