If saving money is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we’ve got your back. The fact is, there are several things you’re wasting your money on, because you’re overspending due to your unfamiliarity with the cheaper alternatives that are available.
Maybe you’re oblivious to these cheaper options, or maybe you’re too set in your ways or too stubborn to acknowledge them. Let’s shed some light on 9 things you’re wasting your money on when cheaper alternatives are easily accessible to you:
1. Poorly Planned Vacations
You’ve probably figured out a few vacation hacks to travel for cheaper before reading this, like swapping hotels for Air bnb and flying out on a Tuesday (the cheapest day to fly.) But, there are other ways you’re overspending on your vacation such as paying to check luggage instead of trying to fit everything into a carry-on, booking expensive tours when you could just as easily see an attraction without a guide, and failing to take advantage of early bird travel rates.
Those who don’t book everything in advance pay the price, as airlines and hotels offer cheaper rates to those who book early. TravelPay will lock in those early bird specials for you, so there are options even for those who don’t have the means to book in advance.
The money we spend on clothes is usually way too over-the-top. Many of you ignore the cheaper options when it comes to shopping for clothes. Thrift stores sell name-brand clothing and designer shoes in great condition for cheap, and consignment stores are the best for finding the brands you love at low prices.
Sometimes, on the rare occasion, you might need a fancy dress for a special event. It’s understandable you wouldn’t want to shop for something like that at a thrift store, but you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on it either. Online stores such as Ever Pretty have beautiful fancy dresses for under $75, and they look like they should cost hundreds.
There are so many fabulous DIY gift ideas out there, it’s not necessary at all to spend $50 on that birthday gift for your sister. You can make your own cool coasters for her by painting plain wooden ones or cutting up old vinyl records. You can print out an inspirational quote and frame it for her. You could even paint a large mason jar and give her a one-of-a-kind vase. Getting crafty and coming up with creative gifts will save you a ton of money in 2017.
4. Healthy Food
We’re constantly trying to watch our weight, and we often complain about how expensive it is to buy healthy food. There are, however, ways to eat healthy on a budget. You can buy in bulk (it’s always cheaper to do so) and freeze meals. Don’t forget to check out local farmer’s markets as well, since it’s much cheaper to buy produce at these markets compared to chain grocery stores.
Gym memberships are expensive, and so are personal trainers and yoga studio memberships. Working out at home is a great way to save money. YouTube has great workout videos that you can workout to at home. It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money on fancy fitness classes. They’re great and all, but if you’re tight on cash, skip it and opt for the YouTube class instead.
Another great way to workout at home is with an electronic toning belt. Slendertone is a fabulous ab-toning belt that you can wear while you watch TV to get a workout in even when you’re feeling lazy.
We all love how great our nails look after a trip to the nail salon, but it’s crazy to spend $30 per month getting a manicure each and every month. $30 per month is $360 per year. You can get a manicure kit for $15, and a couple bottles of nail polish for another $15. That’ll last you a year, and you’ve only spent $30 on your nails in one whole year. These days, there are so many great nail polishes that leave your nails looking as though you just had a professional manicure done. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nailpolish is only $10 and it’ll look like you’ve had a perfect gel manicure done.
7. Kitchenware and Home Décor
Again, thrift stores! Why would you spend $25 on a new frying pan when your local Value Village has great frying pans for $3? Sure, it’s been used, but throw it in the dishwasher and it’s practically as good as new. Similarly, it’s funny how much money people spend on home décor items when they could find truly unique, beautiful and vintage pieces for their home for cheap at yard sales, flea markets and on craigslist.
Even though we’re well aware that it’s cheaper to buy a coffee maker and coffee than to go to Starbucks every day, many of us still go to Starbucks every day. But why? You can make a delicious coffee at home, and if you keep your coffee beans in the freezer, they’ll stay fresh for a long time. You can buy a $10 bottle of flavoured syrup to make your at-home coffee taste like something a barista would make. So stop buying that $2 cup of coffee every day. You’re spending up to $1,000 per month on Starbucks which is silly considering the cheaper substitutes.
9. Expensive Beauty Products
There are several beauty hacks all over the internet that will save you money. Things like DIY lip-plumpers and handmade shampoo recipes are everywhere. I personally have found that getting my eyelashes tinted has saved me a ton of money because I don’t need to use mascara or false lashes anymore. I also love getting free samples of foundations, perfumes and lotions from stores like Sephora, which can save you a bunch of money in the long run.