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8 Expensive Things You Always Spend On Which Make You Less Rich

8 Expensive Things You Always Spend On Which Make You Less Rich

Our expenses are closely connected to our lifestyle, our habits, and generally our interests. It is also quite common how we tend to justify our expenses, but we can be very judgmental as we watch those around us spend their money. It is perhaps a defensive mechanism we’ve gradually developed, while living in the consumers’ culture.

However, you are not required to give up on buying things, all you need to do is re-evaluate your decisions and approaches. In other words, how to still get what you want, but at the same time preserve your budget. Prudence is a virtue, you should not hesitate to practice, for it will bring a certain dose of stability in your future life.

1. Bottled water

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    Yes, water is one of our essential needs, but we are not obliged to spend money on bottled water. Even though tap water usually contain harmful bacteria, it can be drinkable if you install a water filter. Truth be told, a filter is not that big of an investment, yet it can save a lot of money and it is far more convenient to pour water from the tap.

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    A liter of bottled water approximately costs 2$, and let us assume that the natural daily intake of water is around 2,5 or 3 liters. By switching to tap water, you save up to $5 dollars on a daily basis, or $150 per month.

    2. Printer ink cartridges

    Regardless whether you use your printer frequently or not, buying a new cartridge every time your old one is depleted, is an unnecessary expense. Cartridges are designed to be refilled, and you can either have someone else to do it, or you can get your hands dirty and fill them yourself. Either way, you will restore its functionality at only half the price. Moreover, it would be wise to buy a quality printer that uses cheaper ink, if you tend to use your printer regularly.

    A new cartridge can cost between $40 and $60, but it can be even higher. Refilling, on the other hand, is only between $10 and $12, so you save around $30 by opting for a refill.

    3. Cable TV and magazine subscriptions

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      Almost everything you want to read in your magazine is available online for free. As far as cable or satellite TV is concerned, you can stream an incredible number of shows or full length movies on Hulu.com, free of charge. Netflix offers a lot of quality material as well, charges only 9$ a month for these services, which is still cheaper than your cable subscriptions. In other words, any quality TV show you pay over $9, is basically a waste of money.

      4. Books

      It may sound outrageous, how can buying a book be considered as reckless spending. Well, it can. Buying books online, and reading it on an e-reader is a cheaper alternative, borrowing books is another budget friendly option, and a membership in the library is perhaps the best one. Buying a book that you want to read more than once is alright, but let’s face it, we love to show off. We decorate our bookshelves with our favourite chronicles and authors, to the point when it starts to feel shallow.

      The whole point of a book is to provide you with cautionary tales, help you forge some personal wisdom and moral values. If you start to treat it as a personal possession that you use to impress your friends, then you are buying it as a decoration. It is hard to say exactly how much you save by buying books for an e-reader, but you save around 40 to 50% for each book you purchase.

      5. Expensive Branded items

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        Let’s be honest, in the event you have developed a taste for buying globally renowned branded items, then your wallet is in a serious trouble. There is nothing wrong with having your own style, or trying to mimic modern fashion, but paying significantly more, simply because of a particular trade mark is madness. For example, buying an expensive item can sometimes cause more stress than satisfaction. You are more likely to get mugged, so you need to be vigilant all the time; it may not be compatible with all of your dressing combinations.

        A luxurious bag can cost $1000 or even more, but a military messenger bag f.e. will cost between $70-$100. The same applies for other branded items, if they drain your budget, condition yourself to look for cheaper alternatives. Learn to be more creative, don’t try to impress people with brand names – you are spending too much for something that is only a fleeting sensation.

        6. Video games     

        This is the same as with books – you do not need to own the game, you are only enlarging your connection to impress the Internet (the online community). It is alright to consider yourself a proud gamer, however, spending tons of cash just to let it the world know is absurd. Surely, you have friends who are also game enthusiasts – make an agreement with them, who will buy which upcoming game.

        There is no need to spend $40 every time a new game comes on the market. Furthermore, if you play games with monthly subscriptions ($10 – $15 a month), or even worse, freemium games, stop at once. Do not even try to justify the reason why you are playing them, just stop and find a new hobby. If you are able to play it for two or three months, see what it’s is all about and quit. If you can’t show this level of restraint, then you should aks yourself if you might be an addict.

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        7. Lottery tickets

        The number of people who play the lottery is ridiculously high. As John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight” said: Planning how you will spend your lottery winnings is an equivalent to planning what to say on your third date with Beyoncé. The only thing your lottery ticket does, is help the rich to get richer. Despite the fact that a single lottery ticket is approximately $3, the amount of money people spend to participate is large, since you usually buy more than one ticket. Instead of buying a ticket, put all that money in a piggy bank, and you are bound to be more satisfied after a couple of months, when you smash it.

        8. Buying new things

        Buying a new cell phone, a new car, a new console etc. the moment it appears on the market is yet another form of irresponsible spending, especially if you already have properly functioning utilities that are former models. Boasting with new items can be fun, but continually doing so is just sad. Why would you work so hard, every day, only to allow yourself to be manipulated by cheap advertising tricks?

        If you think of yourself as a collector or enthusiast, there is no need to buy these items the moment they hit the shelves. If your old iphone is still functioning, you do not need to spend $600 just to buy a new model. The same applies to your car – spending between $6000-$7000 for a new one is losing a fortune for no particular reason.

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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        Published on January 17, 2020

        How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

        How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

        Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

        If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

        My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

        So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

        Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

        1. Meal Plan

        You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

        If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

        Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

        Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

        2. Cook in Bulk

        Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

        Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

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        That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

        3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

        The science behind this is 2-fold.

        Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

        Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

        4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

        I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

        Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

        Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

        What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

        5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

        We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

        We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

        Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

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        Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

        6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

        Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

        Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

        7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

        I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

        Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

        The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

        While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

        8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

        The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

        Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

        If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

        9. Try Acai Bowls

        Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

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        You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

        Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

        10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

        Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

        Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

        11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

        A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

        I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

        12. Buy Cheap Online

        Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

        Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

        13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

        One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

        Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

        1. Strawberries
        2. Spinach
        3. Kale
        4. Nectarines
        5. Apples
        6. Grapes
        7. Peaches
        8. Cherries
        9. Pears
        10. Tomatoes
        11. Celery
        12. Potatoes

        14. Pay Attention to Storage

        Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

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        Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

        15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

        Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

        Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

        16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

        I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

        Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

        17. Use Budget App

        There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

        My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

        18. Use What you Have

        Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

        19. Enjoy the Process!

        Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

        Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

        Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

        Reference

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