We're all free to spend the money we earn however we see fit, buying the things that bring us pleasure, saving up for future investments, or simply blowing it all on the latest gadgets and fancy vacations. However, if you want to get your finances under control, taking a close look at your budget and monitoring your spending can really make a difference, and you might be surprised to see just how much money is being wasted on things you don't even really need.
A few dollars here in the coffee shop and a few dollars there on a gym subscription might not seem like much at first, but every little dime you spend adds up over the course of the weeks and months and years into a much more significant amount, and simply cutting out one or two of your needless expenses can help you save a staggering amount of cash in the long run. Each and every year, Canadians are effectively wasting major amounts of their income on things they don't really need. Here are six prime examples.
Sure, we all like to eat out from time to time and everyone deserves to enjoy a nicely-cooked meal from a restaurant they love or a tasty lunch from a local cafe, but it's clear to see that the costs of eating out vastly outweigh the prices you'll pay from making your own meals and preparing your own packed lunches. Spending just $10 per day on a quick working lunch from a local cafe or fast food joint might not seem like much, but if you repeat the process a few times a week, all year long, you're spending $1,500+. In fact, Statistics Canada reveals that Canadians spend around 3% of their cash on restaurant food, which works out to over $2,600 per year.
According to Statistics Canada once more, the average Canadian household can spend over $100 a month on public transport like buses and trains. Sometimes, it's absolutely necessary to take the bus when you need to travel a large distance or arrive somewhere at a set time and can't run the risk of walking or cycling, but in most cases, there are other options out there. You can share rides with friends and family, use your bike to get around, or simply walk on your own two feet to save cash and exercise all at the same time. Even if you do need to rely on public transport, there are often monthly passes or discounts you could be taking advantage of and might not even know about.
Subscriptions You Don't Use
We're living in the age of subscriptions. From gym memberships to movie streaming services and online gaming payments, so many aspects of our lives now revolve around recurring monthly fees that seem small at first but really start to add up as the months go by. A single $10 subscription to a streaming platform will cost you $120 per year. If you have five of those subscriptions, you're looking at $600 per year, just on movies and TV shows. Often, when you actually stop and look at how much you really use each of your subscriptions, you'll quickly see that some of them simply aren't worth it. You might even have old Xbox accounts or gym memberships you completely forgot about that are eating away at your bank balance each month for no reason.
Failing To Keep Up With Maintenance
In the modern world, many people have very busy schedules, with lots of responsibilities and countless things to think about. Between your career, family life, social engagements, hobbies, and everything else, it can be hard to find the time to stay on top of all the regular maintenance required around the home or in your car. A lot of people fail to keep track of the simple things like getting their water heater checked or changing the oil in their vehicle, and the longer you leave these simple tasks, the greater the risks become. What could have been a simple $50 job can multiply into a $5,000 problem more quickly than you might imagine.
Cigarettes And Alcohol
Also known as the 'bad habit' category, things like cigarettes and alcohol can become very pricey in the long term. Of course, it's easy to become dependent or even addicted to these products, and simply quitting them entirely can be a big challenge for a lot of people, but when you look at the costs, you start to see just how much money you could be wasting on each and every packet of cigarettes or bottle of wine. Spending just $10 a week on cigarettes runs up to over $500 a year, while alcohol expenses can easily head into the thousands. As stated earlier, quitting might not be an option, but reducing your intake can help to put a big dent in your overall expenses and build up your savings over time.
Phone, Cable, And Internet
In this day and age, it's almost impossible for a modern person to function without services like a cell phone plan and home internet. We need these services so vitally that we can sometimes be blinded by their prices and spend more than we really use. A lot of people are paying over the odds for their phone packages, spending upwards of $50 a month when much cheaper alternatives are available, and the same logic applies to things like cable and internet too. Simply spending a little bit of time comparing plans and gauging the prices can help you save a huge amount each month.
Get Your Finances Under Control
These are just a few examples of ways in which you might be wasting money each and every day. It all adds up, and even just a few dollars wasted each day can turn into hundreds and thousands as the months and years go by. Then, if ever you find yourself with urgent costs that need to be covered, you'll wish you'd done more to cut down your expenses and save on these needless purchases. Read more articles in the Magical Credit blog to learn more about taking control of your cash and give us a call on 1-877-213-2088 if you need urgent financial help.