Everyone has a financial goal in their life to achieve, like buying a home, a new car or saving for retirement life. And only a few of us able to achieve it but a majority of us failed in the process.
Why we fail then? We all look at only the bigger things which have more impact on our financial goals like house rent, school fees, medical insurance, etc. But we neglect small things which will have more impact in the long run.
Let’s look at some of the expensive habits which we need to break right away for a peaceful and debt-free life.
Smoking is one of the hardest habits to quit but if you are able to reduce it, you can save a lot of money in the long term.
According to WalletHub, Americans spend more than $300 billion a year on smoking habits, and on average NewYorker spends $2,330,381 on smoking during their lifetime.
That’s huge money you see. The best solution is Stop Smoking which not only improves your health and also helps in savings. But we know it’s difficult. Still can save some of that.
Suppose you are burning out a packet of cigarettes each day, you can slowly start reducing the counts or go for the alternatives like e-cigarettes.
2. Eating in Restaurants
We all love eating out in our favorite restaurants for varieties of food available, taste or just to hang out with your friends. It’s ok if you have it twice a month or rarely. But eating out will be a big burden if you have it daily or regularly.
Say for example if you want to make Chicken curry and you buy 1 kg of raw chicken it costs only ₹ 160 and plus some preparation charges ₹100. Totally adds to just ₹350.
But if you have a chicken curry in a hotel it costs close to ₹200 for just 200g chicken. That’s a huge saving you see. So try to avoid eating out as it helps in your savings and also helps in having healthier food.
According to research, 90% of Americans don’t want to cook and end up paying $2,500 a year for their lunch.
3. Buying things which you don’t require
Festival time has arrived and you see a lot of discount offers being thrown either in e-commerce websites or shops. And your mind starts jumping around and starts scrolling around the items in your e-commerce app or visiting your favorite shop.
Then suddenly you see some items with a huge discount say 60% or 50%. Then without realizing you buy those items which are not at all required for you at that time.
So it is very very important to buy what is really required for you at that time. Your requirements should be controlled by you not by any external influencers. Because somebody is telling you to buy you don’t have to buy.
If you buy those items it will be in your home sitting ideally without any value and as the days progress its lifespan decreases and finally goes to the dump.
So think many times before buying anything.
4. Wasting food
It is one of the topmost expensive habits we all have in us.
It was Sunday and you are so excited and prepared varieties of meat and fish and had a wonderful lunch. Then at night, you are in a mood to have a simple dinner and have good sleep. Then you realized that there is a lot of food which is leftover from lunch.
But you are not ready to have those and the next morning, as usual, it goes to the garbage. And if you have that practice of preparing more food and having less, than it’s going to have a big hole in your pocket.
In India, people waste food as much as the United Kingdom consumes, that’s a lot of food. For a developing country like India, where some people are still struggling to have one meal per day, so wasting food is really an expensive habit.
So, plan before you start preparing the food, like for how many people, for how many times, whether am I going to prepare twice instead one time. These preparations will help you to control the wastage of foods and helps in your savings.
5. Wasting groceries especially vegetable and fruits
Generally, we all have the habit of buying vegetables/fruits for a week or twice and other items for a month. Do we really plan ahead for this, some of us “Yes” and some of us “No”. If you are yes, that’s awesome but if you are no then we need some planning.
This happened to me many times, once I bought some vegetables and fruits for two weeks. But in the back of my mind, I know that I’ll be on a personal trip for the 2nd week. Without realizing it, I made purchases for two weeks.
So in the 2nd week either I need to give it somebody or put it in the garbage as it becomes rotten before I come back.
So, plan as per availability and rate of usability. It’s not only for vegetables and fruits even for other items which have some expiry dates.
Also, don’t pick multiple items that you want to try and also don’t pick them more. Try it with one item at a time and with a small quantity. Later, if you like it you can have it more. And if you don’t like it, you can try the other item. This way you can reduce your budget for groceries.
6. Paying the fees but not using
The new year started and this year’s resolution for you is to reduce your weight. Like many of us, you join a gym for an annual membership(as you will have a huge discount compared to monthly or quarterly).
The next one month like army men you go to the gym regularly and as the days progress you yourself makes some excuses to not go to the gym. And finally, at the end of the year, you realized you used the gym for just 10% of the amount you have paid.
It’s not only about the gym, other cases like joining music class, dance class, and some other people take some medical check-up for annual but they never checked it.
So think twice or ask questions to yourself before you paid it
Am I going to use it for the complete year?
Is it really beneficial?
Based on the answer you opt for something like monthly payment rather than annual because you can decide the latter also.
Think before you start your bike or car, whether it is really required to use them for this. You can opt for a walk if its short distance or you can use public transport like buses or trains. With this, you can save fuel costs, parking charges, or toll charges and also help in reducing emissions from your vehicle.
If it’s a daily routine transport you are using, you can join with your friends or colleagues who are using the same route or go for shared cab services which are very cheap compared to using your own vehicle.
In the long-term, you will save a lot of money from fuel savings.
8. Wasting electricity
While writing this post I realized how much energy I am wasting.
In one of my rooms, lights are switched on while nobody is there. In the hall, television is running and nobody is watching it. While my mobile has been on the charger for more than 2 hours.
Some of you also may be doing the same thing and we all neglect these things. The only solution for solving the problem is to develop the habit of switching off things which we are not using or switching off after the work is done.
Because we usually have the habits of neglecting the details of the electricity bill for a month on month basis. And if you solve the above problem you will see a lot of changes in your monthly bills and in the long run, you will save a lot of dollars.
9. Not paying and tracking your bills on time
Many of us use credit cards for our day to day life but most of us don’t track our credit card statement. And we end up paying interest and late fees for the same.
Credit card interest and late fees are always on the higher side. It will have a huge impact on your savings and also your credit score.
We also forget to pay or track our other bills like a mobile, insurance policy, car insurance, and end paying those with late fees or an increase in the premium. Sometimes we may have to take a day off from our to visit those places for paying the bills. That’s a waste of leave and extra money from our pocket.
So start tracking all your bills from the start of the month itself. If possible use auto payment of those bills because even if you forget, the bills will be paid on time.
We all love hanging up with our friends especially for the social drink because we love talking when some alcohol is inside our body. The worst part of drinking is we end up drinking more than we planned. Which results in more money to flow out of our pocket.
While drinking it’s not only about the money we pay for the drinks there are other costs which are involved like the side dish, using cab services, food after drinks, etc., So if you have the habit of drinking regularly then there’s huge money being spent out of your pocket.
So to avoid those situations, try to reduce your drinking days which helps in saving your wealth as well as your health.
11. Not bargaining or negotiating
Everybody has this habit of buying things without bargaining or negotiating. We need to value the product or things with respect to the cost.
You should always ask these questions,
Is it worth this money?
Can I check with any other shop? Or
Can I wait for some more time till it reaches my budget?
Don’t pay what the shopkeeper asks, do evaluate and have a bargaining habit so that you will end up buying with little savings.
Once you start cultivating this habit, your evaluation for a product will most probably on the right side. In the long-term, you always end up buying the right product at the right price.
So, you have read some of the expensive habits which we all need to break to have a peaceful and debt-free life.
Do comment your thoughts or add some more tips on expensive habits, so we all can learn from that.