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2017 and is here, and with a New Year comes new resolutions. I’ve spread my focus thin over the past six months beginning when I established 30 goals on my 30th birthday, so I won’t be making a list of personal resolutions for 2017. However, the holiday season has gotten me thinking about how I can stop wasting money. It’s tough to acknowledge, but I have been far more wasteful with my spending habits over the past three months.
After much thought, I present the following 5 ways to stop wasting money and achieve your financial goals sooner. I hope they will help you and me to be wiser with our spending in 2017!
5 Tips to Stop Wasting Money in 2017
1. Brew Your Own Coffee
Coffee is inexpensive to purchase yourself, yet its price skyrockets when you pay Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or the local coffeehouse to brew it for you. At minimum, a cuppa Joe on the go will cost over $1, while the same cup brewed at home will cost pennies.
2. Minimize Shipping Costs When Shopping Online
Yesterday, I ordered a complete set of seven Star Wars movie posters for our nearly-finished theater room. I shopped for the best deal I could find online, and when it came time to checkout, I was faced with many shipping options. In the end, I chose free shipping because I thought ahead in advance and ordered my items before I actually needed them.
While online shopping is simple and time efficient, it is often more costly because many people elect to pay a fortune in shipping costs in order to receive their items within 1-3 days. By shopping in advance, or taking advantage of Amazon Prime which comes with free two-day shipping on thousands of items, you can stop wasting money on shipping costs.
3. Skip Expensive, High-Calorie Appetizers
I enjoy greasy appetizer platters just as much as the next guy, but at $8 and nearly 3000 calories, I nearly always regret my indulgence. Sure, $8 won’t make me significantly richer; no, I won’t likely nickle-and-dime my way into developing a million dollar investment portfolio. But I can stop wasting money on appetizers by acknowledging that I have better options. And besides, appetizers generally leave me unable to finish my meal without a strong effort.
4. Cancel Your Newspaper Subscription
Currently, my wife and I pay for a Sunday subscription to The Chicago Tribune. Shameful confession time: the edition from last Sunday is still sitting at the end of our driveway as I write this on a Wednesday. I may as well just burn my subscription fee every month, as I’m clearly not reading the paper.
Like any good American, I find my news from the most trustworthy source: my Facebook NewsFeed.
In all seriousness, I need to stop wasting money on a newspaper that I do not read, especially when free news is available online. My sources of choice have long been The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press, both of which are available via mobile app.
5. Stop Buying Lottery Tickets and Betting
My thoughts on the lottery system are very divided. On one hand, proceeds from the lottery in my home state of Illinois support education and indirectly pay my teacher salary. On the other, I know that dozens of my dear friends are wasting their money on a daily or weekly basis. I myself have only indulged in NCAA basketball tournament pools, which is admittedly different than the lottery (I also won the entire tournament and collected $900, but I digress. . .), but I plan to stop that this year, as well.
While a potential big payday is theoretically always just one ticket purchase or bet away, the odds of winning are microscopically small. In my opinion, the lottery system offers false hope to the hopeless; it is essentially a tax on the poor. Stop wasting money on lottery tickets and use the money saved to invest in index funds.
Saving Money Can Be Easy
Finally, if you’re looking for a helpful, easy way to ensure that you save the money you are no longer wasting in 2017, look no further! I use Digit to save money automatically each month towards upcoming purchases. In the fall, we used our savings to travel to Las Vegas for a much needed vacation! I can’t recommend the app enough, particularly for those who are prone to overspending.Open your own Digit savings account for free today!
What are the primary ways you need to stop wasting money in 2017? How have you wasted money in the past?