Stop Wasting Money With These 5 Tips

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Get your finances off on the right foot this year and stop wasting money! These 5 tips will help you spend wisely and boost your happiness!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 ofย 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 useย 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?


14 thoughts on “Stop Wasting Money With These 5 Tips

  1. Yesterday I picked up the newspaper at my inlaws’ house and took it in for them. There was nothing to it…maybe 30 pages and Raleigh is not a small town. I really don’t think there’s much to newspaper subscriptions anymore. (The FB feed comment had me snorting coffee through my nose, thanks for that!)

    1. It really is pitiful, isn’t it? My dad used to read the newspaper cover to cover when I was kid, but he cancelled his subscription a while ago in disgust.

  2. Happy new year to you FSH and best wishes for 2017. Great NY resolutions for reducing the spend by a few more dollars every week. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know when I say every bit counts. If you want to find out how much you’ll be saving as a result of cutting back on those store-bought coffees, newspapers, and lotto tickets that never win, Google the ‘latte calculator’. It’ll tell you how much all of those small expences could be worth if invested instead of spent, over 10 years. Pretty mindblowing actually.

    As for the nice coffee, we splashed out on a Nespresso machine (at clearance sale pricing of course) and now a cup of great coffee costs us 0.75c a cup instead of 3 to 4 bucks. I know you can make it even cheaper in a plunger but we reckon 75c is pretty good value.

    1. I have seen the “latte calculator” – simply mind-blowing. My wife received a Keurig as a Christmas gift. I’m not all that excited about it, but it will keep her away from Dunkin and Starbucks a bit more. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. One tip for the Keurig Hero – get one of the reusable “cups” to put the coffee grounds in so you don’t have to buy the little plastic ones. Both my kids have Keurigs and love them – but they buy bulk ground coffee and reuse a little plastic cup rather than buying the throw away ones ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Yes! I passed for the most part! If you count fantasy football under betting I might be cheating. Has worked out well over the last 5 years though.

    Unused subscriptions confuse the hell out of me. The guy sitting next to me at work paid 900/year for 2 years for a bus pass……and drove every day!

  4. Home-brewed coffee’s the best, anyway. Ours comes courtesy of a $10 French Press using the cheapest possible grounds from Costco, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I’d be lost without my WSJ subscription!

    What’s this Facebook News thing everybody’s talking about? I thought that was fake.

    Thanks for the laugh, Hero!

    1. I haven’t tried to navigate the intricacies of the French Press, FL, but I may have to try. I’ve started drinking my coffee 100% black for the past several weeks, and a new twist might be fun.

      When I was a bachelor, I spent a dizzying monthly sum on coffee at Starbucks. When the baristas started to remember my name, I suspected I had a problem, which my bank statement quickly confirmed. That money is being put to much better use these days, fortunately.

  5. Love your tips and like you, I hate paying shipping fees. Some stores will ship to you for free if you order online merchandise when at the store (Pier 1, Bed Bath Beyond and Kohls are three I know of).

    Try brewing coffee with an Aeropress. It’s like a French press without the mess. I used it for a long time until I began scalding myself doing the upside down method. Mr. Groovy wants me to get a Kuerig but I’m too cheap to use K-cups.

    1. Great tip on the free shipping at Kohl’s, Mrs. Groovy; I had no idea!

      I haven’t heard of an Aeropress, but a bit of research has me intrigued. I think I have an item on my birthday wish list already!

  6. I agree with Financial Libre, a french press is the only way to go! Great post, FS, I’m actually doing ok with these ones. I agree with AE on the Fantasy Football, fortunate that my winnings in one league covered my losses in the other this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Mystery Money Man’s vote seals the deal – I need to get a french press. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Anytime you have a hobby, like fantasy football, which ends up remaining cost neutral, I think you’re doing pretty well. If only I could find a way to get paid for running, playing basketball, and watching sports. . .

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