While building a solid emergency fund, buying a home, saving to retire early, or paying off debt, you may unknowingly be self sabotaging your financial goals.
Read below to see if you do any of these common but costly financial habits. If so, learn ways to stop doing them so you can reach your financial goal much sooner.
1. Buying Bottled Water
Getting your recommended daily amount of water exclusively in bottled form can easily cost more than $1,000 per year, as compared with about 50 cents per year for just-as-healthy tap water. If your tap water has a chlorine flavor, try refrigerating it overnight before drinking. Consider purchasing a double walled insulated re-usable water bottle. They came in all shapes and sizes and these days are very affordable, depending on the size you prefer. I take one with me everytime i get into the car whether it's for work, errands or to visit friends and family. Having one of these will leave you less likely to purchase a water bottle or an unhealthy drink when you find yourself thirsty while out and about.
2. Grocery Shopping While Hungry or Unprepared
Grocery shopping here and there for things you haven’t planned to buy adds up. If you ever find yourself discarding untouched food, there’s a good chance that your grocery planning could be more detailed. This way, you don’t end up with too many or too few ingredients. Planning also helps you take advantage of sales and discounts. Take time to plan out the meals you will cook and how you’ll allocate leftovers every week. Purchase foods that can work and play together. For example a bag of tortillas can be used for mulitple meals - breakfast burritos, fajitas, quesadillas and bean & cheese burritos. You can often find ways to streamline when you plan.
3. Buying Coffee
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed globally and it comes to no surprise that people have made it part of their daily routine. Unfortunately, a lot of people obtain their cup-of-joe from coffee shops like Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. Based on an article called, How Much Can You Save by Brewing Coffee at Home written by Financial Freedom Now, they state:
"The average price of an espresso-based coffee drink in the US is $2.45 per 9 ounces. If you switched from five 16 oz. espresso-based drinks a week to five 16 oz. cups of coffee with cream and sugar brewed at home we estimate that you would save $936 per year - enough for a small vacation."
Wow, that is a nice chunk of change! So what are your options? Well, you can stop drinking coffee (highly unlikely for most of us) or make your coffee at home.
A pound of ground coffee can make approximately 30- 10oz cups of joe. With the average cost of ground coffee being $8.50 per pound, it would cost you 28cents per 10oz cup of coffee. The savings is huge!
4. Social Spending
It’s often tempting to increase your social spending, whether it is to spruce up your house or to attend more happy hours. We have a tendency to assume that we should be able to afford the same lifestyle as our peers, but it’s important to remember that everyone has different financial situations and goals. You know your own limits, so take charge of how you spend socially. If happy hour is getting too pricey, invite friends over for BYOB drinks.
5. Buying and Re-Buying Low-Quality Essentials
When strapped for cash, people often turn to the easiest and cheapest option. However, with items like shoes, furniture, or even linens, that isn’t always the best idea. For less than double the price, you can get higher-quality essentials that will last you for years. By contrast, many “fast fashion” clothing pieces and similar quality home products can wear out quickly.
Practice waiting and saving to buy a higher quality version of the item. By going for the first bargain you find, you’ll often spend more money constantly replacing or repairing it. Streamline your purchases and buy multi-purpose items that can serve you well in many situations. For example, a good-quality, sharp set of knives that come with a knife sharpener can be used for years before they begin to wear out.