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Top Money Wasters

Top Money Wasters… All those little coffee purchases add up! Ever think about how much money you’re throwing away?  When times start to get tough, people start to cut back on discretionary spending. But rather than deny themselves some of those simple pleasures, they tend to look for cheaper alternatives. Today I’d like you to take a moment and think about how much money you’re dropping on coffee in the course of a work day. If you are spending $5 a day on coffee at work, then that’s $100 a month. Over the course of a year, that’s $1200. For many people, that’s a week on a beach in Aruba.

You can make your own delicious cup of coffee quite cheaply. For example, a can of Hills Brothers medium roast coffee is under $5 at any local grocery store.  You can splurge on the really good stuff if you have a coupon (remember we’re trying to live more frugal).  But Hills Bros. is pretty good for the cost.  Use 18% cream (not 10% coffee cream) and you can have a cup that will be at least as good as the big expensive place on the corner if not better.

What else do you waste money on?  Besides your Cafe-Mocha-Frappa-Whatever coffee, what else do you buy that you really don’t need?  For lots of women out there, it’s beauty care.  To some extent, those trips to the salon and spa are necessary, but admittedly, we can over-indulge and over spend in this area.  Is this a problem area for you as well.  I bring it up because I used to have a friend who had a hard time paying her rent every single month.  When I finally sat down with her to look at her budget and spending habits, we learned that she was prioritizing getting her hair highlighted over paying her rent.  At $300 a pop, my friend had to come to terms that she would have to find another way to treat her hair with fake sun streaks.  Now, I’m not saying the ocassional trip to the salon isn’t o.k. but spend within your means.  If you can’t afford a $300 hair session, then now is just not the time ..and move on.  If it’s come down to you not being able to pay your rent or get your hair done, it’s definitely beyond time to re-prioritize your spending!   I know, to some women, the hair and nails are everything.  Well, consider some alternatives to help you save some money and still look good.  Have a hair party.  Buy some “tint it yourself” packages and do your own hair at home.  You can also save a little here and there by returning to the salon less.  For example, set an appointment every 2-3 months instead of every month.

If you need to get your nails done, instead of spending a fortune for the fake acrylic nails that have to be re-based every 2 weeks, opt in for the more frugal and easy to manage, all natural nails.  There’s nothing wrong with the finger nails you were born with.  Why waste your money on something that you already have.   There are definitely cheaper alternatives when it comes to your manicure.  You can even go a step further and start doing your own nails at home.  Have fun with it.  Invite a few close friends over and have a nail and hair party.  As you learn to create your new family budget as you go, this is a great solution to watching your spending.
Are you a sucker for fast food?  Surveys and market research shows that young adults, and especially men, have a spendy weakness when it comes to splurging on fast food.  When they’re out working or running around, they get hungry, they drive up to Burger King or Taco Bell, and they spend!  The average person spends about $180 per month eating fast food.  And that’s per person.  Market research shows that Americans spend more on fast food each year than books, eduaction, cars, REAL FOOD, video games, and pets – combined! I don’t know about you, but that’s a little motivation for me.  I love Taco Bell, but I’m not willing to give them $200 a month for those burritos.  I’ll hold back and limit myself to those cheesy treats just to save some money.

Think of all the little things that you may be wasting money on.  What’s your weakness?  Do you waste a lot of money on alcohol?  Cigarettes?  Are you a smoker?  If you live in New York City, those cigarettes are now costing you about $8.00 per pack since the new tax hike.  Health officials hail the tax increase as a success. Cigarette taxes will raise a total of $1.3 billion for the state in one year alone.  Are you paying?  How much of your money is going towards habits like these?  How much do you think it’s already cost you and how much more will you spend?

“Isn’t that something — to say that I’m excited about a tax increase? But I am,” said Dr. Richard Daines, the New York health commissioner. “This is a public health victory. We know one of the really effective tools to get people off of their nicotine addiction is to the raise the price.”

Smokers will be paying $2.75 per pack in state taxes, a jump from the previous tax of $1.50. Before the new tax, the average price of a pack of cigarettes was $5.82 statewide, and about $8 a pack in New York City, which levies its own taxes, Daines said. The new retail price for a pack of cigarettes in New York City could now soar past $10. ..Ouch!

What are you wasting your money on?  When it comes to living more frugal, you have to be honest.  You have to be honest with yourself, your family, and your finances.  It doesn’t take much to pull you off your money game.  Don’t let the little things keep you from your full financial potential.

Top Money Wasters:
fancy $5 coffees
fast food
alcoholic drinks
beauty care
dining out
buying retail/brand names
impulse purchases
excessive shopping

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