If you’re trying to pinch pennies, there may be a few everyday things you’re wasting money on and you don’t even realize it. It’s easy to cut back on buying expensive items but what about the little things you may be losing money on. From food to retirement, here are a few things to watch out for.
Not buying used
Cars are one of our biggest expenses. They are also one of the worst investments. As soon as a new car is driven off the lot, it loses 11% of its value. Even a slightly used vehicle can save you a lot of money. Getting a short-term loan you can pay off quickly will also help you save money on high-interest payments. Buying open-box or refurbished electronics can also save you some green.
Steer clear of pre-cut foods
Pre-cut fruit and vegetables may save you time in the kitchen but they aren’t saving you any money. When you buy pre-packaged bags of lettuce or pre-cut fruit cups, you’re paying for the convince and packaging. Buying the heads of lettuce or whole fruit and diving them up into smaller containers, will save you money in the long run.
Pack your own lunch
Eating lunch out can cost anywhere from $5-$15 a day. That can quickly add up to a big chunk of change when you do it every weekday for an entire year. If you’re also buying coffee every morning, you can add an additional $2-$6 a day. Bringing your own lunch and brewing your own cup of coffee will add up to real savings.
Stop giving in to impulse buys
The ease of online shopping from our smartphones has taken impulse buying to a new level. While it used to be packs of gum at the grocery store, we’re now able to buy high ticket items in a couple of clicks from our phones. One easy tip is to put yourself on a 24-hour waiting period. Many retailers offer the option to put something in your shopping cart or wishlist to purchase later. If you don’t care about it after 24-hours then you probably don’t need it.
Take advantage of 401(K) matches
Not taking advantage of your employers 401K matching program is like literally leaving free money on the table. If your employer offers a 401K matching program, they’ll match your contributions up to a certain percent. This is free money that can quickly increase your retirement funds. If you haven’t enrolled yet, start now. The longer you contribute the more money you’ll be saving.