We all know that familiar feeling of dread that washes over us as we open our banking app. You know, the dread knowing that once again, we've spent too much on something which seemingly sits unused in our cabinet.
Having disposable income brings out the child in many of us. It gives us a shiny, new toy to flaunt in front of our co-workers and family. It's easy to tell ourselves that tomorrow is a new day and come home with an enormous Lego set that we justify as an essential purchase when that is clearly not true.
Chinese, Indian, Mexican... these words are deeply ingrained in the minds of young Millenials. And we're not talking about nationalities here either, but rather which culture's cuisine to devour tonight.
Whether you order through a restaurant or dine in, eating food prepared by a chef is a surefire way to rack up a huge bill. Now more than ever, young Americans are choosing to eat out rather than cook homemade meals.
So next time you get scolded by your mother for not knowing how to cook, it's only because she cares about you. Investing in a cookbook will save you a lot of crisp Benjamins in the long run.
Think about it for a second: do you really need that newest smartphone? Unless you're an avid tech enthusiast, the costs seldom justify the small hardware improvement from having a new phone every year. If you're still dead set on getting the latest phone, consider selling your current one and buying refurbished.
Heating bill this month looking a bit over the top?
Your house insulation might not be as effective as you think. Often an overlooked aspect, insulation can keep cold air out and warm air in. The science of thermodynamics is so wonderful.
Consider investing in airtight windows. They are not very expensive and will save you money in the long run.
You know those vintage shops you see when you're out and about? You can find all kinds of fashion gems inside, and best of all, they're usually cheap.
Even though they may be known for their low prices, department stores like H&M use this as a way of enticing overspending. Since it's fast fashion, you'll likely be buying new clothes in a few months anyway, creating a vicious spending cycle.
Buying vintage or used online can be a surprisingly fun adventure. And if you're lucky, some generous folks often sell unused designer clothes at a significantly reduced price online.
When you see that new makeup palette at Sephora that perfectly fits your aesthetic, it can be a real struggle to abstain from buying it. Likewise, a cream that claims to fix fine lines overnight may sound like the holy grail, but it's likely just marketing.
Keep it simple when it comes to skincare and makeup. A cleanser, moisturizer, and foundation may be all you need to feel bold and beautiful.
When Gillette patented the multi-blade design, it marked the beginning of a never-ending price hike on razors. But shaving can be done cheaper, much cheaper. Remember those vintage razors with a single blade that your grandfather would use? For a small one-time investment on a good quality razor, you can have shaving on the cheap for years to come. A single blade costs a few cents, and they even cause less irritation than multiple blades!
While it's not wise to gamble on whether your gallon of milk is spoiled or not, some expiration dates are simply there to entice the customer to buy more. A good rule of thumb is that the drier the food is, the longer it's likely to last.
Expiration dates on cosmetics can be finicky, as some formulas can breakdown after a certain time, which is why it's important not to open products until they can be used.
If you're not a foodie, try shopping for groceries when you're in a hungry state. You'll notice that suddenly, everything looks and smells like red velvet cake. Purchases that you'd usually hesitate to make suddenly compel you, almost as if they can telepathically persuade you.
It's important to have a full stomach before going to your local supermarket, as hunger can cloud your judgment and make you overspend.
When you're tired and barely sober in the early mornings, it can be a tremendous task to cut the ingredients by yourself. As tempting as it is it buy individually wrapped bread or cheese, the price hike adds up faster than you'd think. So next time you're out grocery shopping, resist the temptation to add those beautiful, sublime slices of Swiss cheese to your cart and opt for the whole wheel. Always.
Forgot your charger? Or is it simply hiding somewhere in your room? Small household items can be lost in the abyss if your rooms are messy. One, two, three chargers… they all add up eventually.
Keep your house clean and put stuff where you can remember, and your annual spending budget will thank you.
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