Before you reach for that next purchase, it will do you good to consider whether you really, really need it. It never hurts to be thrifty (as long as you get your vitamins and keep the lights running), but not everyone is so good at it, and indeed not everyone wants to do it. Here are few things you are wasting money on and not realizing it. The great thing about them is that you can cut them out of your financial diet without being a complete thrift!
1. Bottled Water
Bottled water is one of the biggest all-time rip-offs. You think your paying for the purity, the vitamins and the minerals, but you are actually just paying for the brand and the transport costs. Tap water is just as good, and the food you eat will give you the vitamins and minerals you need. Take a bottle of tap water with you instead.
2. Famous Brands
For every famous brand, there is an economical brand that does the job just as well. It might not be quite so tasty or quite so useful, and it might not make you look quite as rich and refined, but the money you save in the long run more than makes up for it… and who cares what other people think? One of the few exceptions here are functional purchases, because a good brand here means quality and longevity.
There is practically no-one, who walking down the street, sees a woman wearing no jewelry and actually notices it. Jewelry is just an expensive way of telling other people that you like jewelry, so save it for the special occasions and ignore the temptation to splash out on the carats.
4. Ready Meals
The good thing about ready meals is that they are quick and convenient. But they are always expensive. If you purchase foodstuffs in bulk quantities and avoid the more expensive meats instead of purchasing ready meals, you will save lots of money and eat more healthily too.
Shoes are a guilty pleasure for many of us, and for some reason many of us cannot help but amass as many pairs as possible. You might think that it is not a waste of money purchasing new shoes, but it really is when you have loads of other pairs that will do the job just as well. Only buying shoes when you need to is the way to go. When the time does come to buy a new pair however, you don’t have to avoid the more expensive branded shoes, but you should do your research and see which brands offer the right middle ground between quality and price.
6. Second-Rate Entertainment
It can really help your finances to be a little bit pickier with your entertainment. If you are going to the cinema just for the sake of it and not because there is film that you actually want to see, then you are wasting your money. Is that new AAA game really worth the price-tag?
Public transportation is ludicrously expensive in towns and cities, and especially busy areas with lots of tourists. If your destination is within walking distance, you can save heaps of money if you plan your day a little better and use your legs.
8. Tourist Destinations
Holidaymakers have an incredible gift of wasting hundreds in a mere few weeks or days at a tourist destination. Whenever you travel or go on holiday, don’t get sucked into the standard tourist activities. These are almost always horribly overpriced, and unless it really is an amazing experience, you won’t miss sitting it out. The best things on holiday are free.
9. Retail Furniture
The major retail furniture outlets love to advertise deals and sales events, to make you think you are getting a great deal. But in reality, retail furniture is expensive and hugely marked up. If you need furniture, first check with the classifieds, the online listings and the second-hand stores. If you want new furniture, check will smaller, local furniture retailers and avoid the giants.
10. Premium TV Subscriptions
Premium television is only worth the money if you are a TV fanatic who wants access to the broadest possible range of programming. Online television sites are now a very good alternative to the pricey premium cable and satellite deals – just make sure that you check you are getting the content you want.
11. The Latest Smartphones
There is almost no-one on the face of the planet that needs the sort of power that the latest generation of smartphones have to offer. You want them because you want them, and the tech giants are more than happy to oblige. Contracts are an expensive habit, so pay your phone off and stick with your dinosaur until it breaks.