A lot of people lament that life is expensive. That’s a pretty bad attitude. And life actually isn’t that expensive. I mean, even people who have a negative net worth still drive fairly modern cars, carry mobiles and have a television.
This post discusses the various expenses people can avoid. If you think life is expensive, this list will make things more affordable. Let’s get going.
Driving like a Maniac
I know so many people who complain about the price of petrol – while they drive with a lead foot. It’s so ridiculous! If you don’t like spending money on fuel, learn how to spend less on fuel. Here’s how you spend less on fuel… you stop the need to use so much of it. That’s easily done by not driving around so fast. Much of your fuel economy is based on your driving habits.
I recently read my car’s owner’s manual the other day. Inside, it told a person how to obtain the highest fuel mileage. It was pretty common sense really. It applies to all internal combustion engine automobiles. It said to smoothly get up to speed and then keep a constant speed. For highway use, it recommends 55 MPH as being the most fuel efficient speed.
Yes, if you want to spend less on petrol, drop your habit of driving around town like you’re in a Hollywood action movie. You’re not. You’re going to the grocery store. To pick up groceries. No need to speed.
Paying for Haircuts if You Get a Simple Cut
This applies especially to men. If your barber has you in and out of that chair in 10 minutes, you can do the haircut yourself. Cutting your hair at home is easy. And more people do it than you probably guess. It’s best to get a girlfriend or a close friend to cut it. But if you don’t feel like doing that, you can cut it yourself. Just get a good set of clippers and a mirror and a little self confidence.
Assuming that you must visit the barber is a mistake. Challenge that habit. Cut the hair yourself. You may even find that it looks better since you will be the artist, if you will.
Buying Bottled Water
The one is obvious. Yes, buying bottled water is convenient but it is rarely necessary. By all means, if you’re dehydrated, buy the water. Who cares about cost. But if you’re leaving the house for more than an hour, take a refillable water bottle with you. You can drink it to your heart’s content. Mother Earth will thank you as well.
Throwing Away Food
I just don’t throw food away. It feels wrong to me. It is wrong. If you’re in the habit of never finishing your food, challenge it. Why don’t you finish? Do you not like the food? Are you bad at knowing how much you’ll eat? Do you not like to-go containers at restaurants? Whatever it is, stop it. Bonus: Some foods taste even better reheated.
Going with the First Estimate
Some people agree to agreements without shopping around first. They pick the first person to come along, even without asking around. It pays to get a few estimates before you hire someone. I’m not saying to go with your cheapest option. But wouldn’t you feel like a fool if the guy you hired did a poor job and you overpaid? That happens to people all the time. You don’t want to be that person.
Before hiring someone, ask around a little. Find who the best person is for the amount you’re willing to spend. There’s usually a middle price you can target. That middle price offers the best value. It’s kind of like buying a Lexus over a Ferrari. Sure a Ferrari may be more luxurious… but at what cost?
Keeping Your Old Possessions
Quit being so sentimental. Sell what you don’t use. My uncle gave me a toy car when I was 10 years of age. My dad saw me listing it on eBay. He thought I was being money hungry by selling the car. But really, what was I supposed to do? Keep a toy car forever and ever until I eventually die and it gets chucked in a landfill? I believe my uncle gave me the car to make me happy. It gathering dust in the attic was not making me happy. Selling it would make me happy. Thus, I sold it. And someone in Argentina is loving that little car.
Not Doing Comparison Shopping
When you want to buy a product, especially something sold online, shop around a little. There are online tools out there that show the price of the item all around the web. For a mere 2-minute investment, you can find a site that has your desired item for less. If you save $10, isn’t that worth 2 minutes? I think so. That’s a fantastic hourly rate!
Challenge It All
We all have expensive habits. But we can also challenge them. There are very few purchases we make in life that are mandatory. Everything else is at risk of being cut or slashed. What will you challenge?
Will Lipovsky is a personal finance freelance writer and internet marketer. His most embarrassing moment has been saying to a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.” You can get in touch with Will at FirstQuarterFinance.com.