I’m going to be honest, at the beginning of my financial journey, I cut a lot of corners. And while it is sometimes not advised to do so, Being “cheap” – for lack of a better word – has allowed me to uncover the holes in my financial plans. A little investigation into my monthly expenses lead me to discover the magic of reusable items.
I wouldn’t be a helpful blogger – or doing my job – if I kept this information to myself. Because I love you all so much, I have compiled this list of things that eat into your expenses. Here are 5 examples.
Sponges and paper towels.
Paper towels are the biggest waste of funds. You purchase a pack for 2 – 5 dollars every few weeks, and before you know it, you are pinching pennies by the end of your payment period. (I know that this may seem a little dramatic, but allow me to show you a simple calculation).
On the conservative end, let’s say that you purchase paper towels every week for one year, and it only costs 2 dollars.
2 x 52 weeks = 104 dollars every year.
This money could be allocated towards saving, investing in the stock market, or any other thing in the world that is more important than buying paper that you will eventually throw away.
Instead, I buy reusable sponges and washcloths. These ones are a favorite of mine because they are so low cost (some as low as $1!!), and last for a very long time. The beauty in these lie in the fact that when you need a new one, all you have to do is throw it in the wash with your clothes.
There is this myth that you need pine sol, bleach, or lysol to disinfect your surfaces at home.
This only forces you to throw your hard earned cash towards potentially harmful chemicals. My biggest saving grace has been this cleaner because you get a large bottle for around 15 dollars, and it lasts months! It serves as a cleaner, body wash and hair wash (if you’re into that). You have to dilute it with water, which plays a role in why it lasts so long, and it cleans just as well as your everyday cleaning chemicals.
Hair stylists and cuts.
This is not on the list to put hair stylists out of work, but may I be honest? They’re frickin’ expensive! Some could have you paying up to $30 per session! How often do people get haircuts? That math hurts my feelings…
And Do not get me started on paying for braided hairstyles! This money could be used to buy your own clippers and learn to style hair on your own. Another way to save (if you cannot resist your stylist or barber), is to stretch your styles. This means wait a little bit longer to get a refresh on your regimen with the stylist.
Daily coffee from Starbucks.
Who actually has money to spend at Starbucks everyday? Not I…nothing against Starbucks personally. I love an occasional caramel apple spice with whip. However, $5 per day is a hefty price to pay for a simple caffeine fix.
My strategy for avoiding the caffeine tax is buying my own coffee beans, and brewing them myself. There are local coffee shops everywhere that have coffee selections way cheaper than Starbucks.
There are even affordable K-cup and ground bean options online for a fraction of the price. This can literally save you hundreds of dollars! I discovered my personal favorite while I was in Hawaii for my anniversary in 2018. I fell in love with Oahu Islands local coffee brand. It was so rich and pure, like everything in Hawaii.
Some local coffee shops will even grind the coffee for you! This not only saves money on coffee in the long run, but it also keeps you from having to buy a complete coffee making set.
There are a few cons to buying pre-packaged foods. What are they?
- They have small portions, and may leave you needing another meal. This could cause you to spend extra cash to fill in the cash.
- The ingredients are not always the best. A lot of packed foods (besides frozen foods and veggies), have a large number of ingredients listed on the back of the package, as well as a large amount of sodium. You have little to no control over what is put in these foods.
- They are expensive! You could legitimately buy the ingredients fresh to make the same meal yourself for a fraction of the price, and end up with 2-3 times the amount that you would get pre-packaged.
These are a few things that I tend to steer clear from with my money. I had been buying all of these things without realizing the hole it was burning in my pockets! For other relevant money saving content, check out another post on saving money.
What are some things that you would never purchase, and do you have any ideas for re-usable or cheaper alternatives?
Thanks for reading and be sure to leave any feedback below. I’ll see you in the next post!