Money saved is money earned. You could even make the argument that saved money is more valuable than earned money.
Think about it, If you earned an extra $100 a week through your job, you’d be subject to taxes on those earnings. However, if didn’t put in the overtime and simply saved $100 a week out of your budget, you’d get the same result minus the tax obligations.
This guide has 10 proven strategies that will reduce or eliminate current monthly expenditures. When you stop buying these ten things, you could potentially save hundreds per month!
Let’s dig right in.
1: Premium haircuts
There was a story several years ago about a politician who was paying $1,250 per haircut.
Don’t get me wrong, having nice hair and looking presentable is important but is it worth it to spend that much money on your hair?
You’re probably wondering:
What exactly constitutes a premium haircut?
For some men, they may visit the barber shop once every 3 to 6 weeks and spend $20-$30 per visit.
For some women, they may visit a salon several times per year and spend $50-$100+ per visit.
Premium haircuts can cost both men and women hundreds of dollars per year. Here are some ways to reduce or eliminate this expense.
Beauty Schools – Did you know that some beauty schools and barber colleges will allow you to get your haircut for free? At other beauty schools, there could be a small charge. At the local Paul Mitchell school in my area, men’s haircuts are only $5 on Wednesdays.
Do It Yourself – For men, cutting your hair might be as simple as buying some $20 clippers, adjusting the guard and evening up your scalp.
For women, cutting your hair isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Gloria Glam created a YouTube video entitled: Easy way to CUT YOUR OWN HAIR at home! This video has gone viral, gathering over 1.5M YouTube views in just a few months.
Get a Little Help From Your Friends – If you aren’t comfortable with cutting your hair, maybe you have a friend that can help? Even if they aren’t a professionally trained barber or beautician, YouTube is a good resource for them to use as a guide. There are hundreds of videos that show you how to give your friends a haircut.
2: Bottled water
Clean water is a luxury that all of us take for granted. There was an article written several years ago about how bottled water can cost you more than gas.
If you are spending money on bottled water – STOP!
A recent survey said that a majority of people who preferred bottled water did so for health reasons. This reasoning contrasts with experts who suggest that the health differences between bottled and tap are negligible.
If water purity is a concern, a good alternative would be to buy a Brita filter for your faucet.
For those serious about water filtration, the Berkey Water Filtration System is a high-end solution for purified water.
Or you could ditch bottled water altogether and buy a Nalgene bottle and simply fill it up using water from the tap.
3: ATM fees
Your bank likely gives you access to ATMs located all throughout its network. What happens when you visit an ATM outside of your network?
One of my favorite checking accounts is the Discover Cashback Rewards Checking Account from Discover Bank. This account gives you access to over 68,000 ATMs for free. It also gives you 10 cents back on every debit card purchase.
While local banks and credit unions can provide free checking accounts, many do not provide you with the ability to get cash out of other bank’s ATMs without a charge. Discover’s network of ATMs will allow you to take money out of various ATMs at locations near you at no additional charge.
Check out our guide on how to get bank and overdraft fees waived.
4: Cable and satellite TV subscriptions
It’s no secret that millions of Americans are eliminating or reducing their cable and satellite subscriptions to save money on cable bills.
Companies like ESPN have felt the squeeze. The Huffington Post reports that ESPN lost one million subscribers in October and November of 2016.
Consider canceling your cable and satellite subscriptions. If you do require live TV entertainment in your home, you can legally stream many of the channels directly to your TV using a streaming device such as a Roku or an Amazon Fire Stick.
A lot of people are getting the Amazon Fire Stick and buying a Sling TV subscription. Cable and Satellite fees can cost you upwards of $100 per month. Sling TV starts out at $20 per month.
With Sling TV, you can legally stream channels like Comedy Central, CNN, A&E, ESPN and more.
You could also buy the rabbit ears for your TV and watch local programming for free. The antenna will give you access to live local sporting events, local news, and network television shows.
5: Interest on your credit cards
The most obvious way to stop paying interest on credit cards is to look for a balance transfer card. Most balance transfer cards will provide you with an introductory rate of 0%, which will help you reduce your interest payments.
Most balance transfer credit cards will charge you a fee. The Chase Slate card appears to have no balance transfer fees for the first 60 days. It also provides you with 12 months of 0% APR on your balance transfer.
A good strategy would be to pay off the high-interest credit card with a balance transfer from the 0% card, then resolve to pay off the entire balance within 0% introductory period. If you still have a balance outside of the introductory period, you could face interest charges in the 15% to 25% range. Not good.
6: Full price for personal hygiene products
Most personal hygiene products are more marketing fluff than anything. Because of this, the extremely competitive nature of the hygiene aisle in your local grocery store provides you with opportunities to get your favorite products at lower costs.
If you want to get personal hygiene products for free, you’ll probably have to buy brands you normally don’t. You’ll also have to learn how to act quickly because most of these deals don’t last very long.
Start matching coupons up with sales in your local grocery store or pharmacy. Keep an eye out for free offers from manufacturers. Here are a few links to get your started.
Free Gillette Fusion Razor – Gillette has extended its welcome back offer for people who want to get a free Gillette Fusion Razor in return for a little feedback on their competitors. This offer will continue as long as supplies last.
Hunt4Freebies (Health & Hygiene Section) – This is a blog that constantly updates with free product samples, free grocery coupons and free hygiene products that will get mailed directly to your door.
Cuckoo for Coupons – Weekly Coupon Matchup – This blog tells where to get the coupons for products that can be acquired on the cheap (or free). You can get personal hygiene products for free or at a reduced cost.
The Balance Free Samples by Mail – Some of the stuff you can get on this page is unbelievable! There’s free magazines, food and a ton of free hygiene products.
Here are a few links to websites that list free dental hygiene products:
- SampleBuddy – Free Toothpaste Samples
- Scam Free Samples – Free Toothpaste and Mouthwash
- Brushee – Toothbrush Product Testing Application
7: Extended warranties
Most of the products that you buy already have a manufacturers warranty, so why would you spend extra to get an extended warranty?
Do product research before you begin buying new consumer goods. Some tech experts suggest that you should hold off on buying the latest and greatest tech gadgets as soon as they are released.
For example, think about the epidemic of Samsung devices that were catching on fire and exploding in some instances. If consumers had waited, they could have seen a broader picture concerning the various Samsung products that have left the factory defective.
Samsung and retailers promised to refund and/or replace the defective devices.
8: Modem rentals
The next time you get a bill from your Internet service provider, look closely at your itemized statement to see if you are paying a modem rental fee.
This hidden fee can cost you between $5 and $10 per month. If you find that you are paying a modem rental fee, call your internet service provider and ask if you can either provide your own modem or pay a flat amount to buy the modem in your home now.
Let’s be honest; most people will go years without upgrading their modems. Some providers will allow you to bring your own modem from a different provider. Another strategy is to buy one on eBay for a fraction of what your internet service provider will charge you.
Check with your ISP to see which modems are compatible with their network. Once you’ve connected it, you’ll give them the MAC address on the back of the modem, and you will be able to ditch the internet modem rental fee.
It might take six months to a one year for the modem to pay for itself but after that, you’ll be able to pocket the savings.
9: Gym memberships
There are some people that can justify a gym membership as a necessary monthly expense, and that’s okay. If you’re using your gym membership and you are getting value from it, consider keeping it. You may also consider other gyms in your area that might cost you less per month.
If you are paying for a gym membership that you aren’t using, it’s time to pick up the phone and cancel the membership today.
As an alternative, you might even look into building a home gym. There are several YouTube videos to help you get started on working out at home.
Consider the BeFit YouTube channel, which features trainers such as Jillian Michaels, Denise Austin and more. You could also get a free app that helps you stay motivated to run around the block.
Buy some kettlebells on Amazon for $15 and watch FitnessBlender’s YouTube series on kettlebell workouts.
10: Yard work and maintenance on your home
Do you pay someone in your neighborhood to mow your lawn or to perform maintenance on your home? Consider taking the Do It Yourself approach on many of these tasks to see if you can save money.
The best thing about YouTube is that other homeowners have published relatively easy solutions to problems that might cost you hundreds of dollars to have a professional come to your home and diagnose.
Always check online for solutions to your home maintenance problems and only contract a licensed professional whenever it is necessary.
If you are a renter, some of these maintenance tasks may fall on your landlord. Most landlords are flexible. If you offer to fix the problem for them, they may reduce the rent by the cost you paid.
You could also take the same approach if you rent a house or condo. Your landlord could be responsible for mowing the grass. If you can borrow or buy a lawnmower, call your landlord and ask for a rent reduction in return for you providing the lawn care for the property. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Can you think of anything else you can stop paying for?
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