Quit Wasting Money on These 5 Things in 2024

Ah, January. The month of fresh starts, gym memberships that gather dust by February, and a burning desire to shed the financial baggage of the year past. We’ve all been there, vowing to ditch the fancy takeout and become budgeting gurus. But hey, let’s be real—sometimes good intentions need a little nudge in the right direction.

That’s where we come in, your financial advisors, on a mission: To make your 2024 wallet a little fatter. Today, we’re tackling FIVE sneaky money drains that have a habit of hiding in plain sight. Think of them as the financial gremlins eating away your hard-earned cash—the sooner we expose them, the faster we can send them packing!

1. Unnecessary Dining Out and Takeout

One of the biggest expenses that many people overlook is eating out or ordering takeout. Eating out is a delightful experience, but it can quickly devour your budget. While it may seem like a small expense, the cost of eating out can add up quickly. Instead of always eating out, try cooking at home. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also healthier. You can save even more money by planning your meals in advance and buying groceries in bulk.

Meal Planning Made Easy:
Start small by planning a few meals each week. You don’t need to be Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen; simple recipes and bulk cooking can be your best friends. Plus, the satisfaction of preparing your meals is a bonus.

2. Unused Subscriptions

Now, let’s talk about those sneaky monthly subscriptions that quietly siphon money from your account. You know, the ones you sign up for and then forget about. Whether it’s a gym membership, a streaming service, or a newsletter subscription, these costs can add up quickly. Don’t get us wrong, entertainment is essential, but do we really need all those subscriptions?

Take a look at your bank statements and identify any subscriptions that you’re not using. Cancel them and put that money towards your financial goals instead.

Take a Subscription Inventory:
Go through your credit card and bank statements and make a list of all subscriptions you currently pay for. Be sure to note the cost and frequency of the charge. You may uncover a few surprises!

For each subscription, ask yourself if you’re really getting value from it. For a gym membership, calculate how often you actually go per month. For a streaming service, check when you last watched something. If you haven’t used it in months, it’s fair game to cancel. You can always restart services later if needed.

Call or go online to cancel subscriptions that aren’t proving useful. Be sure to check when the next billing cycle starts; you want to cancel in time to avoid being charged again. You’d be surprised at how cleaning up subscriptions frees up a lot of funds that you can put towards other goals instead!

3. Impulse Purchases and Boredom Spending

It’s easy to make impulse buys when you’re out shopping or bored scrolling online. Whether it’s a new pair of shoes or a fancy coffee drink, these purchases can be costly. To avoid impulse purchases, try sticking to a budget. Make a list of the things that you need to buy and stick to it.

Create a Shopping Strategy:
Here’s a secret weapon against impulse buying: Delay and Distract. Before hitting “checkout,” set a timer for at least 24 hours. Use that time to find similar items locally, or simply get outside and clear your head. It will surprise you how frequently the urge to purchase disappears!

4. Interest Charges and Fees

If you have credit card debt or other high-interest loans, make it a priority to pay them off as soon as possible. Carrying a credit card balance or missing payments can lead to expensive fees that chip away at your bottom line. Late fees, annual credit card fees, and overdraft charges also add up.

Pay Your Balance in Full
Set a goal to pay off your credit card statement balance each month to avoid interest charges. Pay down balances aggressively if needed.

Review Credit Card Terms
Understand the interest rate, annual fees, late charges, etc., and ensure it makes sense for your situation. Switch cards if needed to avoid unnecessary costs.

Set Payment Reminders
Mark monthly payment due dates on your calendar and set payment reminders to avoid late fees. Automate payments if possible.

5. Gambling

Cutting back on gambling in 2024 is a smart financial decision. While the allure of quick riches can be tempting, it’s important to resist the urge to gamble. Remember, the chances of winning big are slim, and the odds are overwhelmingly against you. Remember when Thanos snapped his fingers? The chances of winning big are even slimmer than dodging that. Instead of gambling, invest in yourself and your future. Your long-term financial goals will thank you.

We’ve all been tempted at times to try our luck at the casino, play the lottery, or bet on sports games. The flashing lights and excitement of winning big can easily pull you in. However, gambling can lead to deeper debt and financial hardship if it becomes an addiction. It can truly devastate your finances if left unchecked.

Track all gambling expenditures
We recommend using a budgeting app (such as Mint, AndroMoney, etc.) to get a clear picture of how much you spend. Often just seeing the amounts can provide the reality check needed to cut back.

As we wrap up, remember that taking control of your finances is a journey, not a sprint. Small changes in your spending habits can lead to significant improvements over time. So, here’s to a year of smarter spending, reaching financial goals, and enjoying the journey toward financial well-being!

If you need help creating a personalized plan and budget to reach your financial goals, we’re here to help. Wishing you a financially-empowered 2024!


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