We’re all guilty of paying for convenience sometimes, whether it’s a quick download or an overpriced bottle of water.
But when it comes to the things you buy on a regular basis, overpaying by just a few bucks can start to add up to a lot of money. Before you know it, $3 or $5 here and there can end up costing you $100 a month.
The good news though is that very often, there are cheaper options out there. You just have to know where to look. By cutting out little unnecessary expenses, you will not only save more each month, but you’ll also start to develop better long-term habits.
Things You’re Probably Paying Too Much For
To help you keep more of the money you make each month, here’s a list of things people often pay too much for — and how to get them cheaper!
When was the last time you went through your bank and credit card statements to see exactly where all of your money is going each month? If it’s been a while, you should go ahead and do that.
Print out the last 3-6 months of statements and look at all of the recurring expenses — bills and payments going through every single month.
If you haven’t checked in a while, there could be old subscriptions you forgot about or don’t use anymore that you’re still paying for every month.
Look for any costs that you can easily reduce or cut out completely — as well as goods or services that you might be able to get for free!
Here are a few examples of expenses you can reduce or cut as well as other ways to save:
- Magazines: Go to the library or see if your company offers online access to certain digital subscriptions. Here’s a list of where to get magazines for free.
- Audio services: Just use the free version! Listening to a 15-second ad is not that big a deal when you’re trying to cut costs, and when you cut out several $3.99 expenses, that can free up a good amount of cash each month.
- Streaming services: If you subscribe to services like Netflix and Hulu, consider testing a free streaming service to see if you can simulate a similar form of entertainment without the monthly cost.
- Amazon Prime: Start with the free trial first to see if you use Amazon enough to warrant the membership fee. If you’re a student, you can get a discounted price on an annual Prime membership.
- Cable TV: There are now plenty of streaming services available that can help cut your cable bill. Almost every service offers a free trial, so make sure you try out a few before you officially decide to ditch your cable provider.
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it comes with free access to thousands of e-books (on top of music streaming, photo storage and more).
You can also download free e-books from your local library and/or sign up for services that alert you when your favorite genres have downloads available on super deep discount.
If you’re paying for e-book downloads, you’re probably wasting money, as there are tons of ways to get them for free or super cheap. Here are more ways to save on e-books.
3. Bottled Water
If your drinking water is safe at home or your office, why pay for bottled water when you can get water for free?
Think about purchasing a reusable water bottle. You can check Amazon for deals on all types of reusable water bottles.
Read more: See all of today’s best deals and discounts!
If you must have bottled, or purified, water, then you might as well save money on it.
Whether it’s for taste or health reasons, you can save a lot of money by filtering your own water at home. The prices of filters vary — from less than $20 to hundreds of dollars depending on your needs and the amount of water you want to filter. Members can check out Consumer Reports’ guide to buying water filters here.
If you don’t want to fool with filtering your own water but prefer the taste and convenience of bottled water, look for cheaper options. Warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club often have competitive pricing.
4. Movie Rentals
If you have a DVD or Blu-ray player, you can rent movies from your local library for free!
You can also ditch the rental process altogether and pay $0 for a movie. Check out this list of free ways to watch movies online.
If you aren’t shopping around for the best prices on your prescriptions, then you’re probably paying too much for them! To give you some context, the same exact medication can vary in price byu as much as 10 times.
To save on the cost of prescriptions, buy generic, find coupons or just change where you get them filled. Here are 10 ways to save on the cost of prescriptions.
6. Extended Warranties on Electronics or Appliances
When should you buy an extended warranty? Never, ever on appliances or electronics.
Any time you buy an electronic device or appliance, the salesperson probably tries to talk you into buying the extended warranty to “protect your investment.” But a TV, washer and dryer and DVD player are not investments, and an extended warranty is typically just a waste of money.
7. Anti-Virus Software
When it comes to protecting your computer, and any mobile device, there are free options available for all types of models and systems. Check out our free virus, spyware and malware protection guide for details on which one is right for you.
8. Cell Phone Service
If you’re paying more than $20 a month, you’re paying too much for cell phone service!
Everyone has different needs (and wants) when it comes to cell phone service — especially data plans. The problem though is that most people don’t shop around for a new plan and just continue paying the high bill even though there are many cheaper options available these days.
The key to saving on auto and home insurance is shopping around. And not just when you initially sign up: Frequently shopping around for the best rates can save you a lot of money.
These guides can help you to save on the cost of insurance:
Do you know what you’re paying in management fees for your investments? If not, you need to find out because the fees and expenses of your investments could have a significant impact on how much money you’ll have down the road.
So if you don’t know what you’re paying in fees, find out. And check out these resources:
Changing where you shop is the easiest way to save on groceries. On top of that, there are easy ways to save at any store if you know what to look for. Here are some ways to reduce your grocery spending: