Small Habits That Really Add Up!

The major areas of personal finance are all pretty obvious: earn, save, invest. While these topics may be hard to enact, we all know what needs to be done – more or less. But what about the areas of personal finance that aren’t so obvious? What are the daily habits we do that cost money without us even realizing? That’s what I will explore in this post. I’ll list out the many daily habits many of us have. If you’re guilty of one or more of them, correct course. Over time, each correction you make will save a lot of green.

 

Driving like a Maniac

 

There’s a gradient with how expensive having a car can be. Two people can have the same car and have very different expenses. That’s due largely to how they drive. If you drive quickly all the time, you burn more fuel. That’s obvious. But you also subject your car to unnecessary wear and tear. You’ll have to replace brakes more often. Suspension parts and tires will deteriorate faster if you take corners quickly and drive fast on rough roads. If you drive your car hard before the engine oil and coolant is up to temperature, the engine will wear out sooner.

Being a responsible car owner takes some thought. Learn to slow down. One way I do this is by listening to audiobooks while I drive. Then I’m in no hurry to get home often times. I’m enjoying listening to my book.

Not Unplugging Things

Most electronics take power even when they aren’t running. These are called vampire electronics. They suck your wallet dry. Make it a habit to unplug everything you do use regularly. These can be things like lamps, washer/dryer, etc. If the plugins are hard to reach, consider buying a powerstrip that can kill the power without you crawling on the ground.

Not Paying Attention to the Thermostat

The house doesn’t always have to be at 72*. Challenge yourself by lowering the temperature a tad. Put on a sweater in the winter and put on shorts in the summer. Or, what’s even easier, get a programmable thermostat. Make sure that whenever you’re out of the house for an extended period of time, you’re not using as much heating/cooling. You’ll be able to recoup the cost and then quickly get into the green.

Drying All of Your Laundry

Drying damages clothing. The heat. The constant beating against other clothing – many of which items have buttons, zippers and so on. And of course it’s also expensive to run a dryer. Consider air drying many things instead. Things that are easy to air dry include jeans, sheets, shorts and jackets. Things you don’t want to air dry are socks, towels or shirts. They tend to need the dryer in order for them to feel decent against your skin.

This will also make your dryer last longer. It’s like anything. Use it less and you’ll have it longer. What will you try to line dry?

Not Comparison Shopping

Comparison shopping is pretty easy in the 21st century. Consider getting a browser extension or an app that’ll show you the best price for an item before you buy. Really, it’ll doesn’t take too long to find the best price. Think about it like this. It will probably take you less than five minutes to find the best deal. If you save just $10, that’s like getting paid at least $120 per hour. If you think that’s a good dollar-per-hour wage, consider comparison shopping.

Losing Track of Things

Don’t you just HATE it when you lose things? If you do, work on

Snacking

Snacking can completely kill a budget. Try this for an experiment. Tally up the amount of money you spend on snacks vs. real food. You may be shocked. Personally, I’ve found myself eating so many delicious snacks that when real meals rolled around, I would hardly eat. Snacks are far more expensive than real food. You can eat $10 worth of snacks far faster than $10 worth of protein.

What budget busters are you guilty of? Small amounts add up to large amounts over time. Where can you find ways to save? And when you do find ways to save, make the transition from spending to saving gradually. And don’t ever feel like you’re depriving yourself. It’s okay to do these things every once-in-awhile. Remember, we’re breaking habits here. We’re not trying to exclude these areas of spending entirely.

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