We discussed some habits to get from living paycheck to paycheck to owning your own home last week. Let’s review some more habits you should consider altering if your long term goal is to build wealth.
6. Buying Brand-Name Products
Consumers find comfort in using brands they know and love, but oftentimes generic brands work just as well as their brand-name counterparts. Step away from brand names, and try a few generics. For example, you can save money by buying store-brand medications. I love hunting for a good deal and saving money, medication, oatmeal, rice, milk, frozen vegetables, plates, plasticware, among others, all taste the same (or close enough) and are of similar quality. What is the real reason you purchase brand name? If you TASTE the difference, then do not switch, but if it’s all about the “name” then you are missing the point.
TRUE STORY: I purchase the above stated items in the generic store brand from Stop n Shop, CVS or Rite Aid. I am a frequent shopper at these retailers and I have come to trust their brand as much as I would the actual brand name product. If I were blind folded… couldn’t tell you the difference. My friend can taste the difference in water… so when she visits, I have to purchase Evian.
7. Buying Lunch or dinner nightly
You’ve heard it before, but buying lunch at work is a huge waste of money. Buddy up with your co-workers, and try “brown bagging” it at work. You can end up saving a good chunk of cash. Having dinner at a restaurant is a great luxury, but it can wreak havoc on your finances. Be mindful about how often you eat out. Even something as simple as eating dinner earlier in the evening can help you eat less and save more.
TRUE STORY: Become friends with sites like Groupon, you can find great deals on ready prepped food to cut your cooking time in half. Not only do you get home cooked meals, you don’t need to be creative….they do it for you. Saves time, saves money (with coupons). Save the recipes to use again later without the company mailing you ingredients.
8. Requesting Faster Shipping
It’s hard waiting for your online purchases to arrive, but paying extra for expedited shipping is a waste of money. Patience is a virtue, but if you really just want everything now, sign up for a service such as Amazon Prime, which includes free two-day shipping on most items. If you do not want to spend the $99 for membership, consider sharing an account with a friend. If you are a student, you get 1/2 off yearly membership. I think it’s worth it
TRUE STORY: I’m an amazon junky… I would do Amazonaholics Anonymous but it’s too good to quit. My family understands… if I can’t buy it on Amazon… you probably won’t get it from me. My life is hectic, I don’t enjoy shopping in stores, I need fast, economical and FREE shipping lol. PRIME is my BFF.
9. Spending More Money on Snacks
According to The Huffington Post, Nielsen data showed Americans spend more on snacks such as protein bars, chips and beef jerky than they do on real food. If you plan your meals and shop with a grocery list, then you won’t need to fill up on unhealthy and expensive snack foods. It’s hard and no one expects you to perfect this over night but starting is better than not even considering it an option
TRUE STORY: My friend is obsessed with potato chips. She eats several bags a day. I’ve been working on getting her to cut it down to 3 small bags a week and to pack vegetables and fruits for snacks. She’s had more failed days than successful ones but she’s not giving up and neither will I. Anything worth having (a savings account, a healthy heart) is worth fighting for.
10. Signing Up for a Gym Membership
Once January hits, many of the treadmills at the gym are usually occupied, and the Zumba classes are bumping. But just a few months later, the place looks like a ghost town — what a waste of money. Skip the pricey gym membership, and try joining an exercise club. Or, download a cheap fitness app to get in shape. I think this may be the worst New Year’s resolution idea EVER! Man I wish I owned a gym franchise… FREE Money because people never come back.
TRUE STORY: I fell victim 2 years ago and signed up for a gym membership because it had free babysitting… I figured, it took care of one obstacle. Well… 2 years later and I have been to the gym ONCE. I thought I cancelled the membership until I actually scrutinized my credit card statement and saw I was STILL paying for it. Thats $500 over 2 years I will never get back, never see a return on my investment and hang my head in shame over daily (well… when I remember… it’s so out of sight out of mind, it’s embarrassing)
For more strategies on how to break bad habits and start building wealth please join www.urbanmoneymatters.com. If we do not have a seminar in your area, please let us know a good location and we will try to get something on the calendar.
Excerpts from full article.