Americans are so used to convenience and will pay for it. If you are trying to be more thrifty, here are ten items to quit buying.
1. Paper Towels-I am very guilty on this one. It is much more cost effective to use a washcloth (or rag) to clean up spills. If you are using them for a napkin, buy dinner napkins (cloth or similar that you can wash).
2. Napkins (see above)-Paper napkins at dinner are convenient, but not necessary.
3. Cable and/or satellite TV-Chances are you spend too much time watching less than educational programming. There are so many more productive things to do. If you really want/need to watch a lot of TV, Netflix is a lot cheaper!)
4. Landline phone/Cell phone-One or the other will do. Most people don’t need both. Quite honestly, you could technically get rid of both and use Magic Jack (or a similar device) and/or Skype for your calls.
5. Bottled water-If your tap water isn’t safe to drink, buy a filtered pitcher. I’ve done the math and even with filter replacements, it saves about $35 a year and a lot of wasted plastic.
6. Liquor-This can add up quick, even if the purchase is rare, it gets expensive. At the very least, don’t buy it at the restaurant or bar! I buy one bottle of sangria a month for $7.00. One glass of the same sangria at a popular casual restaurant is $7.50.
7. Credit cards-Cut them up and learn to live on what you earn. It is fair to say you may need to acquire an emergency fund first.
8. Cleaning products-Vinegar and baking soda will clean almost anything!
9. New car-If you read about personal finance often (or even not so often), you will find most rich people drive used cars. Cars depreciate the minute you drive them off the lot. Avoid the urge and shop around for a good used car-after you have driven yours until the wheels have fallen off (figuratively of course).
10. Gym memberships/expensive equipment-Work out at home (lift cans of food etc., use a mat for exercises), go for a walk, there are plenty of things to do to trim down without going to the gym or buying expensive exercise equipment.