By Diana Zarowin, New York University-Stern
Believe it or not, there are multiples times each day (yes, each!) during which we spend money unnecessarily. This spending adds up daily, weekly, monthly and eventually, these habits can account for most of your long-term spending if you’re not careful. Perhaps this spending is so subconscious you don’t even notice or you believe the purchase is one you can’t live without –I’m not here to judge! What I am here for is to provide some guidance on those sneaky money suckers you can nip in the bud before it’s too late.
Read on for a list of said money suckers and enjoy extra cash and happy savings!
Dry-cleaning, Try Washio
This is a tough one for me, I must admit. I ruined many a piece of clothing during college by attempting to wash on my own – so much so that it made dry-cleaning look like the only viable option! But, the truth is, you can save money on many items that don’t need to be dry cleaned by washing them yourself and hanging them to dry on a clothing rack. The rack is inexpensive and can be purchased at a host of stores, such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Kmart. Just be sure to follow washing instructions so you don’t make the same mistakes as I did! But, if you must, Washio is the best!
Morning Coffee, Try Keurig Coffee
This one might be a toughie for many of you readers, since a morning Starbucks is often sacred! I understand, but assure you there are other ways. How about brewing at home? Signing up for a rewards program? Downloading an app like Cups that helps you scour locations near you for the best deals? Morning coffee runs can be a real money suck, and finding ways to still get your jolt while not breaking the bank could do your wallet some good!
Eating Out, Try Reserve
There are so many delicious restaurants, cafes, and eateries here in New York City, it’s difficult not to want to try them all. But, spending money on food outside of your home often is an easy way to deplete your money. Perhaps consider spending out just one meal a day or, if you can be even better, just one meal a week. Buy more at the supermarket, cook at home, and scout out Groupons if you are in the mood to eat out and still want to save.
Paying Full Price?
One of my best friends lives by this very one specific shopping rule: never pay full price for an item that will eventually go on sale. Although she is able to stick to this completely, I follow the “never” more loosely. Obviously, there will be times when a signature item is not going to go on sale or your intention for purchasing said item is of-the-moment. But, whenever possible, try and wait out major purchases for a sale period or when coupons are available. How much more rewarding will that leather jacket be if you are able to get a great deal on it, too? Very!