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3 Easy Ways to Stop Wasting Cash in 2020

Scott Bilker Scott Bilker is the founder of DebtSmart.com and author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card DebtCredit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. Receive the 5-Year Loan Spreadsheet when you subscribe to his email newsletter.

It’s hard to reach your savings goals when you’re constantly wasting the cash that you should be saving. However, most people don’t realize that they’re actively wasting money. It’s tempting to think that the only time you waste your money is when you impulse buy something that you don’t really want or need and regret it later. However, you could also be wasting cash on food that you don’t eat, services that you don’t use, and poor purchasing decisions.

Becoming more conscious of where you’re actually being wasteful could be one of the best ways for you to change your relationship with money in 2020 and get your bank account back into good standing. Here are just 3 ways to stop wasting cash in 2020 and make a difference to your financial goals.

1. Don’t Buy Everything “Cheap”

A lot of your budgeting strategy in 2020 is going to revolve around cutting costs. You’re going to need to strip some of the expenses out of your routine if you want to have more money to put in your savings. For instance, maybe you could switch energy provider to reduce your electricity bills. You could also think about spending less money on clothes and simply reusing the items you already have.

However, while good budgeting does require you to be frugal, it also means that you need to think carefully about the value that you’re going to get from each purchase. For instance, buying a car from a used dealer from $2000 may sound like an amazing deal, until it breaks down after a week and you can’t get a refund – then you’ve wasted all of your cash on something that hasn’t gotten you anywhere.

Rather than just buying everything cheap, carefully assess each purchase and think about it’s long and short-term value. Sometimes, you might need to borrow money to buy something like a new kitchen or a set of appliances, but those items could pay for themselves in the long-term by adding value to your home or making you more energy efficient.

2. Stop Wasting Food

Around 40% of the food supply in America currently goes to the landfill in the form of waste, according to research. Statistics like that say bad things about the environment in the US, but they also highlight the problem that many of us have when it comes to buying food. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways that you can cut back on food waste. For instance, try freezing the foods that you want to use later so that they don’t go bad as quickly.

You could even prepare entire meals in advance and keep them in your freezer. That way, if you get home from work after a long day and you’re too exhausted to cook, all you need to do is heat up your chosen meal. You’re a lot less likely to order food to your home if you’ve already got a meal waiting for you.

Another way to reduce food waste is to plan what you buy a little better. Every time you’re going on a trip to the grocery store, take a few moments to check which foods you have in your house. Make a list of the items that you actually need, then stick to that list. Don’t be tempted to buy the things that you see on offer when you’re browsing. It might even be easier to stick to your list if you buy your items online rather than in-person.

3. Cut Down on Subscriptions

Finally, the number of subscription services in the world has been increasing drastically over the last couple of years. It doesn’t seem likely that these services are going to slow down any time soon. However, you can reduce the amount you spend on them by cancelling anything you don’t currently use. For instance, if you’ve been holding onto a gym subscription for six months, telling yourself that you’re going to go one of these days, it’s time to give up and cancel.

If you decide that you do want to exercise in the future, you don’t need a gym membership to do it. You can always exercise at home instead. Additionally, remember that you don’t need every television or movie subscription service that’s available today. You can choose just one or two that have the best selection of content and use those to replace your cable bill.

Go through your bank account statement to find out where you’re wasting the most cash on subscriptions.

This entry was posted in Budgets. Bookmark the permalink. Read more articles by Scott Bilker. (Also see articles by all authors and articles in all categories.)

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