Now that 2019 has started, it’s a good time to trim the fat from your budget. Not quite sure where to start? Well, we’re here to help. Here are some common products and services that can sometimes be a waste of money. Weed these out and your budget will be ready to take on any surprises that come your way in the next twelve months.
Gym memberships and exercise equipment. According to a recent report from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, 60 million Americans belong to gyms. That’s great — because exercising is important. What’s not so great, however, is paying for a gym or exercise equipment and not using them. And millions of Americans are doing that, too. Gym fees can range from $10 to $300 per month — that’s $120 to $3600 a year. If you belong to a gym but don’t go, cut the membership and try something else for exercise. Run or walk outside. Hop on your bike. Get and use an app. And if that treadmill has become an expensive clothes hanger, list it for sale online and put the money into savings.
Warranties. It might seem like a good idea to buy an extended warranty on a new computer or phone, but typically you don’t end up needing them. Also, many products already come with a warranty, so there’s no reason to add another one. One easy way to decide if a warranty is worth it? If you can afford to replace the item, you don’t need a warranty.
Tools. The next time you need to make some kind of repair, think twice before buying tools. Especially if you’ll likely only need the tool for one job. Ask neighbors for the tools. If you need to fix your car, head to AutoZone, as they often have free lender tools for customers. HomeDepot and Lowes also let you rent tools.
Dining Out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average American spends $3,008 per year or about $250 per month eating out. Do yourself and your budget a favor by cutting back. It could be something as simple as swapping one lunch or dinner out per week for one that you craft out of stuff you’ve already got in the fridge. Every little bit will help.