When it comes to money, everyone wants more of it. There are two ways to have more of it, either earn more or spend less. While earning more can take a lot of effort and time (and sometimes money), spending less is only a matter of discipline.
Here are four ways that many of us lose $2,500 each year without even realizing it. Pssttt- I’m sure you’re not doing of any these, so pass this article along to a girlfriend who could use a little money coaching.
1. Unused gym memberships
MOST CITIES NOW HAVE A BIKE-SHARING PROGRAM. IT’S CHEAP, A FUN ACTIVITY AND A GREAT WORKOUT! THIS WAS ME IN PORTLAND USING THEIR BIKES.
Countless Americans sign up for gym memberships, with the resolution to work off that Token 10, but the vast majority let their membership slack like their waist line. And eventually their wallets. On average, a gym membership is $50 per month or $600 per year. Most gyms only anticipate that 18% of their members will actually show up. What?? Before you sign up for a gym membership, think about using drop-in classes as your workout routine and combine it with running outside or working alongside your favorite YouTube star. My favorite app to use for this is Zenrez Fitness that offers discounted rates on last-minute class signups. I saved $10 on a spin class in LA by using this. Some of my favorite YouTube channels to work out with are Blogilates, Tone It Up and this 12 Minute Madness Workout by BodyRock. Instead of spending $600 on a membership per year, you could easily cut that in half by finding discounted classes, using free trial periods, and working out at home. A savings of $300.
HIKING IS ALSO A GREAT WORKOUT AND AN AWESOME DATE ACTIVITY!
2. Wasted food
Whether it’s the plus-size bag of spinach or cashew milk that you convinced yourself that you would use to make smoothies for the week but ended up going bad in the fridge, wasting food (and therefore money) is a regular occurrence for many people. According to the American Chemistry Council, the average U.S. household throws away $640 of food each year. Combine that with our gym memberships above, that’s a total of $940 you could be losing each year. My recommendation is to choose one day per week that you go to the grocery store. Make a list, do your shopping, then meal prep with all of the items. For our family of two, we cook our meals on Sunday and I batch things like smoothies and freeze it until I’m ready to drink them. A little preplanning will go a long way with helping you save money.
3. Overspending on restaurant meals
While I totally support eating at restaurants, especially for your weekly Money & Mimosas date, doing it on the regular will start to add up quickly! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household eats out four to five times per week, and spends a total of $3,008 dollars on food away from home per year. If you cut that in half, that’s an extra $1,500 in your pocket! Combine that with the unused gym memberships and wasted food, we’re up to $2,460 in savings for the year.
You may have heard the saying that a dollar today is worth more than tomorrow. This is because of a little pesky thing called inflation. Now this doesn’t mean that you should go out and spend that dollar! It means that you need to place it in account that earns interest, so that your dollar outpaces inflation and works for you. One area that most people lose money is in their checking account. Many checking accounts have 0% interest, meaning that your dollar is actually losing money. Instead, you can place your hard-earned cash in Radius Bank’s Hybrid Checking account that does add interest to your dollars! Depending on your account balance, your interest could mean an extra $40 in your pocket. Combine that with our totals above, that’s four ways you could be losing $2,500 without even realizing it. With some simple tweaks you could turn that around and save that $2,500 and put it towards your financial goals.