If buying a home in 2021 is on your to-do list, watching your dollars and cents should be too. Buying a home, even with a low down-payment, requires cash on hand. You’ll have out-of-pocket costs that will add up quickly. Here are the top ways to reign in small spending habits that will add to your home-buying budget.
- Buying brand name products
Store and generic brands have to be one of the most underused ways to save money across a range of products. From food, to skincare, to over the counter medicine, chances are your local grocery or drug store has a store brand for them or sells a generic version.
- Grocery shopping when you’re hungry
Or when you have all the time in the world. Avoid these two scenarios when taking a trip to the grocery store at all costs. If you shop for groceries when you’re hungry, even just kind of hungry, you’re more susceptible to buying extra stuff you don’t need or that you’ll waste later.
- Buying a snack at the gas station
All those bottles of soda and chip bags you pick up when you’re filling up the tank or making a stop at the drug store add up.
- Only using credit/debit cards
If you almost exclusively use your card to pay for things, it’s a lot easier to spend more than you intend to because you aren’t seeing the money.
- Your bank in general
Banks and everything to do with them are just money-vacuums in general. Take a look at your accounts and card fees and see if there are any better options than what you currently have.
- In-game purchases
As a semi-recovering Candy Crush addict, I know how hard this habit is to break. But those $1 or $5 purchases here and there WILL add up, and you’ll suddenly be looking at your bank statement with a whole lot of shame and regret.
- You don’t keep your tires properly inflated
Yes, some tires with a little too much wiggle room can actually worsen your car’s gas mileage. Keep your tires properly inflated and you’ll save money on gas you didn’t even know you were losing.
- Couponing (irresponsibly)
Coupons save you a little money, yes, but if you’re couponing just for the sake of it, or convincing yourself you were totally going to buy those things on that discount site, you’re still wasting money. Don’t use coupons as an excuse to buy things you normally wouldn’t, even if it’s just an extra $5 to your usual purchase.
- Disposable razors
Disposable razors lose their sharpness pretty quickly (or get too clogged up with deodorant and other product residue), so you end up buying them pretty frequently. However, there are non-disposable razors that don’t cost a ton and once you’ve purchased it you only need to replace the blade itself, which you can usually buy in bulk online for super cheap but excellent quality.
- Buying individual coffee drinks
Get yourself a decent coffee-maker and make the coffee yourself to save big bucks over time. A lot of coffee machines now have the ability to preset your brew, so you can program it the night before to start brewing your coffee before you even wake up.
- Making more than one trip to the grocery store per week
A good way to make yourself stick to a grocery budget is to not allow little trips to the store throughout the week because you ran out of one or two items.
Being disorganized has cost you money at some point. Losing chargers and cables, misplacing expensive jewelry, forgetting where you left your keys and having to pay a locksmith to get into your house or car. If the mess itself hasn’t motivated you to declutter and get organized, link back on all the times you lost or misplaced something and ended up spending money in some way because of it.