Avoid bad spending habits

Work on better spending habits

Woman making a purchase at candle store

Work on better spending habits

No matter what you splurge on or like to buy, learning how to control spending is important. By developing better money habits, like limiting your frivolous spending, you can put money aside for emergencies, save for a vacation or pay off debt.

Help keep more money in your pocket by avoiding these six bad spending habits

1. Bottled water

Americans consume a lot of bottled water. While it's convenient, it can get expensive. 

Buy a refillable bottle and drink tap water, or buy water in larger containers and pour it into your reusable bottle to save money.

2. Dry cleaning

If you're racking up costly dry cleaning bills each month, it may be time to cut down. Few clothes purchased today require dry cleaning.

If you want your suits crisp and clean, consider buying an at-home dry cleaning kit and do the work yourself.

3. Daily Coffees

While they can feel like a great energizing ritual before you head into work, picking up a latte every day is not as invigorating for your budget. If you stop in for one $4 drink each morning, that adds up to around $85 a month — or $1,020 a year. If you're ordering multiple drinks a day, that number rises.

You don't need to forego your caffeine to limit frivolous spending. Brewing coffee at home costs about 17 cents per cup, and it can be just as convenient as stopping at a café near the office. Invest in an insulated bottle that keeps your hot or cold coffee at the optimum temperature, and start brewing at home.

4. Mindless mobile shopping

Don’t shop while you wait. Do you find yourself browsing online shopping sites as you’re waiting in line at the store, in the doctors waiting room, or on public transportation? If you buy something—even something small—every time you’re stuck waiting, you may find yourself with a large bill at the end of the month.

Instead, find a different app or site to browse, pack a book or flip through a magazine.

5. Eating out

There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bite to eat with friends now and then, but if you're eating lunch out every day or ordering pizza a few times a week, you may want to curtail this habit.

The average American spends just over $3,000 a year on restaurants and takeout. That's enough to take a vacation or do a home improvement project.

Instead, you can pack your lunch and eat out on Fridays only, and cut pizza nights down to once or twice a month.

6. Paying for unused subscriptions

Do you subscribe to a magazine but never have time to read it? Are you using your online TV subscription anymore? What about that subscription to a job listing website?

Paying for subscriptions that you're no longer using can eat away at your bank account. Even if the monthly subscription is only a few dollars, it's a waste if you're not using it.

Take an inventory of the subscriptions that you pay and eliminate those that are unnecessary. Check your bank statements for any subscription fees that are automatically withdrawn from your account that you may have forgotten about.

By using these spending tips to build better money habits, you'll help eliminate unneeded expenses and see your savings grow. Consult a financial advisor to help prepare you for the future.

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