It’s been the topic of recent podcasts, blogs, and I just read an excerpt from the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.
I’ve had some bad habits and good habits, some of which have been easy to start and hard to break, or hard to start and easy to break. Usually the bad habits are the former and good the latter.
Here are some things I’ve quit in the last year that have saved me some money!
1. Diet Coke. This is one habit I had for years. I just loved a fizzy cola at lunch almost daily. When I worked at my last full time job it was even FREE from the vending machine. How’s that for temptation?
Sometime around last year I really got to thinking about how both the ingredients and caffeine might be affecting my health. I have slightly high blood pressure, so cutting out my mid-day vice could certainly help, and all the artificial ingredients…blech. I admit every once in awhile I still desperately want one, and do allow the occasional DC on a really hot day, but for the most part I’ve quit that habit. Yay! Aprox. cost savings: $10+ per month.
2. My Gym. I was quite the little gym rat when I had a membership. I used to pay $110 a month at Equinox because their gym kind of rocks! I really miss those eucalyptus-infused cold towels after a hard workout. But I have to say when I got serious about my finances that was the first thing that had to go. At first I really missed it and wondered how I would get my workouts in, but if there’s a will there’s a way, and with great weather and a beach, and loads of free fitness apps, there was no reason I couldn’t do it on my own. I’ve been on my own for a year and hardly miss the gym. Cost savings: $110/month.
3. Cable. It’s been a couple months since I’ve had cable and at first it felt strange. That was until I got a digital converter box ($60) and antenna ($20), so I got reception for network TV, and a friend gave me his Roku box to use to stream videos. I have to say I don’t miss it at all now! Cost Savings: $38 per month.
4. Random food items I don’t really need. There are a few high cost grocery items I’m slowly eliminating from my fridge and pantry because they aren’t really necessary, and aren’t cheap. For instance I used to put wheat germ on my oatmeal, and used gluten-free bread. If I’m going to get fancy I should put my extra money where it’s more beneficial like organic veggies and free-range meat. Or even better go meatless more often. Aprox. savings per month: $30-$45.
Although not all of those habits and routines were bad, you can see that they aren’t really necessary to live a healthy, happy life, and they add up over time. All together I was spending $188+/month. There are more habits I’m sure I could get rid of to save a buck or two here and there, but sometimes quitting everything at once is hard…so baby steps.
Are there any habits you could change that would help your budget?