Things And Expenses We Tend To Waste Money On
At the end of the day, it’s the small things that add up.
When tend to spend money unconsciously, not realizing that the few pesos we spend on certain things and payments tend to build up over time—and we could have instead saved that money, or spent it on something more useful or productive.
We already know these things; sometimes, we just need a little reminding.
Here are some of the things and expenses we tend to waste our money on, and how you can cut them off from your life.
With summer at its peak, the urge to grab an ice cold bottle of water from the convenience store is strong! Especially in the Philippines, where it is safer for people to drink mineral or tap water, the bottled water industry is particularly strong. This year, revenue from the bottled water industry stands at more than P148 million, with an average per capita consumption of 56 liters.
But why are we spending so much on small bottled waters when we can bring a jug or water container with us? Imagine, a 5-gallon of water costs at most P120. That’s P6 per liter. But if you’re buying from convenience stores or restaurants, you’re spending P15 to as much as P40 for a 500ml bottle of water. That’s already almost five times of what you would have paid if you just brought a water jug with you.
Apart from the savings, think of how you’re contributing to the environment by not adding to the overall plastic waste.
Convenience store trips
And speaking of convenience store purchases, have you noticed how much more you’re paying if you decide to buy your bag of chips and refreshments from the convenience than if you buy them from the supermarket?
Convenience stores are designed to provide convenience—but not practicality. Mark-up on convenience store products can be as much as a 10-peso difference from its price if you buy it from the supermarket. If you decide to do your slumber party or office party shopping from your nearby convenience store, instead of planning ahead and making a trip to the supermarket, expect a disappointing receipt.
Too much grocery
The first rule of going to the supermarket for groceries: never go when you’re hungry. Going to the grocery when you have yet to have a meal makes you crave for everything you see—which means your shopping cart is most likely going to be checked out full.
Do your grocery shopping wisely and create a meal plan for the week. By planning ahead, you can make a practical shopping list and shop accordingly. How many times have you lamented an impulse purchase you never got to eat or finish, and it just died inside your fridge?
By making a meal plan and shopping list, you economize and stay focused on things that you need to buy for this grocery period. Doing so will lessen the spoilage of food on your fridge and pantry—and you’re saving a lot, too.
Let’s face it, not everyone can maximize the full value of their gym membership. If you thought signing up for a gym membership will motivate you to work out more, that’s not always the case. Compute how much you’re paying for every time you go to the gym on a monthly basis. Are you getting the most out of your buck or do you find yourself spending more time restaurant-hopping with your friends or putting in overtime work at the office?
If you’re not in the gym at least three times a week, then you’re probably just wasting money on that membership. Might as well invest on a good treadmill or yoga mat at home, fire up your TV, and start some indoor exercises. You can also opt to run around your village or a nearby park, take your bike out for a whir, or invite your family to a swimming pool. Those are better ways to trim down and enjoy the process than spending thousands of pesos a month for a membership you barely use.
Saving electricity is perhaps one of the most overused statements we hear at home—but it’s one thing we always forget to adopt. How many times have you left your gadgets charging, or the outdoor or living room light open? While these things don’t cost as much as your airconditioner or washing machine bill, when it adds up, that’s still a couple of hundred pesos on your monthly bill.
Many people forget the fact that leaving appliances on standby still consumes electricity. This means that leaving your cable box or microwave on standby instead of turning it off from the main line is costing you. Leaving your gadgets, like laptops and cellphones, charging is also a regular culprit. Leaving them plugged to the wall charger overnight adds to your electricity bill—and it ruins their battery and shortens their life, too.
Some other simple electricity-saving hacks include: using a smaller stove ring and smaller pot for smaller-batch cooking because it takes less time to heat the whole pan; hang dry your laundry instead of tossing them in the dryer; and turning off the shower and faucet when not in use (this means not leaving the water running when you’re brushing your teeth, or when you’re soaping or shampooing).
Oh how we love a nice tall steaming cup of cappuccino or a refreshing frappe... But should we really be spending that much on coffee?
If you’re a regular coffee drinker who isn’t a fan of 3-in-1 packets, it’s so much more economical to buy coffee beans or ground coffee and brewing them yourself than running to the nearby coffee shop every morning or when you’re due for a caffeine fix.
If you find it too taxing to prepare your coffee in a drip machine every day (mainly because it’s a chore to clean it), you can go for a French press instead to brew your daily cuppa. If you’re a fan of iced coffee, you can always prepare your coffee one day ahead by making cold brew.
Again, you’re not only saving money, you’re also helping reduce waste by reducing the amount of plastic and paper cups you use when you go to your favorite coffee shop.
Energy and sports drinks
So many energy and sport drinks have made their way into the market, promising better productivity and performance. But did you know that these energy and sports drinks are just as bad for your wallet as for your health?
Energy drinks can be addictive, when taken everyday. It also leads to spiked stress hormone release, headaches, and insomnia. Instead of resorting to energy drinks, stand up and do a bit of stretching to wake your mind and body. You can also take a 10-minute power nap which is most effective in taking the edge off sleepiness.
Sports drinks, on the other hand, are loaded with sugars and chemical ingredients. A recent study by Dr. David Nieman, director of the Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Laboratory on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, found that eating a banana and drinking water during or after an exercise works just as well to keep the body hydrated and prevent cramps.