Just living and simply being is... expensive. From your rent to your groceries, your phone bill to your utilities, everything about living costs money and it's not easy. You might be a student with a part-time job trying to pay off your student loans, or a full-time worker living with your significant other trying to save up to own a place. Whatever the situation, you know that your money is valuable... and there are so many things that you're wasting it on.
There are so many things in our day-to-day lives that we have been marketed to and trained into thinking that we should buy or use, but in reality is just a waste of money. Don't throw your money down the drain. Your time and effort spent into earning the money that you have is valuable, don't let it waste away. Here are 7 everyday things you seriously should stop paying for:
1. Bottled water
Not only is bottled water bad for the environment, it's also just a serious money waster. You might as well be throwing your cash into a toilet.
Go get yourself a Brita filter, a cute water bottle, or even a tumbler. The cute water bottle will also probably make you want to drink more water.
2. Expired food
You may or may not know this, but there is actually no official governing body that determines the durable life of goods. The manufacturer or retailer is responsible for determining "best before", "sell by", and expiry dates. In Canada, their only requirement is to label the foods with a shelf life of 90 days or less -- how many days it is good for is up to the companies.
So if you put yourself in the shoes of manufacturers, all they want is for you to buy more of their products at a faster rate. Which means that the "sell by" dates are often way too early if not totally unnecessary. Almost always, the shelf life of certain foods can be doubled if you simply just store them correctly. And for things like raw meat and fish, you can store them in the freezer so they can last for a few months.
3. "Unlimited Passes" for things you're not getting your money's worth on
These are things like gym memberships, transit passes, Amazon Prime, Costco cards, etc. These passes are not "bad" in themselves, but if you don't use it enough to be getting your money's worth, don't sign up for them.
For example, if you get a gym membership card but literally NEVER go to the gym, you might just be better off paying for drop-in visits, getting 10-time passes, or just working out at home, rather than spending more than you're actually getting out of it.
Don't just assume that "unlimited" is the best option.
4. Sliced and individually packaged foods
As a general rule, any food that has been pre-portioned, pre-sliced, or pre-wrapped is going to be more expensive for no reason. It's really only for convenience purposes for you. But really, the extra cost is not worth it.
Start buying foods that come whole, and if you really must have everything portioned, just do it at home yourself with reusable containers. It's also a lot more environmentally friendly.
5. Data use overages
This one is a silent but deadly killer. There are a few things you can do to avoid using crazy amounts of data.
- Always make sure you're connected to your WiFi when at home
- Download music or podcasts you want to listen to before you leave the house
- If you're going to be spending a long time at a bar or cafe, ask if they have WiFi
These are all really small changes, but if you follow them religiously you can actually save yourself overusing data and having your cellular provider charge you inexplicable amounts per megabyte.
6. Needlessly disposable products
These are things like travel size toiletries, chopsticks, Swiffer pads, sandwich bags, non-rechargeable batteries. All of these things can be made reusable, like using travel sized containers and filling them with your own shampoos and lotions, getting reusable chopsticks and tupperwear.
Get out of the disposable mentality and start thinking reusable.
5. Fancy pet treats
This may not apply to you if you don't have a furry friend, but if you do, then you know the struggle of going to the store and wanting to splurge on your best friend.
While we understand that keeping your pet healthy with all-natural, organic foods is important, these "natural" treats can get stupidly expensive. We recommend that you make these organic treats at home instead! They're actually super easy to make and often take five ingredients or less. The difference between buying them and making them yourself is also night and day.
Here's a link for some easy treats you can make with your own two hands. Just make sure that all the ingredients you are using are safe for your pet.