As each new year approaches, we often rebrand ourselves with the slogan “New Year, New Me.” You have the desire to pay off debt, travel, or invest more into your retirement account (or start one). By the third week of the new year, you begin to revert to your old financial habits which have not produced the results you’ve hoped. You repeat the same cycle year after year, and you wonder why nothing has worked out. In order for you to meet your financial goals, you should consider distancing yourself from services or surroundings that are not conducive to your saving potential.
Here are 5 reasons why:
- Showtime doesn’t have anything on your savings.
The TV streaming business has been booming over the past years, and as a result, traditional cable has declined. The average cable bill is $103, according to recent consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. Are you paying for more channels than you actually watch? If so, then it’s time to make the switch to TV services such as Netflix or Sling TV.
Cost of Netflix: $9.99 per month
- Includes: Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Luke Cage, The Get Down, and Narcos, as well as a variety of movies you love.
Cost of Sling TV: $20-$40 a month
- Includes your favorite channels, such as ESPN, HGTV, BET, and Bravo.
You’re paying $1,236 on cable TV a year when you could pay $239.88, $540, or $720 using alternative TV streaming services. You can save anywhere from $500-$1000 alone with making that switch. The money saved can be added towards your high interest credit card debt, student loan payment, and your emergency fund. Get on the phone now and save the coins.
2. You don’t deserve to pay interest; you deserved to be paid it:
“Money should be used as a tool to help you flourish, not to flush down the drain.” - @AnthonyCopeman
If freedom is on your agenda, you cannot continue to live a life you cannot afford, otherwise you will welcome late fees and interest payments. As you read this post from your Mac laptop or iPhone, those $37 late fee and interest charges you’ve been paying for 12 months could have bought you a few shares of Apple stock. Did you know that when you own stock in a company, you are considered a part owner of the company? Did you also know that some companies pay you interest (or dividends) for investing your dollars with them? That’s right! So, as a freedom fighter, it’s important to understand your role as a consumer vs. an owner. Is your life built around consuming debt or owning your desires?
3. You’re always paying for lunch when you can pack it yourself:
Spending money on lunch during the week is convenient, but convenience can get you into a ton of trouble. Most things that are convenient are more expensive. Think of convenience stores. Most times the items are more expensive than purchasing them from a grocery store or discounted store. Let’s say you spend approximately $6 a day for lunch. You know the usually sandwich and a drink. Even though you may not feel that $6 per day is a lot, but it all adds up.
Here’s the math: $6*5 days = $30; $30*4 weeks = $120/month
That’s $120 a month on lunch, not including the money you spend during the evening at happy hour with your co-workers.
Now, it would be wild if I told you to stop buying lunch during the week all together because I know effective changes in habits are gradual. So, let’s say instead of eating out everyday, you discipline yourself to eat out only 3 times a day. Let’s see the difference.
Here’s the math: $6*3 = $18; $18*4 weeks = $72/month
With that move, you potentially saved $48 a month. Now, let’s say you’re feeling this “not eating out for lunch” thing, and become disciplined enough to buy lunch only 1 day a week.
Here’s the math: $1*$6 = $6; $6*4 weeks = $24/month
How much would you potentially save compared to eating out every day? You’ve guessed it! Close to $100. $96 to be exact.
$96 can become an extra payment towards your credit card debt, a start to your emergency fund or travel fund a month. Now, you’re winning!
4. Your circle of influence has your money going in circles.
If you didn’t have anything in common with them, they would not be your friends. One expensive commonality can be shopping.
You: “30% off the original price. That’s a steal.”
Your friends: “Yeah, you can’t beat that. You should definitely it”
Does this sound like you and your friends conversation in some way? You are always looking for a reason to buy, and your circle validates the reason simply because they want to be supportive. There is actually nothing wrong with shopping; but it is when you are shopping at the expense of achieving your goals. You should surround yourself with those who support your dreams more than support your shopping habits. Your money has been going in circles…in a cycle….from your hands to a companies pocket. As soon as you leave the store, their net-worth increases and the value of your product decreases. One of the best places you’ll find a mean sale is in your own closet, 100% off everything. This gives you the ability not only to shop free, but also the ability to splurge on your dreams.
5. You’ve been buying into the marketing tactics of retailers in your inbox:
If you are a shopper, a hardcore shopper to be exact, you have subscribed to all of your favorite stores’ promotional emails. Every morning you wake up and check your email, you have a host of sale alerts. 70% off here and 30% off clearance there. Then, you open the emails…and just like that you’ve been trapped. (#bars). As you begin to scroll through the sale’s page, something catches your eye. To be honest, a few things catch your eye. You give yourself every reason as to why you need something you’ve had on your watch list for sometime, or something you already have but in another color.
You not only begin to buy into the product, but also the illusion that you need it. One way you can avoid buying into the illusion is by unsubscribing from those mailing lists. If you don’t know about the sale, you won’t shop for the sale. Unsubscribe and resist the urge.