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6 Expensive Habits You Can Live Without

This is a guest post for Money Mondays written by Andrew Salmon. Stay tuned for next week's Money Monday where I will update you on my grocery budget for June, and how well I stayed within my very clear set of goals (hint: pretty dang well...so far!) 

Saving money is getting harder and harder to do these days. And yet, we waste a fortune every year on things we don’t need or are too absentminded to stay on top of.  With enough legitimate demands on our money, it’s a shame to squander what’s left on too much comfort or convenience. Here are six habits we can live without. 

1. Butt Out
Quitting smoking is tough. Anyone who has tried can tell you that. But you won’t find a more rewarding habit to break. The health benefits aside, let’s focus on the financial windfall that’s waiting at the end of that last puff. Nothing about smoking is cheap: the price of a pack of cigarettes gives the value of gold bullion a run for its money. Then there’s dry-cleaning for your clothes, breath mints and gum, gas when you drive to the store to restock, etc. They even charge for matches these days. So butt out and save! Big!

2. Yes, Virginia, There Is A Kitchen
Everyone loves a nice meal in a fine restaurant. Every once and awhile. Sure, dining out is easy and there are no dishes to wash afterwards but it’s a habit that will starve your wallet. Buy groceries and eat at home most of the time. Save that trip to the restaurant for a special occasion not because you’re too tired or lazy to cook.

3. Plain Ol’ Joe  
If you’re serious about saving money, then say goodbye to the $5 coffee! It doesn’t matter if you like the taste of coffee or are just drinking it for the caffeine to keep you going throughout the day, buy plain ol’ coffee. Or, better yet, bring a thermos of the stuff from home to drink. Do the math: 3 X $5 coffee a day = $15. Multiply that by a 5-day work week = $75. Times 52 weeks = $3900! We’re talking serious savings here. 

4. Get Me To The Bank On Time 
Nobody likes to pay bills, which is why we’re so often late doing it. But that tardiness is costing you extra money through late fees and other charges. They seem minimal when one pops up on a statement. However being chronically late with payments can add up to a serious cash drain. Stop the bleeding and stay on top of your bills. Paying late fees is totally unnecessary.   

5. No More Trial And Error   
Like snake charmers, magazines, newspapers and other mail clubs have a way of spellbinding us and getting us to agree for free trials of stuff. But how often do we forget that it is up to us to cancel these things when the free trial period is over! Failure to do so makes for surprise subscription charges to your credit card. And if it’s something you weren’t enjoying for free, you’re now paying for it! Either stay away from free trials or be vigilant. Either way, you’ll save.

6. Dr. Retail Will See You Now 
Feeling blue? Go for a walk. Call a friend. But stay out of the stores! Buying stuff because you feel depressed is one habit that you want to break. Instead of trying to buy happiness, work at making your life better, improve, challenge yourself. This will give you more peace of mind that than dress you’ll never wear or that new car. 

This article written by Andrew Salmon - he writes for a website that helps Canadians find affordable life insurance.

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