Contrary to popular belief, most people living in the United States carry some form of debt. Indeed, only about a quarter of the population is currently debt-free, and many Americans will spend most of their adult life in debt. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. Simply making a few small, but meaningful, lifestyle changes can put you back on the path toward financial stability. Today we’re going to analyze four under-the-radar expenses that often contribute to debt and explain how you can avoid, manage, and reduce them in your own life:
In the practical sense, owning a home costs much more than the average monthly mortgage payment. And innocuous home-improvement projects can pile up and eventually cut into your savings. Of course, you shouldn’t neglect major structural or aesthetic issues within your household, but you can always seek out DIY solutions to common problems in order to cut costs. The next time you experience a leaky faucet, then, think about trying to fix it on your own before you reach for the phone.
How can food possibly be an under-the-radar expense when it’s literally vital to everyday activity? In reality, though, many people waste food on a consistent basis. The United States alone wastes roughly $160 billion worth of food every year! Though it may be difficult at first, reconsider your regular grocery list and make sure you only purchase food you know you’ll be able to consume. It may take some time for you to work out a new system, but doing so could save you hundreds (if not thousands) in the medium term.
It’s never been easier to succumb to impulse purchases than it is right now. And sites like Amazon make it extremely easy to buy items online without having to log in credit card or personal information time and again. With that in mind, it’s crucial for cash-strapped individuals to keep their online purchases to a minimum and eliminate all unnecessary expenses on frivolous products.
While an international holiday will certainly prove pricey, millions of people have to deal with travel expenses on a day-to-day basis. Yes, taking public transport like trains and buses is often a more economical choice than purchasing (and maintaining) a car, but any form of transportation will cut into your budget in some way. Thankfully, more and more professionals are able to work from home and –– as a result –– cut down on their commuting costs. (Note, if you do begin to work from home, you may want to incorporate some elements of modern office design within your new work area. Doing so will help you adjust and focus!) Lastly, cycling and jogging are, of course, healthy activities and completely cost-free ways to get around town. It never hurts to take a walk now and again!