There are some things you just can’t cut out of your budget.
These are items like health insurance, an emergency fund, and a couple others covered here on Lazy Man and Money.
But, let’s turn the tables.
Let’s look at those occasional costs you find yourself paying that are totally unnecessary.
1. High Money Transfers
On occasion, you’ll find yourself having to send money online to a family or friend for whatever reasons. Maybe they’re a little short on a bill or need to get out of a pickle.
You want to be there for them, but Western Union and the other big money transfer services are incredibly expensive.
Sending money online is way better because you get the speed and option for pickups. It cuts out the high overhead with services like Western Union so either you can send more or save more.
2. Oil Changes
Really, the only reason you’re probably not doing this already is that it’s troublesome disposing old oil. The oil change place for the extra $5-$10 seems like a good deal just to avoid this hassle.
Yet, that $5-$10 adds up, especially when you can tack on additional savings during promotions and membership rewards when buying oil.
Motor oil doesn’t have a documented expiration date so sign up to those auto shop newsletters, learn to do your own oil changes using YouTube, and jump on deals.
3. Investment Fees
Hopefully, you’ve been using the money you’ve been saving (and windfalls) to build your investments.
Investment fees are the worst, though, between commissions for the brokers and advisory fees. You could effectively negate your returns if you’re getting slammed by percentage-based fees if the market isn’t performing well.
Cut out the middle-man and use robo-advisors and apps like Robinhood which doesn’t charge the normal slew of fees when creating an account, buying stock, and transferring funds.
4. Dates (to Impress)
This may ruffle some jimmies, but some dates aren’t worth it.
We’re all on dating apps and sites trying to find someone special. We go on a couple of dates here and there. Some of us find someone great.
Yet, here we are spending big bucks on dates when we barely know the other person.
I made this mistake a couple times.
Save the big dates for later when you really get to know the person.
Do something simple for the first few like going to the park or just getting a cup of coffee. You’ll get to learn about the person and if they’re not a good fit?
Well, at least you’re not down $100+ for a dinner date, right?
If you’re willing to try something new and go through an extra hurdle, then using Airbnb (or even a private hostel) is a cheaper alternative to high hotel costs – especially during peak travel times.
Someone put together a comparison between hotels and Airbnb: here.
It’s going to vary based on the city and availability in the smaller towns. But, you can save an easy $50 or more in a lot of the big destination cities.
Plus, you get to experience something authentic since you’re mixed in with the locals (which means cheaper eats/drinks vs the hotel bar & restaurant).
It’s cool to have a library card!
You’d be surprised how awesome libraries are nowadays. They’ve got pretty much anything you could want and if they don’t then they have systems to “rent” from other locations.
This goes for a lot of other entertainment:
· Check FB events for free local happenings
· Wait for game deals on GoG or Steam
· Pick up a streaming music service vs individual buys
You can easily cut your entertainment budget by 50-75% if you’re patient.
Add to It!
What other occasional costs would you add to this that are totally worth cutting out?