Have you ever stopped to think about how much money you spend on everyday products and services? If you haven’t, now is the time to start. In case you haven’t noticed, things are substantially more expensive than they were a couple of years ago. Regardless of whether supply chain issues or profiteering mega-corporations are ultimately to blame, the fact is that higher prices are a fact of life these days – and that’s probably not changing any time soon.
As if inflation wasn’t bad enough, many signs point to a possible recession on the horizon – and that means we’ll all have a lot less money in our pockets in the not-too-distant future. The time to start reevaluating your finances is now – before the cash crunch starts to get really bad. There’s a good chance that you spend way too much money on a number of everyday products and services, and we’re going to name just a few of them in this article. Let these ideas serve as a starting point that helps you get your fiscal life in order while things are still relatively good.
You’re spending far more than you should on these five things.
Do you feel as though coffee has risen faster in price than many other basic goods over the past couple of years? It’s not your imagination. The world has actually been under a fairly serious coffee shortage, and the market hasn’t improved so far in 2022. Coffee growing regions have been badly hurt by periods of drought followed by periods of heavy frost. Crop yields have been low, and persistent supply chain issues have made it more expensive than ever to ship the beans that are successfully harvested. There isn’t enough coffee available to meet the demand, and we’re all paying the price.
So, what can you do if you’re spending too much money on your daily caffeine habit? The first thing that you can do is stop buying expensive brews from a certain well-known overpriced coffee chain. Drive-through coffee might be convenient, but it doesn’t beat what you can do yourself – at a fraction of the cost – at home. If you’ve already been grinding and brewing your own beans at home, there’s something else that you can do to decrease your costs even further: You can switch to tea. At pennies per serving – even for better brands – it’s significantly cheaper than coffee.
Speaking of addictive stimulants, let’s discuss another one that’s consuming way too much of your money.
If you’re still smoking cigarettes in 2022, it’s time to enter the 21st century and grab a vape kit from a company like V2 Cigs UK. Although cigarettes haven’t particularly been affected by supply chain issues during the events of the last couple of years, they have continued to increase dramatically in price thanks to ever-escalating tobacco taxes. In nations like the United Kingdom and Australia – and in tax-heavy U.S. states like New York – the price for a pack of cigarettes has reached absolutely astronomical heights. Using an e-cigarette is substantially less expensive in comparison and can potentially save you the equivalent of a car payment each month.
If you’re a long-term smoker, there’s a good chance that you’ve tried to quit already and were unsuccessful. If you haven’t tried vaping yet, it’s time to give it a shot because vaping is more pleasurable and more satisfying than any other form of nicotine replacement. Quitting smoking is the single biggest thing that you can do to change your financial outlook ahead of a potential recession, so don’t delay.
In this article, we’ve touched on the supply chain issues that have affected most industries over the past couple of years. Have you ever stopped to think about how wasteful and expensive it is to buy bottled water that’s traveled many miles – perhaps even across the country – by truck to reach the shelves of your local supermarket? You have a municipal water service that provides potable water at an extremely affordable price. Instead of drinking that water, though, you’re paying many times that price to drink someone else’s municipal water out of a plastic bottle that will probably end up in your local landfill. It doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Most bottled water is just filtered municipal water, and it’s nothing that you can’t make yourself. All you need is a good water filter. Reverse osmosis filters are particularly effective, and a good filter will pay for itself quite quickly given how expensive bottled water is.
Are you paying a high monthly rate for an unlimited phone plan even though you spend most of your time using your phone through your home Internet connection? Even when you’re out of the house, it’s often unnecessary to use your phone’s data connection because free Wi-Fi is ubiquitous. If you’re paying for an unlimited phone plan and aren’t taking advantage of it, it’s time to consider downgrading to a limited plan. Many phone carriers will allow you to buy a “roll your own” plan in which you choose how much data you’re going to pay for each month. With a roll your own phone plan, you could end up spending a quarter – perhaps even less – of what you’re currently paying.
Credit Card and Loan Interest
People have found all sorts of interesting things to do with their extra money over the past couple of years, and investing – whether it’s in stocks, cryptocurrencies or something else – has been high on many people’s lists. In case you haven’t noticed, though, the markets have really gotten hammered this year. Meanwhile, the average credit card has an interest rate of around 19 percent. If you’re pumping your spare money into investments while watching your credit card balances grow, you have your priorities wrong because there’s almost no investment available right now with any possibility of growing more quickly than your credit card interest.
If you’re carrying balances on your credit cards, in other words, you’re forcing yourself to make bad investment decisions and shoot for a big win that probably isn’t going to come. You’re losing money faster than you can possibly gain it. If you have any spare cash at all, the best thing that you can do in advance of a potential recession is pay down your credit card and loan balances as quickly as you can.