Does your bank account balance seem to decrease on its own? You’ve tried everything to save money, but are still living paycheck-to-paycheck?

You may be among the millions of Americans, who are unknowingly throwing thousands of dollars out the window by paying full price for these money-draining-expenses. Here are six things that are “money-wasters,” but can easily be transformed to “money-savers”:

Entertainment

Today, the average monthly cell phone bill is $73, according to a recent J.D. Power report. And a typical cable bill can add up to be $100 a month or $1,200 a year. What’s more, those evenings out translate to more $3,000 annually, which is what the average household spends on dining and drinks. Collectively, that’s enough money to buy a used car.

Solution: Purchasing out-of-contract phones or limiting your data usage are a few ways to decrease your monthly cell phone bill. Instead of paying for cable, try some much cheaper alternatives that offer more on-demand-entertainment. During your weekly outings, challenge yourself to only spend cash by leaving your debit or credit card at home.

Gym Membership

Are you on a fitness kick? But after a week of sweating it out next to a body builder, you slowly spend less and less time there. Suddenly, that average $800-a-year membership isn’t so useful.

Solution: Get outside in the fresh air. Or stay indoors and try these free-at-home workout circuits and exercise routines (no equipment needed).

Online Shopping

Maybe you are shopping for a last minute birthday gift or want to dress up your new apartment. While online shopping is convenient, you may be paying more for shipping and packaging costs.

Solution: Lifewire breaks down the pros and cons of online shopping vs. buying in store, so you won’t be in the dark about your time and money. You can also delay that online purchase for 30 days and decide later if you still want that juicer.

Regularly Buying Lunch

According to Forbes, Americans spend over $2,500 annually on lunches. This means the average person is spending significantly less on fresh produce, and increasing the amount of waste in their fridge.

Solution: Set aside an hour to meal prep. This provides a fast alternative and allows you to save some serious dough. Pinterest is a great resource to search for meal prep ideas. Trust us, your wallet and body will thank you.

Hotel Rates

The average leisure traveler spends over $130 a night on hotels. That can add up to be nearly $1,000 a week, making it among the largest expenses for travel. Not only does the nightly rate take a toll on your budget, but it may limit your dining and transportation options, too.

Solution: Instead of searching for hotel deals, check out vacation home rental sites, which allow you to rent entire homes, rooms or condos last minute — for a fraction of the cost. Looking for more ways to save on travel? Check out these cost-cutting travel secrets.

Unused Cleaning Supplies

How many cleaning products do you buy each year? According to Statistic Brain, Americans average more than $500 a year and $40 a month on cleaning supplies. From bathroom scrubs to all surface sprays, those chemically-filled cleaners add up quick and can be toxic to people and pets.

Solution: Instead try a DIY all natural cleansers or mix a little vinegar with water, and voila!, you have yourself an all-purpose cleaner – perfect for wiping down kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, you might be surprised to learn just how useful vinegar is — from getting out carpet stains to revitalizing worn furniture.

 

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