Do you own baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and Castile soap? Then you have the necessary ingredients for countless homemade cleaning products. There’s no need to spend big bucks on commercial options laden with potentially harmful chemicals when you can whip up a batch of DIY hardwood floor polish or toilet cleaner for mere pennies.
Related: 8 Cleaning Mistakes Everyone Makes
After spilling coffee or splashing soup, most homeowners reach for a roll of paper towels. But at upwards of $1 per roll, paper towels can make a real dent in your budget. Save money (and protect the environment) by reaching for reusable rags or sponges instead.
Nearly everyone owns a cellphone nowadays, which means that those with landlines pay for two separate telephone numbers. Consider eliminating your landline altogether to save anywhere from $15 to $30 each month, depending on your phone plan.
If your weekends revolve around Netflix or HBO Go, you probably aren’t making the most of your cable plan. Canceling your cable can save about $100 to $120 every month. In comparison, a subscription to Netflix costs just $11 per month.
If you’re buying a new appliance or gadget, think twice before upgrading to an extended warranty. They’re often overpriced, usually setting you back between 10 percent to 20 percent of the product’s cost, and they won’t cover all damages, such as those caused by accidents or user error. Instead, set the money aside and use it for necessary repairs or replacements.
According to Business Insider, bottled water can cost 2,000 times more than tap water—and it’s terrible for the environment to boot. Stock up on savings by relying on free tap water and reusable bottles. If you’re worried about lead or chlorine, splurge on a filtration system, which will still save in the long run.
No homeowner likes stink bugs, mice, or ants crawling around their property, but hiring a professional exterminator can cost hundreds of dollars. Instead of dropping the money, peruse the web for simple and nontoxic DIY solutions to your pest problems.
Related: 10 Reasons Bugs Love Your Home
A little grunt work never hurt anybody. If you’re looking to cut down on costs, consider taking on your own yard and landscaping work. You’ll need to shell out a one-time payment for tools—think hedge trimmers or a weed whacker—but savings will eventually add up, because you won't be paying for professional help.
From medications to toilet paper, brand-name products cost significantly more than generic ones. Sometimes these recognized labels are better quality, especially when it comes to paper products, baby foods, or dairy items. But most of the time, generic brands will suffice. Don’t hesitate to pick up cheaper versions of nonperishable foods, cleaning products, and pain relievers.
Unused Gym Memberships
Do you constantly pledge to work out but inevitably plant yourself on the sofa instead? Then it may be time to cancel your pricey gym membership. You can always exercise for free by running outside, lifting weights in your living room, or working out along with YouTube fitness tutorials.
Some ATM machines charge a fee for withdrawing money. The surcharge can be as little as $3 and change, but this quickly adds up over a few months. Avoid pesky costs by carrying cash at all times, using free cash-back services at grocery stores, or seeking out ATM machines without a fee.
Books and Newspapers
Nowadays, many apps and websites let you download e-books for deep discounts, or even free of charge. If you prefer old-fashioned paper books, head to your local library to borrow fresh reading material. Those who prefer hard news to literature can get their fix paper-free by consulting reliable websites for the latest coverage of local, national, or international events.
While you make note of the ways that you can cut back on spending this year, take an audit of other ways you may have been wasting money in the past. You might be making common mistakes that are costing you thousands of dollars.
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