Do you ever look at your paycheck and wonder where it all went? You aren’t alone. As living expenses rise, even those with great jobs struggle to purchase what our parents took for granted. Even if you live in a small town, it’s more than likely your home, groceries and medical expenses take up a much larger percentage of your paycheck than they used to. But, with a healthy sense of frugality, you can free up some more of your paycheck - you just need to know where to look.
Here are the top five common expenses that you’re probably paying way too much for:
It’s important to get regular exercise, and what better way to do that than by joining a team sport? If you (or your kids) play sports, from pickup to varsity, it’s likely a significant part of your personal identity, and you care deeply about your performance and ability to support the rest of your team.
If you want to do your best, that means you need to shell out a lot for great gear, right? Well, not really. If you want to save big time on your sports gear, look for gently used pieces online. Given that many athletes only use gear for a single season and then look to sell or donate it, it’s likely you’ll be able to find much of your stuff online at a super steep discount.
Did you know that Americans spend an average of $27,698 on their wedding? Comparatively, did you know the average American makes $31,738 a year? Those numbers are, in my opinion, way too close for comfort.
I know, I know, your wedding is a special day - but unless you want to ruin a whole lot of other days, it’s time that we as a nation recognize that it’s time to dial back the expenses. Obviously, the least expensive option is to just elope, but that isn’t an enticing option for many of us. However, there are a few things you can do to cut back your wedding expenses:
Resist telling your venue, decorator, florist, baker or any other vendor that any of you’re planning a wedding. Just tell them they’re for a party - you’ll save a significant chunk of change.
Did you know that lots of designers make white dresses that aren’t marketed as wedding dresses? It will take some searching (definitely put -”wedding” when you search for “white ball gown” in Google) but you can find something that suits you for a fraction of what you’d normally pay.
Do you have friends that are vendors - or wish they were? Ask them to help with your wedding in lieu of giving a gift!
Lastly, you’re probably way overpaying on your groceries. If you’re like most people, you enter the store with a list that’s full of food you generally eat, but you aren’t actually sure of what you’re going to make. You probably spend some time doing guilt-driven purchases in the produce section, and then pick out a few guilt-inducing purchases in the aisles.
The best way to save on your groceries requires a little bit of work, but could save you hundreds (or thousands) of the course of the year: plan your meals. Make sure you know what you’re going to make every day, for every meal until your next trip. If you make the same thing frequently, see if you can buy it in bulk!
If you feel like every paycheck is just enough to sustain you, you aren’t alone - but if you learn frugal tips, you can reduce the cost of almost every purchase you make!