5 Things You Should Stop Spending On Because It’s Just Not Worth It
by Michelle Heah. |
Money, to Millennials, is both important and a tad confusing. How many times have you lamented -jokingly or not- that you are broke?
Unlike our parents who are (likely) in the Baby Boomer generation, have strong saving habits all their life and only spending on necessary items, statistics are showing that millennials are still spending money on things that financial experts say would contribute to huge savings if they were avoided. And it’s hard to blame us. We live in a world of instant gratification, FOMO and being constantly ‘influenced’ on social media. However, we are now officially ‘adulting’, and guess what, we do need to plan our finances carefully.
It all boils down to this, you can build wealth in 2 ways: You either make more or you spend less.
Here are a few things that if we stop spending on, could possibly lesson our financial burden (because they really aren’t that worth it):
1. Unused membership
You would be shocked at just how many people sign up for a gym membership at the start of a new year, only to fall off the bandwagon a while later -and forget to cancel it. The average monthly cost of a gym membership is approximately RM 100-RM150 per month, and the price goes up for boutique gyms that offer a variety of classes (which is all the trend now). So, if you signed up for a gym you don’t feel comfortable going to, cancel the membership, and opt for FOC exercises that you can do, be it a jog outdoors, or if you simply don’t want the hassle of going out, create a playlist of workout videos on YouTube and work up a sweat at home! This also applies to streaming services you aren’t using any more, magazine subscriptions you don’t read etc.
Tip: Do a self -audit every month and go through your credit card statement to see what you’re spending on. If you see a recurring cost, ask yourself if you are getting value out of it.
2. Shopping for clothes
Ladies, there is no better therapy than retail therapy. (Am I right?) Buying items on a whim gives us a temporary high which is why retail therapy is a total mood-lifter. You may be tempted to swipe your card and get the item on the spot – full price. But is it honestly worth it? As most stores will have a sale eventually. Same goes for online shopping, always keep an eye out for discount codes and take your time to compare prices with other websites, as you never know when you’ll come across a good deal.
Tip: Wait it out for 24 hours before making any big purchases, to avoid wasting hard-earned cash on impulse buys. You can also stay grounded when shopping for clothes by creating a list and only buying those that you need.
3. Drinks and expensive coffee
Everyone knows that beverages in cafes and restaurants have a massive mark-up. This includes sodas, fruit juices and alcoholic drinks. Going out for drinks at a bar is ridiculously expensive as compared to a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) gathering at someone’s place.
However, most choose to go out anyways for the sake of socializing. This isn’t something that you need to totally cut out from your life, but everything in moderation and you won’t wake up one Sunday realizing you spent RM150 on 3 Gin & Tonics.
On the other hand, I’m sure many can’t deny the pull of what is famously known as the Starbucks ritual. Sometimes, the mere act of carrying out a familiar action in a familiar place can conjure up the required mindset of starting the day right. This applies to drinking expensive coffee in any other hipster café as well. Forking out RM10-15, four to five days a week just on coffee is not all that worth it (this coming from a retired café hopper and serial coffee drinker).
Tip: Go for good ol’ H2O when you eat out and opt for alternatives like spending the night in with some friends and being your own bartender. Hey mojitos are fun and easy to make, so this would be a much cheaper alternative than going to a bar.
4. Buying convenience food/Pre-sliced produce
There’s no denying it, we LOVE convenience— be it delivery services right to your doorstep, buying pre-packaged salad mixes, pre-washed/ pre-sliced fruits and veggies or ordering take out. However, the reality is you are paying a big premium for these. If you are trying to eat healthy and save money, you can purchase the produce in bulk and meal prep yourself. You may not realize it, but your RM12 fast food drive-thru trips or RM15-RM20 meal delivery (even with coupons) add up and you could use that money you spent on one meal, to buy fresh chicken breasts for half a week of meals.
Most people will lament that they don’t have enough time. But this is precisely the problem that meal prepping solves! You cook week by week, not meal by meal. It really saves time in the long run, and you’ll thank yourself later during a really hectic week. All you have to do is grab your food and reheat it.
5. Beauty services (and more) makeup
Monthly manicures, eyelash extensions, eyebrow shaping, hair treatments…the list goes on and our expenses go up. Add splurging on (unnecessary) makeup into that list and voila, you would have racked up an impressive amount on your credit card bill.
It’s totally fine to indulge in all these beauty services occasionally, but if done frequently bi-weekly or on a monthly basis, it will contribute to a huge amount, and you are better off saving that money. As for makeup, sigh, I know. Sephora is heaven to us, but hell for your wallet. It’s imperative to identify what items you need and make a beeline for that, lest you walk out with an extra lipstick, Fresh’s latest face mask and Riri’s famous highlighter.
Tip: Some drugstore makeups are actually pretty decent, and you can likely get a few items for the same price of something from high-end beauty stores. Birthday months are also a good time to replenish skin-care or makeup as there are usually major discounts for the birthday girl that you can make full use of!
On top all of that, this could all 'go to waste' if you don't stick to these boundaries too & knowing if it's a want or a need before buying something. Sometimes, it's always easier to fall into peer pressure than to resist your urge of getting bubble milk tea because your colleagues or friends are getting them too or even the latest skincare your favourite influencer is promoting.
Once you have identified your own money traps, you would have a clearer idea on what to spend on and what to save.
Are there other things you feel we should stop spending on as they aren’t that worth it? Hit us up, we would love to hear your thoughts!
You may find out more about Michelle from her Instagram too.