Frugality is not for everyone. You just can’t convince everyone that the effort to clip coupons, skip the coffee shop latte over making your own coffee or buying store brands is worth the few dollars you save week to week. There are a number of ways that money can be saved that are often overlooked though, and if you happen to be overlooking the items from this list – you could be paying much more than a few bucks a week unnecessarily.
I read an article a while back in Whatiscainz that I clipped, and which quickly disappeared under a pile of crap on my desk. Well, it just showed up today, and I read it again.
People spend more money on subscriptions than they even realize, at times. Subscriptions can include anything that you pay monthly (or regularly, anyway) for – like magazines, newspapers, websites, cable television, music services, gyms. Subscriptions are great tools for business owners because it gives them a way to predict their incoming funds – but for the consumer, not so good! You’re paying whether you remember you have the subscription or not – even if you forget to use it! In some cases, a subscription saves you money over paying per use – for example, if you’re someone who visits the gym three to five days per week religiously – you would never benefit from paying $5 or $10 per visit. On the other hand, if you go to the gym an average of just three times a month, you MAY be better off paying per visit (or skipping the gym altogether for free forms of exercise).
Spend some time analyzing the things you pay for through subscription or regular monthly fees. Are you paying for Netflix or Blockbuster movies by mail? Figure out how many movies you actually watch and what they cost you per movie. For most people, hitting the movie store on the way home to rent a DVD once a week might be less expensive than paying per month.
Cancel any subscriptions you don’t need or don’t make use of. Replace it with a pay-as-you-go version that works better and saves you money. If you’ve got a subscription to Rhapsody or other music service for example, but regularly only listen to one or two songs – just pay $.99 per song on iTunes rather than a monthly subscription. What about cable tv? If you’re not an avid watcher of 321 channels that you pay $102 a month for, maybe you’d be better off buying the episodes of the shows you DO want to watch at $1.99 per episode each month? Figure it out on paper and see for yourself.
The amount you save on subscriptions each month can work more to your advantage in an interest bearing savings or checking account than it can paying for subscriptions on services you barely use.