“Don’t buy that, it’s unnecessary”, is something we have all heard our parents say at some point in our lives, especially during the teenage years. This should bring back memories of unfulfilled desires as a child, of wanting to buy a football or a Barbie doll (not judging), and then the parents gently refusing (all those tears wasted). While our parents refused with all the parental goodwill in their hearts, we never did really understand as to why they were. But then again, we were children, and children are allowed to commit mistakes (How else will they learn?
Fast forward to now, where you “the adult” are married and have responsibilities. Yet despite the growth age wise, the childish streak still lingers when it comes to expenses. The urge to buy a new swanky smartphone that is doing the rounds or a sports bike that your friends are drooling over, is still going strong. At this stage the luxury of parents advising with respect to finances is, well, a luxury. Thus boiling down to one simple truth – you have to be financially aware. How? Simple, you need to know what a good expense is and what an unnecessary expense is. To make it easier for you, we are going to discuss the 5 most popular damaging monthly expenses –
Buy This, DEFINITELY NOT that! (3 Damaging expenses you made this month, and what you should’ve bought instead!)
1. Subscriptions at the local gym
Whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle, you don’t need to go to a gym to do it. Many people feel that going to a gym is the only way to get fit, and hence spend plenty to get a gym subscription. You can get fit simply by increasing your activity level throughout the day (take the stairs, not the elevator). A good gym membership comes at a heavy price, something that you can do without if you are simply looking to get fit.
The alternative – Remember Youtube? It has loads of exercise related instructional videos that you can watch for free. These videos cover a wide range of topics like running, body weight training, yoga, Zumba etc. You can also download free workout apps (with proper instructions) on your smartphone. Some of these apps also come with remote coaching. You could also invest in a small HOME GYM or FREE WEIGHTS which is cost effective in the long run.
2. Quit smoking/ drinking alcohol
Our time in this planet is limited; you don’t want to shorten it further. Cigarettes and alcohol are things that can play a very important role in shortening your life span. Thus to live longer, kick cigarettes and alcohol (stick to one beer a week) out of your life. These two can cause a host of health conditions like liver cancer, lung cancer etc. In addition to the obvious health problems, they also burn a hole in your pocket. With the tax rates for these products getting dearer by the year, they are always a strain on your finances.
The alternative – Instead of spending money on cigarettes and alcohol, how about spending on something that addresses your or rather your family’s financial security? No it’s true, there is something that can do it and it’s called LIFE INSURANCE. You investing in a life insurance policy will secure your family’s finances should you pass away in an untimely manner (after all our time here is limited). And the great thing about investing in a life insurance plan is that the expenses are nominal (way lower than your favorite smoke or drink). A life insurance plan will assure your family a lump sum amount in the event of your demise. Rest assured, your family will definitely thank you for it!
3. Eating out
Eating out more than once a week is an unnecessary burden on the wallet and your health. Eating out frequently is not something your stomach would appreciate, and the stomach has its own way of showing dissent – of which diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting etc. are some, which you won’t appreciate. Home cooked meals are sufficient to meet your nutritional needs, so you have be firm about making sure that you eat food that is good for the tummy and not that which only taste good on your tongue.
The alternative – Eat home cooked meals, they are much more nutritious and much cheaper compared to their restaurant counterparts. Stop the habit of eating out at the office. Carry your lunch and snacks from home, you will not only save money but also time which is otherwise wasted in eating out. Buy the OCCASIONAL TAKE OUT if you want to satiate your taste buds.