Small mistakes with your finances can make a huge impact over time. The small mistakes are annoying, because it takes some effort to notice them. This means that you need to spend some time looking at your finances- maybe each week. Here are three common mistakes that can cost you.
Movies, video, TV programs
OK- you finally have some time to sit down and enjoy some sort of content. That content may be your favorite drama or comedy series- or maybe that new movie that looks interesting.
Before you make your viewing decision, think about your options. Technology now provides dozens of choices for accessing content:
- Subscription sites: A growing number of people have subscriptions to stream content. Netflix and HBO GO are two popular sites. These two sites have become particularly attractive, because they now produce original content. Are you paying for more than one of these sites? If so, can you cut back to one? When you’re going to watch content, check our your subscription sites first.
- Redbox: Assuming that the movie you want isn’t on one of your subscription sites, you might check out Redbox next. Redbox offers new movies for just a dollar or two.
- On-Demand: Your last option should be on-demand through your cable or satellite provider. That’s because On-Demand movies are typically $5 and higher. Redbox is cheaper- and you’re already paying for Netflix. This should be your last option.
Like movies and other programming, you have many choices when it comes to music. Again, this first step is to take a hard look at any “premium” music subscription services you pay to use.
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Pandora and Spotify offer both free sites and premium sites for a monthly fee. So, is the premium site worth it? Spotify’s premium site allows you to save and listen to playlists when you’re offline- when you’re on a plane, for example. If you travel frequently, that might be worth $9.99 a month.
If you simply want to listen to music of a certain genre, stick with the free service. Why spend money of monthly fees?
Ha, food: The ultimate impulse buy. When we’re busy and tired, we may opt to buy food rather than cook at home. Or, we want to eat out as a “treat” or “reward” for ourselves. Well, consider these choices:
- Prepared meals: To avoid the “I’m too tired to cook” trap, maybe you have some meals are home that are already put together. You still have some prep work, but you don’t have to start from scratch.
- Carry out vs. dining in: You’d like a nice meal, but you’re on a budget. Consider getting carry out, rather than dining out.
- Downgrade on the type of restaurant: Enjoy a night dining out, but pick a location that is less expensive.
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Spent on entertainment wisely
Sticking to a budget does not require you to live on a mountain with other monks (although that may be an attractive option…). You can have some fun- within your means. Think through your entertainment options, so you can stay on track.
How do you save on entertainment? I’d love to hear from you….
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