The average American does not have enough cash available to pay for an unexpected expense, such as a medical emergency, car problems or a home repair, according to a recent Bankrate survey. Only about 40 percent of those surveyed said they had enough in savings to cover an unplanned bill.
If you don’t have adequate funds in savings, it is imperative to start saving ASAP. One way to build your savings account is to avoid spending cash on unnecessary items. Check out these everyday products you probably buy regularly that you can—and should—stop wasting money on right away.
1. Individual Beverages
A $3-a-day coffee habit will cost you nearly $1,100 a year. Brewing a pot of coffee at home costs just pennies by comparison. If you’re a regular soda drinker, opting for soda in 2-liter bottles or 12-packs over individual cans and bottles can also save you hundreds. Better yet, drink tap water.
Rather than collecting various cleaners for different surfaces and rooms, pick a couple of quality multipurpose cleaners to use throughout your home. Wipe down surfaces with reusable microfiber cloths instead of paper towels to save even more.
3. Fabric Softener And Dryer Sheets
Along with being pricey, scented and softening laundry products can cause build-up in your washer and dryer. Replace liquid softener with white vinegar (it softens without any lingering scent) and reusable dryer balls instead of sheets for similar results.
4. Disposable Plates, Cups And Straws
Paper plates, plastic cups and one-use straws tend to end up in landfills and cost you more over the long haul. Reusable plastic plates and cups as well as steel, silicone or glass drinking straws quickly pay for themselves.
5. Microwave Popcorn
A package of popcorn kernels yields so much more than a bag of microwave popcorn for nearly the same price. Pop it in an air-popper or make it in the microwave with a covered glass bowl. It’s cheaper and healthier.
6. Disposable Razors
According to the EPA, Americans toss about 2 billion disposable razors every year. That’s a lot of money in the trash. Swap to a safety razor. You can keep the handle, and boxes of blades are very affordable.