Quitting These Small Expenses Can Help You Save More

Often, the small $1 or $2 expenses don’t seem like a huge deal. What you might not realize is that these small expenses can add up quickly within days or weeks depending on how much you spend. If you don’t pay attention to it, you might end up spending a lot of your money on unnecessary items, more often than you think.


By holding back on these seemingly small expenses, you create a bigger space for financial opportunities, such as growing your savings, investing and more. Are you ready to take on better money habits for your personal finances? We’re pointing out some of the most common items you could be mindlessly spending on. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to make better spending decisions!

No 1:

Frequently Getting Snacks and Drinks

Trust us when we say it’s not just you, it’s everyone else too. Admit it, if you’re currently in your 20s, a common reason why you find yourself at a grocery store is probably because you’re scouting for some chips or snacks. If you’re not at a shopping mall, you might have a habit of making a quick stop at the petrol station kiosk when you’re filling petrol. We can totally relate! Who doesn’t like a good ol’ salty pack of chips and a fizzy drink to go with it? While it’s not wrong to enjoy these pleasurable bites once in a while, these quick picks at the aisle might cost you more than you think if you do it too frequently. We’ve calculated an example of how much you could potentially spend just on chips and drinks if you buy them once a week at a shopping mall and at a petrol station.


While grocery shopping at a mall

  • Bag of chips: $2 x 4weeks = $8
  • Gum or sweets: $1 x 4 weeks = $4
  • Cold drink: $1.5 x 4 weeks = $6


Petrol station

  • Bag of chips: $2.5 x 4weeks = $10
  • Gum or sweets $1.5 x 4 weeks = $6
  • Cold drink: $2 x 4 weeks = $8


That’s $42 a month, $502 a year just on snacks and drinks!


Can you imagine what that sum of money could do for you? You can use that money to pay off your loans quicker or to contribute to your savings account so you can achieve financial freedom at a much earlier stage. Now that you know, the next time you’re about to pick up a bag of chips, think about whether that sum of money would feel much better going towards your financial goals!

No 2:

Impulse Buying During Sales

Impulse buying is perhaps one of the most dangerous habits that contribute to why some people are not financially successful. We don’t want you to fall in that trap because you should be the master of your ship! While we can all agree that all sales seasons are very exciting, it’s important to exercise some self-control over our wants and needs. For instance, try not to indulge in too many on-sale items that may not be the most necessary, such as extra haircare products (even though it’s Buy-2-Get-1-Free!) or a new pair of earphones when your current one works just fine. Yes, even items that are going on sale for just $5 can put a dent in your savings. We think that money looks better in the bank than on random items, if you ask us! There’s a saying; “If something costs $100, and you bought it on sale for $75, you did not save $25. You’ve just spent $75.” So really, the choice is yours.

No 3:

Disposable Items

Spending money on disposable items is the worst! Not only is it not the best use of your hard-earned money, but you’d also be contributing to pollution. *thumbs down*


Did you know that even though disposable items are cheaper on price tags compared to non-disposables, you could actually end up spending more in the long run? This could easily happen because we’d tend to buy disposable items at a much higher frequency than we’d buy quality, durable items. Let’s take a bottle of water for example. A disposable bottle of water that you buy at the supermarket might cost you $1.50. A standard stainless-steel bottle, on the other hand, might cost you $20. However, if you purchase a plastic bottle of mineral water everyday for a month straight whenever you’re out, it would have already cost you $45 that month, compared to reusing your $20 stainless steel bottle and refilling it (with water that’s usually free!). Can you image how much you would have spent if this goes on for a year? $547.50 on just mineral water!


Here’s what we’d advise you to do. Take a look at all the disposable items you have at home, from plastic razors to disposable mop wipes, and other items you can replace for a more sustainable alternative such as a cloth mop or a stainless steel razor. Not only is it better to invest in durable items of a higher quality in the long run, you might also end up saving more if you need to use these products regularly.

No 4:

Food Delivery

Don’t you just love food delivery – especially if you’re indulging in some alone time and you don’t feel like doing anything else but order in and binge-watch your favourite TV series. Trust us, we know exactly how that feels. Absolute bliss!


While food delivery might be a luxury we can afford very occasionally, watch out if you’re a frequent patron of this service. What you might not realize is that it’s often not just the food that’s going to cost you, it’s also the delivery fees. How else do you think the riders get their wages? Here’s an example to help you rethink your spending decisions. Let’s say the delivery fee for each order caps at $2. Not too bad right? Think again. This small expense can easily accumulate to a larger dent in your pocket. Following the $2 delivery fee example, you’ll be forking out an extra $32 and that’s only if you order two times a day, twice a week for a month. Don’t forget, this sum is only for delivery alone – not extra prawns, more rice, or additional fries!


In addition, meals on food delivery menus tend to be priced higher compared to the usual menu in the restaurant, for the exact same dishes. That’s because some restaurants are looking to compensate for the amount that they’d need to pay the food delivery companies for their services.


Here’s an example of how much this might add up to. Say you order the cheapest item on the menu at $10, twice a day and 3 times a week, it would add up to $60 for food, and say $12 on delivery in total (with a fee of $2 per delivery). This is a total of $72 a week after delivery charges. In a whole month, ($72 x 4 weeks), the total sum you would have spent is $288 just by ordering in. However, if you flip the scenario around and dine out instead, you could have saved $48 on delivery fees alone, and perhaps around 10% of the additional mark-up on food prices. You could enjoy extra sides and even desserts with that amount. Imagine how much more you could save if you opt to cook at home instead?

No 5:

Mobile Data You Don't Need

It isn’t a crime to stay online. However, people tend to look at what they can gain and not what they actually need. So, what happens when a telco brand flashes a super data plan that seems like an absolute steal? Without thinking twice, you subscribe to the plan and go on with your day. Why not? The more data the better! Or is it?


Here’s what you might not have realized. For instance, many people might be happy getting 20GB for $40, without realizing that they never even come close to using up the entire 20GB within the month. Isn’t that money wasted as you’re paying for something you don’t even need? So, take a closer look at your telco plan and ask yourself if the data plan you’re using fits your needs, or whether you can save some money swapping to a smaller plan that you will actually use most of.


PS, just in case you’re looking for a new data plan, try our Telco calculator here or read our article on the best Telco plans in Cambodia here!

We hope that you’ve gained a newfound perspective on how these small expenses can ultimately impact your finances. Saving up on these little things can really add up to help you reach the bigger financial goals in life, and we don’t want you to lose out on that over short-term pleasures. By taking these small steps to cut out unnecessary spending, you know you’ll be able to achieve great financial heights! Good luck.

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