If you're trying to cut down your spending, there is one HUMUNGOUS area that you should be looking at first... monthly subscriptions and other recurring charges.
5 Reasons Subscriptions are DANGEROUS:
1. Small monthly charges seem so insignificant.
"Oh, but it's only $15 a month, that's no biggie!" Newsflash: that $15 adds up month after month, year after year.
2. It takes away your control.
I don't know about you, but I like being the one who controls my money. If I am feeling strapped for cash, I know that I can just stop buying things and I won't spend money. But if I have a bunch of monthly recurring charges, that money is going to vanish from my account whether I want to spend it or not.
3. They're a pain to cancel.
Most monthly subscriptions allow you to cancel whenever you want, but chances are, you are going to put it off for wayyyyy too long before you cancel. No one likes those annoying little calls to companies to cancel service- it's just a hassle. So there's a good chance you'll let the service go a few more days, weeks, or months than you really want before you finally get around to canceling.
4. Some services have sneaky ways to make sure you continue your subscription.
You might automatically be renewed on a certain date unless you cancel your auto-renewal. If you forget to do it, you could be renewed for another year, and then the next year comes, and you forget to cancel again... it's a vicious cycle.
5. It's hard to decide when to cut off the service.
Are you still getting the same value from the recurring charge? Maybe you reallyyyy liked BirchBox when you initially signed up two years ago, but have you stopped to consider if you are still getting as much value and enjoyment from it? It's easy to stay in the habit of doing something; it's hard to break out of that habit.
So whaddaya do about it?
If you're trying to cut your spending, I would stroooongly suggest taking a close look at those types of charges. How much do you spend each month in subscriptions and other recurring charges? How much happiness and value are you truly getting from each subscription? How would you like having that money back in your wallet-- so you could spend it on other things?
Take back control of your wallet! Spend money when you want to spend money; not when companies want to take your money :)
What recurring charges/subscriptions do you have?
I don't have many: just my $5/mo water cooler club at work, $10 for my business email provider, and bills, if those count. (cable, internet, phone, electric, water) I used to have BirchBox and Cosmo subscriptions, but cancelled them once I realized how much I disliked subscriptions. I don't even have Netflix!