Five Things We Don’t Have to Buy (But Still Do)

People waste money for different reasons. Sometimes it’s carelessness or forgetting the coupon book, and other times it’s as simple as not having the right information. Whatever your vice, saving your hard-earned cash is Step #1 on the path to credit repair. Saving means increasing your options related to debt reduction, creating an emergency account, and establishing borrowing power—all of which can affect your credit score. When credit repair is on the line, weeding out superfluous spending is critical. Start by considering the money wasted on the items below. These bottom lines are bound to add up quickly.

1. Processed or premade food.

Ah, the power of convenience. We’d rather spend $5.75 on premade stir fry than buy and prepare the ingredients ourselves. This kind of thinking is toxic where credit health is concerned. Not only is premade or processed food probably bad for you, but wasting the extra cash for the sake of “easy” is sure to make credit repair more difficult. Use your money where it counts. Pay down debt instead of hitting the drive-through window. Add to your savings account instead of dining out every week. Sacrificing convenience for the sake of financial security is never a mistake. Practice some self-sufficiency and avoid the “easy” factor. Learning to save may help you acquire new skills along the way.

2. Duplicate technology.

Would you buy two laptops in one day? The answer is probably no, right? So why buy new technology that overlaps with the old? Our culture has become obsessed with the latest phone, computer, camera, etc. Few realize the multiplicity of their combined gadgets until long after their purchase. The next time you are in the market for a new camera, ask yourself how many you already have. Your phone is sure to house point-and-shoot technology, and your computer likely has a camera option built-in. In the same vein, why sign on for a phone data plan when you already have internet at home? Do you really need to check your email on the way to work? Keep credit repair in the forefront and reduce your dependence on technology. The money you’ll save is better spent on your future.

3. Exercise.

Gym memberships are regarded as a necessary expense on many budgets. After all, can you really put a price on health? Newsflash: Yes. And the gym has your money to prove it. Consider this notion the next time you are wiling away the hours on the treadmill: You are paying someone to move your own legs. Unless you have a trainer standing by your side, the efforts made to stay in shape are yours alone. Why pay a ridiculous markup to use fitness equipment? Pound the pavement around your neighborhood rather than spending your time at the gym. If you need guidance, go online and look for free workouts (e.g., Bodyrock.TV) to try at home. You don’t need a prescribed location to lose weight. Rely on your own motivation and tighten your budget in the process.