When we try to save money, we usually look at the usual suspects, like groceries and clothes shopping, and we attempt to cut back on those expenses. However, sometimes it's not the typical offenders that are wreaking havoc on our monthly expenses. Sometimes it's just the little things that we don't even think about that are the main culprits. Here are a few items which we tend to pay for that are, for the most part, completely unnecessary.

1. Coffee by the cup.

Coffee is a wonderful beverage that gives you that pick-me-up that we so often need when the post-lunch malaise sets in. It absolutely baffles me, however, that so many of my friends or co-workers will set off to Starbucks for an exorbitantly priced coffee when using a coffeemaker is so much easier and cheaper. Buy in bulk and make it yourself.

2. Bottled Water

Another essential beverage, water is a very important part of staying healthy. But you don't need the supposed “healthier” fancy bottled waters to accrue the same benefits as drinking from the tap. Sure, tap water doesn't necessarily taste as good, but investing in a water filter usually takes away the taste and adds the satisfaction of knowing you aren't wasting money or polluting the environment with wasted plastic.

3. Cleaning supplies

There are millions of home cleaning supplies out there. And each is supposedly better than the others, although almost all of them contain harmful toxins. But guess what? For a fraction of the price, replacing all those cleaning products with some baking soda and vinegar will save you money and keep your home spotless without the toxins.

4. Music

Unless you are a serious audiophile who enjoys collecting music, paying for music is a thing of the past. CDs are costly and have a pretty poor shelf-life; they get scratched and simply take up a lot of room. Downloading music is much easier, and with a little resourceful searching online, you can find virtually anything.

5. Internet

This one may be a little harder to stomach for those of you who wish to be constantly connected. But the fact of the matter is that Wi-Fi is available free of charge virtually anywhere. If your job doesn't require that you be online after work, it's good for the mind to take a break from the Internet. Whenever you need to check your email, Facebook account, or do some of the aforementioned downloading, simply go to a local cafe or the library.

Author Bio: This guest post is contributed by Olivia Coleman, who writes on the topics of online colleges and universities.

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