When people talk about the “bare necessities,” what springs to mind? Is it food, clothing and shelter? Or is it cable TV, coffee and your cell phone? Here are five modern “necessities” which may be needlessly draining your bank account. Consider cutting these if you want to get your budget back in the black. We read about these at Bankrate.com.

  • Your daily latte. The math is simple: If you spend $3 per day at the coffee shop, you’ll blow though $1,100 by the end of a year! For 10% of that money, you can buy a good coffee maker, and plenty of gourmet coffee to brew at home!
  • Bottled water. Here are the facts: Research shows that more than HALF of all bottled water comes from ‘municipal water supplies.’ Which is a fancy way of saying you can get the exact same water for FREE – right from your faucet at home.
  • Cable TV. Want to put an extra $40 a year back in your pocket? That’s how much you’ll save for each premium channel you cut – like HBO or Showtime. That’s more money than you’d spend on a Netflix account, renting movies you WANT to watch.
  • Your 2nd and 3rd cell phone. Parents say they love the peace of mind of knowing their teens have access to a cell phone in case of an emergency, but how many emergencies really happen while your kid’s at school? ONE phone – shared whenever someone goes off to a concert, a party, or a ballgame – is more than enough. If it’s a prepaid phone, even better. Because prepaid plans are generally cheaper than long-term contracts.
  • Lawn service. Last year, North Americans spent nearly $15 billion hiring landscapers to mow their lawn and trim the hedges! Maybe you can justify spending $60 per week to save yourself some time, but know this: If you spend one hour mowing the lawn yourself, you’ll burn 400 calories. Over the course of a year, that could burn enough pounds to justify dropping your monthly gym membership too.