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8 Things You're Definitely Spending WAY Too Money On Every Month

Put the work in 'till it works out.

Finance

How much do you think you spend on nonessentials? On average, Americans spend nearly $18,000 a year on nonessentials. If that sounds like a lot of money, it's because it is. Over time seemingly small splurges, like $5 here and $7 there, add up.

The money you impulsively spend could be put to better use. Often, we don't recognize how much we're spending because it's easy to swipe your card and not think about your declining bank account. You may have to put in extra work to cut back, but it's possible when you identify the ways you're overspending.

1.Coffee

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Coffee gives most adults that boost of energy to help get them through the day. Buying a daily dose of caffeine can easily become a costly habit. The few dollars spent on that delicious latte can really add up without you taking any notice. Spending four dollars a day on coffee can add up to $28 dollars a week and that's $112 per month. By the end of the year, you could save $1,344 by cutting back on your coffee habits. Making your coffee at home in a travel mug is more cost-efficient than spending money at a coffeehouse to get your daily fix.

2.Food Delivery

Takeout is on the rise, especially with the addition of food delivery services. Research showed 47 percent of respondents feel they overspend on takeout and 52 percent are usually hit by guilt after doing so. Everyday there's a new app that will personally deliver your favorite eats to your door, but not without added fees. The convenience of takeout comes at a price. It might be better for your wallet to personally pick up your food to avoid any extra fees and to prepare homemade meals.

3.Ride Sharing

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Everybody's using ride sharing apps these days because it's so convenient and hassle-free, but frequent use of ride sharing apps can ruin your attempts at saving money. The amount of money you can save on transportation by using public transportation or driving your own car is astronomical.

4.Cable

These days, it's possible to stay in the know about trending shows and movies without even paying for cable. The options to replace your cable bill with a streaming bill continue to grow by the day. Most people don't watch every single channel in their cable package anyways. If you find yourself watching less and less cable, then it may be time to ditch it all together.

5.Subscription Services

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In the US, consumers subscribe to three subscription services on average and 34% of respondents plan on subscribing to more services within two years. Subscription services are popping up everywhere and it's tempting to sign-up for every single one that sparks your interest. When you sign-up, the rate seems like a steal because it's just $10 a month, but this adds up throughout the year. Sit down, and add up the annual amount you're paying for subscription services and it may surprise you. Oftentimes, we are subscribed to services we don't even use.

6.Buying Lunch

Making your lunch everyday will save you money and probably help you to eat healthier. Let's be honest, eating healthy can be more costly than eating cheap processed food. It's cheaper to make healthy food at home, so you don't have to buy an easily overpriced salad. Spending over $10 a day on lunch for five days of the week is $50 per week. You work hard for your money, there's no point in eating it away.

7.Gym Memberships

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It seems like there's a gym around every corner with a plethora of amenities and features. A gym membership is a great investment in your health and wellness, but do you need an expensive membership when you only use a few machines? Also, if you signed up for a gym membership during the new year and you haven't used it in months, then it might be time to cut your membership.

8.Dining Out

Americans spend an average of $209.38 on restaurants per month. Restaurants are the number one luxury Americans choose to splurge on. It's not because the food is simply amazing, it's also the social component. People like to get together Saturday nights with their friends and family and forget about their worries, but this can come at a cost. If you can limit your dining experiences, then you'll be sure to have more money by the end of the month. Think about hosting dinners at your home by cooking or having guests come together to have a potluck.

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Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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