Everybody wastes a ton of money every single day, and I'm willing to be that, half the time, you don't even know it. All the same, there are so many things that make you waste your money, some of which are obvious, and others of which are subtler and more insidious. Money leaks out like water in a broken faucet if you aren't careful – but by keeping an eye out, you can start saving right away.
1. Buying New
There are some things people don't need to buy new, and even shouldn't, but they do anyway. I'm not talking about things like mattresses or anything, but for an example, if you're into retro or vintage, you can buy it firsthand – or secondhand, rather, instead of spending a fortune on some new style that's only mimicking the fashion. More importantly, don't knock used cars. There are some lemons out there, sure, but there are plenty of good ones, and they can help you save on car insurance as well.
2. Paying for Your Money
I don't know about you, but I live by ATM. Anytime I need cash, there I am. ATMs are definitely big things that make you waste your money, though. However, that's not true for all of them. What you need to do is look for the ones that don't have a surcharge – and they are out there, I promise. It's stupid to have to pay a fee so that you can get money that already belongs to you.
3. Impulse Buys
I myself waste so much money on impulse buys, it's ridiculous. I'm not even talking about the candy and junk at the check-out lines. I'll see a dress that looks cute, even though I rarely wear dresses, and I just have to buy it – then I never wear it. Think long and hard about your purchases. Are you buying things that make you waste your money, things you'll never actually use?
4. Credit Cards
Credit cards are a huge waste of money when you carry a balance on them. Granted, they come in handy in certain circumstances, but since the world at large isn't really even climbing out of its recession yet, I think credit cards are going the way of 8-track tapes and checks for everything. If you have to use a credit card, pay off the balance as soon as you can, otherwise you're basically throwing away your money.
5. Cell Phone Fees
I'm definitely not knocking cell phones here. I know some people can live without them, but I'm definitely not one of them. We don't even have a landline in my house! However, you need to make sure that the cell phone plan you have works for you. Don't pay for text messages or web access or things like that if you don't use it.
6. Buying Name Brands
Everybody buys name brand something, I know that. For example, I cannot eat off brand cereal, I just don't like it; I had a bad experience with generic Cheerios once. However, with many other things, you can go generic without sacrificing anything. Over the counter medications are a great place to save, and there are plenty of other choices here too.
7. Buying Beverages
Certain beverages are definitely things that make you waste your money as well. For instance, really, why buy so much bottled water? Save your bottles and fill them up yourselves. Take the plunge and buy a water filter if you don't like your tap water; it will pay for itself soon enough, and you won't have to keep buying plastic. Buying beverages one at a time is just a huge money waster. And, if you're a coffee fiend, try making your gourmet coffee drinks at home by yourself!
8. Forgetting the Calculator
I once only had a little bit of cash on me, and forgot to take my debit card at the store. Knowing I only had a limited amount of money to spend, I used the calculator on my phone to tally up everything – and was summarily amazed at the amount of money I saved! This might seem like a hassle, but when the savings start piling up, you won't mind so much.
There are so many things that make you waste your money, you really have to be careful about what you buy. Don't be afraid to use coupons, to change phone plans, or to ditch the things you don't need. What do you do to stop wasting money?
Top Photo Credit: demosphere