Danielle Lescure, a professional organizer once said —
“We’re likely to spend money on something we don’t need if we get what we think is a good deal and assume the item might be handy at some point.”
We are telling you to ask yourself two questions to tell whether something is worth the cash —
Will it serve a purpose in your real life?
Do you have a place to keep it?
Today, we’ll be looking at 15 things you waste your money on and also how you can develop better spending habits in the future.
All right, let’s get into it.
1. Extended warranties
Every time you pay for an extended warranty on an item, we bet a part of you feels like you’ve been outsmarted by the manufacturer.
And to a very large extent, this could be true.
This is because you wouldn’t have to pay for repairs in the event of damage that is as long as it’s within the scope of your warranty.
But what the manufacturers don’t tell you is this: Most of the common problems associated with electrical appliances, your car, or your gadgets aren’t covered by a warranty.
This is due to the fact that the cost of such damage astronomically exceeds the cost of a warranty plan.
Also, did you know that a number of credit cards already include extended warranty coverage for a few purchases?
So, you might just be paying for an extension of what you already have.
Rather than going down the path of paying for an extended warranty, there’s a much safer option to create an emergency account where you save toward repairs in case they arise.
And if this is something you’re already doing, a big thumbs up for you “👍”. You’re on the right path.
2. Food in the movie theaters
Did you know that most movie theaters don’t make their profits from ticket sales but from food sales?
This only goes to show that we’re spending way too much money on the theater popcorn and candy.
Today, most theaters don’t really care about you bringing your own snacks — all they ask is you clean up after you’re done.
That sounds like a pretty good deal to us.
3. Expensive investments
We know what you’re thinking, and yes, investing your money is definitely a good idea.
So, why is it on this list?
Well, here’s what we think:
Investments are an important part of building wealth, but you know what’s equally as important?
An understanding of what you’re investing in!
A lack of understanding could cost you to lose your entire savings, or affect your retirement plan drastically. It’s also important to choose an investment plan that fits your current economic status. Investing in high-expense investment plans doesn’t necessarily translate to success or profit.
The secret to a successful investment is knowledge and understanding of how a market works, possible or common mistakes investors make, and also the probability of its success.
If you don’t have the time to learn about investment opportunities, there are tons of professionals who would be more than willing to help.
4. Shipping charges
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying cool stuff online.
I mean, we all do it!
So, who are we to judge?
But it turns into a problem when you order items online, and pay extra just so they can be shipped to you overnight unless you absolutely need it that quickly.
Paying extra is not the way to go.
Also, if you need to buy several items from the same e-commerce store, buying them all at once will usually give you a discount on shipping charges.
We understand the excitement of having all your new gadgets delivered to you as soon as possible, but hey, just wait a few days. It’s eventually gonna get to you.
Just chill out and save a bit of money.
5. Buying clothes you don’t need
Looking good is great, right?
It makes you feel confident in your own skin and could cause more people to notice you.
Imagine walking down the street and everyone’s got their eyes on you, admiring your beauty and style — that’d be amazing, right?
Of course, but does this mean you should be spending every penny you earn on buying new clothes?
Knowing just the right amount of clothes you need is key to saving money. For example if you are an introvert or a homebody, you probably don’t need as many dinner gowns as someone who goes out every day.
But how do you know the right amount of clothes for yourself?
Well, spend some time thinking about it and fully understand your lifestyle, and then choose your clothes based on —
The life you live, or
The life you’d like to live.
6. Upgrading your smartphone regularly
The newest iPhone isn’t such an upgrade from the last, but it still sells for over $1500.
If your smartphone can still perform its basic functions, there should be no need to upgrade it regularly.
If you upgrade your device every time your favorite brand releases a new model, you’ll be spending way too much time every year on just smartphones.
So, do yourself a favor and stick with your current device until it dies.
7. Unused gym membership
Gym memberships are great, but this is only true if you go to the gym regularly.
Deciding to go to the gym requires a strong dose of self-motivation — you have to constantly push yourself to leave the house even on days you don’t feel like it.
If you don’t, you’ll still have monthly payments come out of your account without getting any of the value in return for it.
If you think you aren’t really ready for the gym, which is totally fine, canceling your gym membership or putting it on pause will help you to save from that monthly debt.
On the flip side, if exercising at the gym is something you really want to do, then get yourself up and go to the gym.
Pro tip: Exercising at home isn’t just a cheaper alternative, it’s also a great way to understand your body and its limits before going to a gym.
Did you read that right?
Of course, you did!
An average cup of coffee goes for around $4+ at your favorite coffee shop.
Now, if you take one cup of coffee every day of the week, then at the end of the year, you would have spent over $1460 on coffee alone. And throw in a sandwich or a cookie here & there and you’re spending way more in one year.
If you’re finding it hard to save as little as $5 every day, it really could be because of your coffee habit.
Rather than spend a few minutes and dollars at the coffee shop every morning, you could start to make your coffee at home.
9. Major impulse purchases
The job of a salesman is to convince you to buy something you don’t particularly need — it could be a refrigerator, a new dishwasher, and perhaps the new best TV on the market.
Now here’s the trick: If you weren’t planning to buy this item, buying them on impulse is definitely not a good idea unless you think you absolutely need them.
And if you absolutely need this purchase, there’s a good chance you’ve already made plans about it in the past.
Impulse buying messes up your budget. It creates a huge dent in your savings, and if it turns out to be a purchase gone wrong, it could also fill you with regret.
10. Bottled water
Drinking water is healthy.
So, we understand why most people are opting for bottled water, but one bottled water costs around $50, and if a person consumes 167 bottles of water each year, that’s around a yearly cost of $250 for water.
That sounds like a lot to pay for water each year, doesn’t it?
Investing in a water purifier is an equally healthy option, and not only does it help you to save money every year, but it saves a whole lot of plastic bottles from going into the garbage.
11. Subscriptions you don’t need
Everyone loves free trials, it’s the best way to see if an app is a right fit for you, and it’s also a great way to enjoy quality services for free.
But here’s the catch: Half the time we forget to remove our credit cards from these apps after the trial period expires, and by the time we realized it, we’ve lost a few dollars to the auto-pay option.
Some people also find it extremely difficult to cancel these subscriptions and these payments could go on for months without you actually using the app.
Thinking that this only happens to you?
Well, not really! A recent study by Chase showed that —
“Over 70% of consumers lose more than $50/month to subscriptions they don’t need!”
If you ever notice a strange debt on your account, it’s probably a reminder to analyze all of your current subscriptions.
12. Buying only popular brand-name items
We understand that Nike and Adidas have some of the coolest fashion items on the market — but also some of the most expensive!
Now, while we have certain conditioning that these brands are known for improved quality, we always tend to forget that there are brands that offer almost the same quality for way cheaper prices.
Let’s take Painkillers for example: Did you know the brand name Painkillers you always reach for have the exact same ingredients as the painkillers that cost way less than the generic aisle.
Getting products or fashion items shouldn’t be about what everyone else is doing, or what’s most popular at the time. It should be about what solves your problem in the most efficient and the most cost-effective way possible.
So, a brand name Sneaker for $1000, or a Generic counterpart of the same quality?
Well, the choice is yours!
13. Ordering Takeout
After a stressful day at work or school, we can understand the need to order a meal and eat as quickly as possible.
Not only is cooking right after work extremely unappealing sometimes + but you’re also then stuck with a load of dirty dishes to clean up.
So, you grab up the phone and order a pizza or some Chinese takeout from your favorite restaurant.
And that’s fine, but it kind of becomes a problem if you do it every day.
Ordering takeout every single time has a direct influence on your finances, and while you might not notice it at the start, it definitely becomes a problem in the long run.
So, what’s the solution?
If you’ve got a roommate, you could draw a meal plan based on both of your schedules. And if you don’t, cooking in bulk over the weekend is a great option. Then you can keep your fridge stocked with meals and snacks ready to be reheated whenever you need them.
This’ll help to save you money as you’ll be spending way less on food every week.
Gambling is usually fun at the beginning. This is because there’s part of you that believes you could double $1000 in a night.
Unfortunately, though you don’t win the first night and then you try again the next night and slowly you build a lifestyle revolving around gambling causing you to lose money every time.
Of course, you might not be dropping thousands of dollars every night at a casino in Vegas, but it could be as simple as buying a lottery ticket every day.
And even though a ticket goes for as little as $2, it could create a dent in your finances in no time.
And did you know the chances of you winning Powerball is 1 in 175 million per ticket? If the chances of you losing are higher all the time, this should be a good sign to stop gambling.
15. Cable TV
Okay, we know what you’re thinking —
“Who still pays for cable TV?”
Now, while this might sound like an outdated thing, there are still millions of people who pay for cable TV. But you know what’s even more wasteful about this is the fact they don’t even watch that cable TV.
So, why even pay for it?
Today, there are a number of streaming entertainment options available to viewers around the world.
So, it’s a good time to consider what you actually are paying for, how much time you even spend watching it, and the cheaper more efficient alternatives available to you.
These services offer viewers a cheaper monthly plan and they’ve also got better and newer shows.
And there you have it, readers.
Remember: Learning to develop better spending habits takes time! So, it’s important you’re kind to yourself as you cut off these wasteful habits.
CONTRIBUTED BY ALUX
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