6 Things You’re Probably Wasting Money On
It’s frustrating to look at your bank account each month and see the balance going down instead of up. Let me share a secret about sticking to a budget: it’s not the big things that get you. Usually, what makes people overspend are the little things that add up each month. Here are six major money wasters that you’re probably not even aware of:
1. Interest From Credit Cards
Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting to pay credit card debt immediately. The interest rates for
many credit cards are frankly insane, often 15–20% or more. If you only make the minimum
payment every month, you can easily end up spending double the original purchase price just from interest!
Many people waste money on subscriptions they forget they even have. Memberships generally renew automatically, so you can end up getting charged a lot for things you don’t even use. Do you really need that gym membership, video game subscription or music streaming service this month? If the answer is no, cancel your subscription for the time being.
3. Online Purchases
It’s so easy to buy things online. Just a little click gives your brain a rush of dopamine. Buying
things feels great, until you get the bill, that is. It's hard to keep track of how much you spend with so many little online invoices.
Want to save yourself a lot of money and headaches? Don’t save your credit card details with
retailers such as Amazon or Walmart. Being forced to type in all the little details every time you make a purchase can help you fight the urge to buy on impulse.
4. Phone Costs
Your phone can be an amazing thing, but how much do you use the extra features of your
monthly plan? People who primarily send text messages probably don’t need a plan that offers unlimited calling. The same thing goes for landline telephones. If you use your smartphone for work, friends and everything else, why not get rid of your home phone and save some money?
5. Special “Offers”
Discounts are good for your budget right? Not usually. Special offers only help your wallet if
they’re for something you were planning on buying anyway. Otherwise, they’re just a way for
companies to trick you into spending more. Stick to your shopping list when you’re at the store.
6. Junk Food
Sugary drinks and snacks are two of the biggest money wasters for average American
households. Take a moment to add up how much you’re spending on candy bars and soda every day. The results will probably shock you.
Even if you only spend $3–4 on snacks a day, that’s $90–120 a month! Couples can lose $200 or more each month this way. Families may spend even more.
Waste or Not?
Not all of these things are necessarily a waste of money. If you’re spending most of your time
cooped up at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, signing up for a streaming service can be a smart decision.
So how much is too much? It depends on three things: your budget, your priorities and your
goals. If something doesn’t contribute much to any of those things, it’s probably a waste. Put your money towards things that really enrich your life.