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10 surprising ways you're wasting money every day

Pressure purchase

Many people are motivated by guilt and peer pressure to spend their cash when they don't really want to.

Save money by paying it forward instead of paying for something because you feel pressured to.

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10 surprising ways you're wasting money every day

10 surprising ways you're wasting money every day

https://www.insider.com/most-common-ways-youre-wasting-money-2018-12

insider.com

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Key Ideas

Spending on things you don't use

Spending subconsciously through auto-charge can be a waste of money. For instance, a gym membership. Other things could be hot products you've heard rave reviews about or items you pick up on an impulse.

Ask yourself exactly how you will use the item before you purchase it.

Invest in high-quality items

Buying low-cost, poor quality items might save you money short term, but you end up spending more if you have to keep replacing them.

Do your research before purchasing an item of value.

Pressure purchase

Many people are motivated by guilt and peer pressure to spend their cash when they don't really want to.

Save money by paying it forward instead of paying for something because you feel pressured to.

Spontaneous purchases

When you don't plan ahead, you end up having to buy out of convenience. For example, buying a more expensive lunch on the go.

Keep some items you buy often on hand to avoid last-minute shopping trips.

Sale items

When you buy sale items without intention, you end up spending money you may not have spent at all.

  • Consider whether or not you'd still buy the item if it were full price. 
  • Keep a wishlist so you can shop for the things you actually want once they're on sale.

Buying things you already have

Being disorganized can cause you to waste money on things you already own.

Take an inventory of what you have — and keep a list of what you need.

Extra fees and penalties

Late payments that incur fees and penalties can be costly.

Deal promptly with the payments you owe.

Interest

Incurring interest on loans can become an expense that costs you daily.

Make paying off your debts a priority.

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Convenience Stores

Convenience stores add a huge markup because they don't purchase food in large quantities. They make you pay more for the convenience they provide. 

Unless it's an ...

Cell Phone Plans

Using a cell phone plan that does not suit your needs, or paying for extra services that you do not use can be costing you money each month.

Compare and determine which plan provides the most value based on your needs. Get rid of the extra features like text messaging and mobile internet if you are not using them.

Soft Drinks at Restaurants

Soft drinks have one of the highest markups of any restaurant item and thus provide lower value for your money.

Dine out, but consider to rather opt for water.

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Brand name products

You don’t have to spend money on the big brand names.

Your local grocery or drug store might have a store brand or sell a generic version. In most cases, the ingredients are pretty muc...

Basic car maintenance

You do not need a professional mechanic to sort out many of the simpler car problems.

There are all sorts of easy and helpful instruction videos available to repair or maintain your car for cheap.

Shopping when you’re hungry

We are more susceptible to buying stuff we don’t need when we are hungry. The same goes for a leisurely grocery trip. 

Make your shopping trip when you have other errands to do and a limited time to do them. You will be less likely to spend time exploring and picking up items that you did not originally plan to purchase.

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Save On Transport Without a Car
Save On Transport Without a Car

You’ll save far more if you don’t buy a car or sell it if you already own one but can go without it.

If you can use public transportation, you can save quite a bit of money on ...

Save On Transport While Keeping a Car

Carpool to work if you can to significantly reduce wear and tear on your car, save on gas, and take advantage of carpool lanes that might make it easier to get to work.

Check at least once a month to keep the tires on your vehicle properly inflated. Doing so can improve your gas mileage.

Save On Debts

Refinance your home or automobile at a lower rate to save money over the life of the loan and lower your monthly payment.

If your student loans are locked in at a high-interest rate, figure out whether it makes sense to consolidate all or some of them.

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Common budgeting mistakes
  1. Not Tracking Expenses: it's impossible to stick to your budget if you don't know where your money is going.
  2. Buying on Impulse: Impulse buying is expensive.&nb...
Tracking expenses
One of the ugly truths about budgeting is that when you keep track of your expenses, it’s painfully clear when you’ve gone off track. 

Write it down when you’ve gone over your budget. The negativity you feel will help prevent you from overspending more or doing it again. Just think of this step as damage control.

Being frugal and miserable

If you try to deprive yourself too much, you’ll binge later and throw all your hard work out the window. 

A spending binge can set you back far more than treating yourself occasionally, so go for the occasional minor splurge. Just keep your treats within your spending limits and you’ll be fine.

Budgeting = creating a plan to spend your money

Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income.

It's a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures. When you budget your money, there’s a desir...

How to create a budget
  1. Gather Some Financial Information: gather a detailed list of your income and expenses.
  2. Select a Budgeting Method: figure out how you’ll budget your money to meet your most pressing financial goals.
  3. Create Your Budget: tally up all your expenses and income to see where you stand and allocate expenses.
  4. Execute Your Plan: you can use a notebook, pen and paper, a spreadsheet or an online software.
  5. Reward Yourself: you can work a small percentage into your budget to treat yourself each month.
The 70:20:10 budgeting method

This method suggests that you allocate 70 percent of your income to expenses, 20 percent to savings, and the remaining 10 percent to debt.

70:20:10 may work for someone with a healthy emergency fund and minimal debt.

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Single-Cup Brewing

It is more efficient to brew one cup at a time and you can choose from a great variety. However, it can be very costly. The excess packaging also causes environmental problems.

Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is a great, healthy snack.

Instead of buying popcorn in microwave bags, one can also pop corn at home for much less than the bagged kind.

Bottled Water

Bottled water drinkers give 3 main reasons for their choice: 

  • Taste: Many claim their tap water tastes bad, but a simple pitcher filter can probably fix it.
  • Safety: Bottled water is not necessarily safer than public water sources. A high-end filter can remove impurities from tap water.
  • Convenience. A decent filter and a reusable bottle or stainless-steel flask can replace bottled water.

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The Golden Rules of Personal Finance
  • Spend less money than you earn
  • Always plan for the future: you should always look forward beyond the current month
  • Make your mon...
Being Frugal Is Not Cheap

Frugal people do spend money, but want the maximum bang for the buck, without stressing themselves.

Frugality does not mean compromising quality, neglecting your social life, or being a...

Be A Smart Spender
  • Use tools like financial books, podcasts, and online savings groups.
  • Avoid indulging in unnecessary expenses daily, reducing them or finding healthier and more affordable alternatives.
  • Cultivate a healthier attitude and the right mindset towards your finances.
  • Know that small, practical, money-saving actions can compound into better living for you in the long run.
Use Smart Hacks

There are plenty of financial and budgeting tools and apps that can help us manage our funds, keep track of our expenses, and trigger us when we are off-track.

Simple hacks like carrying a debit card or cash instead of a credit card, or deleting our card details from shopping sites can help us avoid spending impulsively.

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Typical Budgeting is Flawed

Typical regular budgeting methods assume that just by allotting limited money to a particular expense type (like groceries) is enough for us to spend less and balance our budget instantly.

Th...

The Reverse Budget

A Reverse Budget looks at your current lifestyle and makes slow improvements over time until things are sufficiently better.

We look at how much we are spending eating out, commuting and daily indulgences and see the past quarter trends using your credit card and bank account spending.

The Two Approaches using Trends

When you look at our past spending patterns and trends, you can select one or two categories to focus and use one of these two approaches:

  1. Tackle the high-dollar impact areas like housing, fuel, food, or healthcare, and see if those can be cut down to some extent.
  2. Focus first on your 'disposable money' expenses like eating out, and entertainment and curbing those, gradually.

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Organizing our Lives

We all are juggling life's important areas: work, office, home, health and fitness, our finances and relationships.

It is not easy to juggle so many things all at once, and some areas may get...

Developing Habits

We all have habits ingrained in our lives. Most of our good habits (if any) take us to eventual long-term success, and our bad habits take our time, health, happiness and money. Make a list of what all you do as a habit daily and see which ones are good and which ones are not.

Habits like spending hours on social media, binge shopping, and lying on the couch are a few examples of bad habits.

Planning Ahead

Life is unpredictable, but planning is still important. Use your phone's calendar and to-do list, or install an app to create daily and weekly plans:

  • Plan even for small errands.
  • Keep in mind that things take longer than you expect.
  • Block chunks of time, or an entire day for a task.

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