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25 Unnecessary Wastes of Money You Don't Think About

Buying a snack at the gas station

We don’t keep track of all the little snack purchases made on the go.

Get in the habit of bringing plenty of liquids and a snack or two with you whenever you go do errands.

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25 Unnecessary Wastes of Money You Don't Think About

25 Unnecessary Wastes of Money You Don't Think About

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/25-unnecessary-wastes-money-you-dont-think-about.html

lifehack.org

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Key Ideas

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 much identical.

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.

Buying a snack at the gas station

We don’t keep track of all the little snack purchases made on the go.

Get in the habit of bringing plenty of liquids and a snack or two with you whenever you go do errands.

Expiration dates

An expiration date on a food item does not mean it can no longer be consumed. Dried goods, such as cereal, uncooked pasta and dried beans fall into this category. Raw meat or bread can be stored in the freezer for some time.

You can also use online databases to look up the actual shelf-life of certain foods and compare them to what the label says.

Paying for cable

Most streaming services are cheaper than paying for cable or satellite TV and you don’t get stuck with all the extra channels you never watch yet still have to pay for.

Credit/debit cards

Credit or debit cards are convenient, but you don't see your shrinking bank balance with every purchase.  

If you use mobile banking or money management apps while using your card, and it’s working, keep doing your thing. Otherwise, you might want to consider withdrawing a fixed amount of cash for your spending.

A drafty living space

If you pay heating and cooling bills, you might be paying more than you need to due to inadequate insulation. 

Effective insulation can be achieved.

Coupons

Don’t use coupons as an excuse to buy things you normally wouldn’t, even if they only involve small amounts of money.

Stick to coupons for the things you already buy or that are absolutely necessary.

Clothing

Rather buy better quality clothes that have been gently used instead of cheap new clothing.  Cheap clothes break and tear, and then you have to buy more.

If you insist on buying clothing or shoes brand new, find the items you really want and keep an eye open for when they will be on sale.

Health and hygiene habits

Not washing your hands, alcohol and junk food habits, and just not taking proper care of yourself in general, will all come back to bite you.

Weigh the potential medical bills against the temporary inconvenience of adjusting to new habits.

Energy drinks

If you have an energy drink habit due to poor sleep, think of the money your sleep habits are costing you as an extra motivator to change them.

There are a number of health issues that could be causing you to feel drained. Visit your doctor to find out how to fix it.

Grocery trips

Make yourself stick to a grocery budget. Do not allow little trips to the store throughout the week because you ran out of one or two items. 

A routine of more than one grocery store trip per week indicates you’re not properly tracking your grocery consumption.

Buying different cleaning products

You generally don’t need to buy a specific and often pricey product for every different surface in your home. 

There are recipes for DIY all-purpose cleaners on the cheap side as well as homemade cleaning products for specific surfaces.

Pre-cut or individually-packed

Individually packaged food, in general, is more expensive than making something similar yourself.

Buy foods whole and cut them yourself.

Disorganization

It can cost a lot of money to replace lost chargers and cables, expensive jewelry or losing keys and having to pay a locksmith to get into your house or car. 

Find motivation to declutter and get organized to prevent future incidents.

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Base your menu for the week on two things: what you already have in the house and what is on sale at your supermarket.

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By following the conventional path of "school to loan to university to work" you risk running into serious debt. Being creative is a potential way to lessen or eliminate that.

Maybe finding a different and cheaper way of doing the same thing, doing a yard sale or getting a side job… Put your mind to it and you may find ways to get a financial boost. 

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When you buy mutual funds, you are charged a purchase fee upfront. This is a one-time payment to the fund management institution. Annually, you will be charged with a percentage of management fees, commonly known as “expense ratio”, which can be expensive.

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

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