There were many things we were wasting money on that we realized we didn’t need. We were being lazy, not saving as much as we should, paying for items that were a waste of money, and so on.
I don’t think I’m alone either. There are probably things you’re wasting your money on too.
Instead of wasting money, you could be putting your hard earned dollars towards your next vacation, a retirement fund, a college fund, or something else.
With this post I hope to help you analyze your expenses and see where you may be possibly wasting your money. I understand that there are plenty of reasons for why a person may spend money on some of the things below, however, the point is to see if YOU should be. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong answer. I am a firm believer that money should be enjoyed and everyone enjoys spending their money on different things. However, that doesn’t mean you may not be wasting your money.
Below are seven things you may be spending too much money on.
1. Bottled water.
There’s a lot of waste that comes with purchasing bottled water. You are wasting money by buying water and the plastic that the water is in is a huge waste as well.
Yes, I understand there are times that come up where you may want water when you’re on the go. I also understand that some areas do not provide the cleanest water either. However, buying huge cases of small bottles of water is most likely not needed.
What you can do: You could buy refillable water containers and fill them up if the water you have access to is not the cleanest. In towns where the city water is no good, I have seen water fill up stations so that no plastic is wasted. You could also buy a water filter (this is the one we have) and clean your own water that way.
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2. Expensive cell phones.
The average person spends a few hundred dollars on their cell phone bill each month and that adds up to a few thousand dollars each year. Is your cell phone really worth that much extra money or is it just a waste of money?
What you can do: There are many cheaper cell phone options out there such as Republic Wireless (plans start at just $5 a month), Ting, and so on. You could also not upgrade to the latest cell phone every time one comes out, downgrade your current plan, and more.
Okay, so food is a need, but what I’m talking about here is that you are probably spending too much money on it.
I’ve talked about our food spending a lot here on Making Sense of Cents. It’s an area where we’ve had a lot of problems. However, since traveling in the RV we have noticed a dramatic change in our food spending. We are eating in more than ever, eating even healthier, and more.
This is something we will probably have to actively work on for decades and probably even the rest of our lives.
I know there are many others who are experiencing the same food spending problems as well. It can be so easy to let your food spending get out of control, but I recommend you look at your food spending and see if you can cut down even further.
What you can do: To lower your food spending you could meal plan, shop sales, use coupons, cook from scratch, eat out less, prep your meals, and more.
I recommend you check out Personal Capital (a free service) if you are interested in gaining control of your financial situation. Personal Capital is very similar to Mint.com, but 100 times better as it allows you to gain control of your investment and retirement accounts, whereas Mint.com does not. Personal Capital allows you to aggregate your financial accounts so that you can easily see your financial situation, your cash flow, detailed graphs, and more. You can connect accounts such as your mortgage, bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and more, plus it’s FREE.
Several months ago, we made the decision to eliminate our cable bill. We weren’t spending an outrageous amount on cable, but it did add up to several hundred dollars a year that we did not need to be wasting money on.
Plus, we haven’t missed cable one bit. I wish we would have eliminated it sooner! We now have Netflix and a digital antenna, however, we are thinking about eliminating Netflix and just having the digital antenna for free TV.
Sadly, the average person who has cable spends a lot more money than what we used to. I know many who spend anywhere from $100 to $300 a month on their cable bill and that is a significant expense in a person’s budget!
What you can do: There are two main things you could do – either eliminate your cable or satellite bill completely or downgrade your package. You most likely do not need all of those extra channels anyways.
Related article: How To Live On One (Or 50% Of Your) Income
5. Extra warranties.
Everyone has been hit with warranties when they purchase a particular item. Sometimes they are useful, but I have come to realize that for the most part they are not and they are just a waste of money.
Personally, I have bought numerous extra warranties that were not honored because of one ridiculous excuse after another.
What you can do: Before you purchase your next warranty, you should analyze the agreement and see if it is worthwhile. In many cases, a warranty is not worth it because of strict rules, expensive deductibles, and more. Also, check to see what kind of free warranty already comes with the product. In many cases, it is enough.
6. Bank accounts with fees.
Sadly, I know a few who still pay monthly fees for their bank accounts and this is what I believe to be a huge waste of money. This is something I’ll never understand though as there are plenty of free bank accounts out there. You should never have to pay for ATM fees either.
What you can do: Shop around and see what banks and/or credit unions can offer you and your situation free banking. Trust me, they are out there!
You are wasting your money if you have high-interest rate debt. This is due to interest charges you are paying that will just keep building up until you are able to pay it off.
If you have never done so, I want you to add up how much in interest you are paying each day and each month towards all of your debt. I bet you will be shocked!
What you can do: Yes, there are strategic reasons to keep debt, but if you do not have a strategic reason, then paying it off is most likely your best bet as interest charges can be a waste of money.
Do you spend money on any of the above? Why or why not? What do you think people are wasting money on?
If you are looking for other ways to save and/or make money, below are some things I recommend:
- Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I made over $150,000 last year by blogging and will make more than that in 2015. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
- Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 gift card bonus to Macys, Walmart, Target, or Kohls!
- Pay bills on time. This way you can avoid late fees.
- Shop around for insurance. This includes health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, home insurance and so on. Insurance pricing can vary significantly from one company to the next.
- Save money on food. I recently joined $5 Meal Plan in order to help me eat at home more and cut my food spending. It’s only $5 a month (the first four weeks are free too) and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore and it will save you money as well!
- Fuel savings. Combine your car trips, drive more efficiently, get a fuel efficient car, etc.
- Learn to have more frugal fun. We don’t spend anywhere near the same amount of money on entertainment as we used to. There are plenty of ways to have frugal fun.
- Rent an extra room in your home. If you have extra space in your home, then you may want to rent it out. Read A Complete Guide To Renting A Room For Extra Money.
- Answer surveys. One survey company I recommend is American Consumer Opinion. It’s free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. Pinecone Research is another company I use to complete surveys. They pay you for each survey you complete and they also occasionally send free products to review!
- Learn how to avoid a Craigslist rental scam.
- Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is something I don’t use as much, but I do occasionally earn Amazon gift cards with very little work. Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded points called SB for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough points called SB, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up today!
- InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5 for free!