Does it seem like you never have any money or anything to show for it? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with wasting money. It might be eating out every night or financial fees that hit your bank account. Regardless, we’re all guilty of wasting money one way or another. Let’s look at some of the biggest ways people waste money.
Each years Americans waste a whopping $160 billion in food. Think about that for a second. This isn’t food consumed, this is food WASTED. Not only are we throwing out a lot of food, but we’re also wasting money by eating out rather than cooking food at home. The food is more expensive and can also lead to health problems that cost even more money.
Smoking, drinking soda, driving when you can walk…there are a number of bad habits that waste money. Let’s say someone smokes a pack of cigarettes per day, and the average cost is $5 per pack, that’s over $1,800 a year. That doesn’t even take into account the health issues that many bad habits can cause.
Drinking soda is my vice. I waste a lot of money each year that could be spent on things that would be better for my financial future (and waistline!).
Shopping for Fun
Shopping for fun can be a huge waste of money. When you’re not shopping with intent, you’re buying items you don’t really need. Think of all the times you regretted buying something. Don’t let shopping be your form of entertainment OR therapy.
Is your home filled with unfinished projects? It might be home projects or crafts. Whatever the project, not finishing it means you wasted money on supplies. If it was something in your home that needed to be fixed, you might also be wasting money if the item remains unfixed, such as windows that are letting air out because they haven’t been properly sealed.
This is one that I'm guilty of a lot. I do like to be crafty and think I'm going to do a fun project (or fix something), but then my excitement fizzles out and I end up not finishing and wasting money. In fact, I'm looking at some spray paint I bought to redo a nightstand in our spare bedroom several years ago that I never even started on!
There are many financial fees that people pay unnecessarily. It might be fees for not paying your bills on time. You might have a bank account that charges fees every time you turn around. You may also be paying fees to transfer money. Be smarter about your finances so that you’re not paying these fees. Pay your bills on time and find a bank account that doesn’t charge fees.
Unused Subscriptions and Memberships
Last, but not least, many people waste money on unused subscriptions and memberships. It might be a streaming service you never watch or a gym membership that you never use. Regardless, take a moment to look over your bank statement and cancel anything you’re not using.
We have several subscriptions to streaming services. A few months ago, I evaluated what services we're actually using, and I ended up cancelling one of them (after being a member for MANY years!).
We all waste money on something. The trick is to become more mindful of what we’re spending our money on and to be financially smart. Don’t waste money on bank fees or unfinished projects. Track your expenses and cut the fluff.