30 Surprising ways you are Wasting Money

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Are you wasting money? Chances are, there are ways you are wasting money without even realizing. Many people waste money, you’re not alone. Here are some of the top ways you are wasting money without realizing.

Money is easy to go through, even waste on purchases. Here are 30 surprising ways you are wasting money. #wastingmoney #moneyproblems #savingmoney #familybudget #budgeting

My husband and I have been on a journey to become debt free. We have found ways to earn extra money, ways to save money, and ways we’ve been wasting money.

It’s been quite a journey that has been challenging but very rewarding for our family. The more we got into our personal money challenge, the more we challenged ourselves to find ways to save and earn more money.

More articles you may find interesting:

14 Budgeting Tips and Tricks to Ensure a Family Budget that Works

11 Simple Ways to Save Money on Groceries

8 Amazingly Easy ways to Earn and Save Money for your Dream Vacation (I love these, we’ve already saved over $500 of extra money in our vacation savings in only 3 months!)

12 Ultimate Side Hustles to Earn Extra Money for the Holidays (I love this one too as we will have around $600 to use towards holiday money in extra income since we’ve been doing this all year!)


You can do it too with your family! Challenge yourself and start with evaluating how your family is wasting money around the house.

Here are the top ways you are wasting money:


1. Not paying the high-interest debt first.

If you are paying the lower interest debt first, then you are wasting money. Figure out how much interest you are paying on each debt and pay the debt that is charging you the most interest.


2. Not shopping around

Insurance, big ticket products, even groceries. Shop around before you make purchases. You can find yourself saving a lot using price match. Many of the major retailers price match and they’ll even match with Amazon. We went shopping for a new wireless router at Best Buy and were able to price match with Amazon to get it $30 cheaper without having to wait two days for shipping.

Walmart Price Catcher is another great way to earn back extra money that you didn’t realize you wasted. I’ve made back $93.40 this year (as of September, 2017). I usually end up with around $100/year since we do most of our grocery shopping at Walmart using Walmart’s grocery pickup.


3. Paying the minimum on credit cards.

Paying the minimum is going to waste more money with interest in the long run.


4. Making late payments.

Just like paying the minimum, making late payments are going to cost you extra fees on basically any bill.


5. Impulse buys.

Purchasing items on a whim is probably the biggest waste of money for our family and maybe even yours. Making Target runs was my weakness. I would waste so much money on things I didn’t actually need and my children ended up with more toys than they ever needed!


6. Extra cellphone data

Either you have too much or too little cellphone data.

Figure out the average amount of data you use each month and buy a plan that covers the amount of data your family uses each month but isn’t an excess amount.


7. Renting a cable modem or wireless router

Internet companies charge about $10/month for using their modem. Purchase your own quality modem and wireless router and in the long run, you’ll be saving money with your own.


8. Gym memberships

If you go regularly to your gym, then obviously it’s not a waste of money. If you find yourself barely using your membership month after month, you may need to consider cutting out the membership and finding a cheaper way to work out.

My husband and I enjoy taking spin classes at the gym. We considered purchasing a Peloton cycle bike but with it costing about $2000 plus the monthly subscription to their classes, it wasn’t worth that price. We purchased a much cheaper spin bike instead but can still use the Peloton app on our phones or iPad to watch the spin class while riding along. In the long run, this option is much cheaper for us since we don’t need to have a gym membership, we don’t need to use gas to drive to the gym, nor do we have to waste time driving at specific times to catch a class.


9. Bottled water

Buy a reusable water bottle and a Brita filter and take your water everywhere. It’s much cheaper than buying a 36-pack of bottled waters and still purchasing bottled water when you’re out of the house.


10. Buying lunch at work

I work from home so I don’t have this issue, but my husband works downtown in a metropolitan area where they have food trucks lined up at lunch time a few streets away from the building he works in. Every once and awhile, he purchases lunch at these food trucks but since we budget for an allowance for myself and my husband, this lunch comes out of his extra spending money rather than getting out of hand purchasing lunch every day at work.


11. Forgetting to cancel the free trials

It happens to all of us. We sign up for a free 30-day trial and you remember to cancel it 2 weeks before it’s due but want to continue enjoying the free trial, so instead, you wait, and wait, and wait. Soon you’re too late and get charged for the next month.

If this happens to you, set a reminder in your phone to give you an alert to cancel your account before you are charged, otherwise this adds to the ways you are wasting money.


12. Plan to run your errands in one trip rather than making multiple runs.

Plan out your errands. Figure out the shortest route and make a day of it. I know it sucks wasting so much time running errands but at least you’ll get them all done and save gas money in the process.


13. Buying pre-sliced or individually wrapped food items

I know they are so much more convenient, especially to throw into your children’s lunch bag, but it saves you money if you buy the box/bag/or whole item and cut/dice/sort/ pack it all yourself.

To save myself time, we have a snack bin in the pantry and a snack drawer in the fridge of all the children’s snack food. I usually put what I need into little baggies on the weekends after we get the groceries so my children can pull out their own snack and don’t need me to pour it, or I can pull what I need to pack in a lunch box. It makes things go much quicker!


14. Not taking advantage of discounts.

Companies offer discounts for so many professions! My husband is military so we get many discounts at various places. But professions like healthcare, teachers, students, government, certain companies, AAA members, all can find discounts with different companies.

Especially ask your cellphone provider! I know AT&T offers discounts on your monthly bill for working at certain places. My parents receive a discount on their bill and we do too (for different professions).


15. Purchasing several different cleaning products.

Do you really need so many different kinds of cleaning products? I have found the best cleaner I have used has been baking soda and vinegar/water mix! This cleaning solution has taken the place of many of the store bought cleaning products and is much cheaper! We bought a spray bottle to keep the vinegar/water solution in, labeled it so we’re not mistaken, and it’s been our go to cleaning product!


16. Making more than 1 trip to the grocery store each week.

This usually causes more impulse buys than anything. I know sometimes it’s unavoidable because you forgot something you need, but usually when I send my husband to the store to get the item, he comes home with a bottle of juice and a treat, just because! Avoid the extra trips as much as you can!


17. Razors

I’m not saying stop using razors, but I am saying, if you purchase razor blades from the store, you are wasting so much money!

My husband goes through 1 blade a week. I hated when he needed more blades because that was an additional $30 for an 8 pack of these blades! We finally began using the dollar shave club and never looked back. Each month, he gets a 4-pack of razor blades sent to him for $9. He says they work just as well as the store bought and loves the shave butter they offer.

I also signed up for the club since I needed new blades and Swagbucks was offering 1975 points (which equals $19.75) for signing up through them and staying a member for 3 months. This deal was totally worth it for me because I would end up with 12 razors (that I needed) at the end of the 3 months for absolutely free. I paid $1 for the first month to try it out, then $6/month for the next 2 on the plan I was on!


18. Pricey personal care products

The $50 tiny glass jar of wrinkle cream most likely isn’t any better than the $10 wrinkle cream. Do some research and don’t overspend on the personal products. There are many articles and testers out there evaluating and comparing the high priced products to the cheaper products and surprisingly, many of the cheaper personal products perform just as well as the pricey ones.


19. Paying full price

There are so many coupon codes available on the internet with a little searching, there’s no reason to pay full price. If the item isn’t on sale yet and it’s not something you need at that time, wait a little while until the item is on sale to make the purchase. Waiting to purchase may even make you realize you don’t actually need the item.


20. Couponing

You may think couponing is saving you money but it may actually be making you spend more so you can save a little. The thing with couponing is that you may end up purchasing something you didn’t actually plan to buy in the first place.

I use Ibotta for grocery shopping, but you can use it with numerous purchases. I make sure I only purchase items that my family is going to use so I’m not wasting money on products I don’t need.

Sign up with Ibotta using code jkc2g, redeem 1 rebate, and you can receive $10 to start you off!


21. In-game purchases

Don’t waste money on the in-app purchases for your cellphone games. Is it really worth it to spend $9.99 on 50,000 tokens to play a game?


22. Drafts in the house

Are you losing some cool air in the summer or some hot air in the winter through the doors or windows in your house? Drafts in the house is one of the ways you are wasting money. Find ways to block out the drafts in the house.

Turn up your thermostat a degree or two in the summer and turn it down in the winter to save an additional amount each month.


23. Your bank

Monthly fees for your checking account is a waste of money. ATM fees also end up as a waste of money. If your bank is charging you money to use their services, consider changing the bank you have your account with.

I was able to open a personal account with Key Bank that offered $200 for opening a checking account with them, making a deposit, and making purchases.


24. Only using credit/debit cards

It’s easy to overspend when you are only using a credit or debit card. Using cash allows you to see the money leaving your wallet and how much you have left to spend.


25. Paying for cable

With so many companies offering cheaper options for TV, you don’t have to pay for the traditional cable/satellite companies.


26. Taking expiration dates seriously.

Use your own judgement on if the bread can still be eaten or any other food. Also, make sure the date isn’t sell by.


27. Buying snacks at gas stations

Buying a bottle of water and a candy bar after filling up at the gas station ends up being one of the ways you are wasting money.

If you are going on a long road trip, pack snacks and drinks that you bought cheaper at the grocery store in bulk.

This goes for the quick grocery trips too! Don’t buy the cold drink in the checkout lane because you are thirsty in that moment.


28. Going grocery shopping when you are hungry

Grocery shopping when hungry will lead you to waste money. You’ll buy more food that you weren’t planning on purchasing because you think you need it.

Shop after you eat to prevent yourself from wasting money on food you don’t actually need at home.


29. Buying brand name products

I’ll admit, some of the food products are worth getting the brand name, but others you don’t need. Buying brand name products is one of the top ways you are wasting money!

Compare ingredients of many of the lotions, medicines, soaps, water (yes, water!), and any product that has a generic on the same shelf! Most likely, it’s the same thing!

The pediatrician we take our kids to has always told us, buy the generic brand medicine (or cream in our case), it’s the same thing and works just as well.


30. Throwing out food

This is a big money waster in the United States. People throw out so much food. I’m guilty of it too! The leftovers go uneaten and then is thrown in the garbage. Or you forget about the veggies/fruit in the drawer and throw it out instead of using them in a smoothie or soup.

If you know you are going to have leftovers from the night before, plan the next day’s meal around to include the leftovers, or have a leftover night for dinner.


Final thoughts…

Find ways you are wasting money and change it. Challenge yourself and your family! Find ways that aren’t on this list! (Notice, I didn’t add the daily coffee run to the list, although, hint hint) You’ll be amazed at how much the little money wasters start adding up!


More articles you may find interesting:

14 Budgeting Tips and Tricks to Ensure a Family Budget that Works

11 Simple Ways to Save Money on Groceries

8 Amazingly Easy ways to Earn and Save Money for your Dream Vacation (I love these, we’ve already saved over $500 of extra money in our vacation savings in only 3 months!)

12 Ultimate Side Hustles to Earn Extra Money for the Holidays (I love this one too as we will have around $600 to use towards holiday money in extra income since we’ve been doing this all year!)

Money is easy to go through, even waste on purchases. Here are 30 surprising ways you are wasting money. #wastingmoney #moneyproblems #savingmoney #familybudget #budgeting


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