10 things that are a huge waste of money
People always say to me, ” yeah it’s easier said than done – saving money is hard!”
I understand that if you are denying yourself all the good things in life, it’s rubbish! But saving money is only ever as hard as you make it. There are plenty of easy ways to save money and one the simplest is to just cut out anything you don’t really need.
Plenty of our daily habits are huge wastes of money and you could save a lot by cutting them out. Let’s look at 10 common things people waste money on that can easily be gotten rid of. Some are daily habits, others big one off expenses.
It might be difficult at first but trust me once you’ve done it, in a few days you’ll hardly notice.
1. Gym Membership
Getting in shape is an admirable and worthy goal but if you opt for doing it in a gym it can be a huge waste of money.
You don’t need a gym membership to get in shape! Simply get on some old clothes on and go for a run, or do some simple exercises. If you’re unsure what to do look up some guides on the internet. YouTube is a great resource and there are some terrific free apps out there such as From Couch to 5k or Qinetic
If you miss the social aspect of the gym why not go running with a friend or see if there are any local groups you can join.
2. Takeout Coffee
This is a controversial pick for you coffee lovers…. But while giving up your takeout coffee might sound drastic to some, just think about it for a second: these luxury coffees aren’t cheap and just grabbing one on your lunch or in the morning can mount up over the week. So, why not just make your own? You still get that all-important caffeine boost and it will be much cheaper.
I swear by my Aeropress which makes a very decent black coffee, is recommended by baristas and pays for itself after about 10 coffees if you use it to replace shop bought ones.
3. Takeout Food
From takeout drinks to food, yes we all enjoy the occasional treat but takeout food is a bad habit to fall into. It affects your health and your bank balance! So be tough and say no to takeout food. One trick I’ve found beneficial is to just delete fast food apps, it removes the temptation. If you simply must have a slice of pizza or some fried chicken make your own, it’s cheaper and probably more healthy as well.
4. TV Package/ Streaming Services
I am going to group these two together because they are symptoms of the same problem. We have a lot more choice these days when it comes to television but this means over-indulging is easy and many people don’t even realise they are doing it.
Think about it, do you really need access to all those channels or when is the last time you really sat down and watched Netflix? If you’re struggling to remember then you probably need to consider getting rid of them, because it’s a lot of money for something you don’t even use.
5. Bottled Water
This is one I’ve never understood because it just doesn’t make sense – it’s so easy to drink good water from the tap in our rich Western world. Yet when you look at lists of the most common money wasting products bottled water always makes an appearance somewhere.
These days there is an increasing backlash against bottled water thanks to our realisation that the sea is filling up with plastic. Let’s save our sea life and our wallets.
alternative to bottled water buying is simple. Just get a thermos (or even use an old bottle) and fill it up from the tap. If you like an added flavour then squeeze in some fresh fruit. Ta daaa.
6. Your Wedding
I am in controversial territory, aren’t I? Yes, your wedding is a special day but you know what it’s also a big waste of money! Harsh words I know but let me explain – your wedding is about you and your partner and the love you share. It’s not about fancy cakes, expensive dresses, designer suits and diamond rings.
Sure those extra touches are nice but can you really afford them? Be smart and be thrifty: forget the diamond, limit the number of guests and choose a reasonably priced venue. Don’t turn into bridezilla or groomzilla for that matter (because it isn’t always the bride) and instead focus on building happy memories rather than expenses.
7. Brand Name Products
This one can be a tough habit to break but once you get used to it, you’ll wonder why you ever wasted money on brand name products. It will make your weekly shop much cheaper as well because in the majority of cases you really are just paying for the name.
Insurance comes in many forms. There’s pet insurance, health insurance, salary insurance, car insurance, home insurance – you get the idea. While I’ am not saying don’t look into it I am advising that you think carefully about any insurance plans before signing up.
In the UK there is a huge industry behind chasing companies who mis-sold people PPI or Payment Protection Insurance – insurance many people didn’t need. Those found culpable are paying out huge amounts in compensation.
Obviously some insurance is necessary (and a legal requirement). But make sure you shop around for the best price and don’t just auto-renew things like car insurance but shop around for the best deal.
9. Clothes/ Shoes
Another two I am grouping together we all love treating ourselves to new clothes and shoes but again they should be treats, not weekly purchases.
Plus you can even save money treating yourself, if you wait until the sales. There are plenty of them held throughout the year. So, if you know a sale is coming and want to refresh your wardrobe just wait until the sales are on to save some money.
10. Your Phone Bill
This goes for your landline and your cell/ mobile. A phone is an essential appliance but it can be a very expensive one.
Check your contracts carefully and shop around for the best deal, with cell phones, in particular, you can easily end up paying for things you don’t even need like huge amounts of data or call minutes.
Want some ideas on how to MAKE money as well as save it? Try 75 ways to make money on the side here.