We are all guilty of wasting some money from time to time. These little things that we waste our money on might seem like nothing, but they can add up in a big way. Take a look at a few of the things that people commonly waste money on and see how many of them strike home.
I cringe whenever I see somebody with an economy car filling it with premium fuel.
Unless your owners manual says to use a higher octane rating, stick with the lowest rated fuel, usually 87 octane.
People have the misconception that premium fuel is better for their car and that it will make their vehicle last longer or run better. Actually, if your car does not call for it, the opposite might be true. To understand that, you must understand what the octane rating means.
The higher the octane rating, the more that fuel resists detonation. On a sports car running higher engine compression and advanced timing, this is important. On the average vehicle, it could actually be costing you mileage. If it resists detonation, it resists burning which means on the average engine, it might not completely burn. That means worse gas mileage.
Stick with the lower octane rating, unless your manufacturer says different, and save an easy 40 cents or more per gallon. That could be up to $10 a fill up and depending on how much you drive, that could add up to over 500 dollars a year.
Bottled water is not only bad for the environment, it is also costing you money.
Plastic will never go away and that means that all those plastic bottles you are buying will sit in a landfill forever. They will never decompose, they just sit there taking up space.
In addition to being a drag on the environment, they are also very expensive. A case of water might be only $5 but this can add up over the months and years.
If you go through a case of water a week, that is almost $300 a year. Instead, invest in a good filtered water bottle for less than $20 and keep the rest of the money in your pocket.
It seems like you can get a warranty for anything these days. Everything from an electric can opener to a lawn mower to your motor vehicle. Buy just about anything and you will be asked to get an extended warranty.
Why do they push warranties so hard? Simple, they have huge profit margins.
Most products come with a one year manufacturers warranty that will get you through the period where the product is actually worth something. After that time, electronics in particular tend to be almost worthless. That 800 dollar television will be worth 300 dollars in a year. Why spend almost 200 or even 100 dollars to warranty it?
Save your money on warranties, most of them will be a waste of money.
Credit Card Interest
If you are carrying any debt on your credit cards, you are wasting money.
It is amazing how many people will add to their retirement fund but think nothing of carrying a little credit card debt. There is no good amount of credit card dent to carry, even if you have your card balances under 10 percent, the balance is too high.
Make paying off that credit card debt a priority, even over retirement savings. That retirement account might be doing great and earning a 5 to 8 percent return but that credit card debt is costing you over 18 percent.
Make it a point to get that high interest debt paid off before saving. The exception is of course if you have an employer match 401K. You want to max the employers contribution.
There is no excuse for an ATM fee these days.
For starters, you should be able to plan ahead and pull out cash. If you do not have a local bank, you can get cash back at most stores when you use your debit and it is free.
In addition, why are you using cash anyway. There is almost no place that requires cash these days. We are quickly moving towards a cash free economy so you probably need to get over that need to have cash on hand.
Cell Phone Service
People think that they need to have one of the big three cell phone companies to have good service. Truth is though that the smaller companies use the same towers as the big ones. In addition, many of the big companies own the smaller ones.
Instead of paying $200 or more for a family plan with one of the big cell phone companies, switch to a smaller pre-paid plan and cut that bill in half. You get the same kind of service with just a few differences.
The main difference is that you pay the bill at the beginning of the service month instead of the end. If you set up auto pay, this is just a technical difference and you will never notice.
In addition, you will not get subsidized phones. Believe me, you were paying for those phones though with your huge monthly payment.