There are a lot of small expenses that we take for granted. Taken by themselves, they are not a huge deal but when you look at the cumulative cost over a month, a year or even a decade, it can be quite shocking. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest money wasters that yo can easily avoid.
1) Cable & Satellite Television
Let’s start with the biggest offender, cable and satellite. This is a huge expense that can easily be replaced. Cable and satellite, as we know it, is on the way out so why are you so stubbornly ticking to it.
On demand television is the way to go these days and it can save you a lot of money. The average cable and satellite bill is right at around $100 and many people pay far more.
Replace that with Hulu and Netflix and get a huge variety of on demand programming. You can get both for under $20 and save an easy $80 a month. That is an easy 1000 dollars over the course of a year.
What could you do with 1000 extra dollars. Hopefully you said save it, because if you saved 1000 dollar a year for 10 years, you would have over 13,000 dollars with compound interest and a nominal return.
2) Banking Fees
If you are paying a single penny for your savings account, you are wasting money. Free checking is abundant and if your bank does not offer it, you need to ditch them. Most banks only require a few debit purchases a month or a small minimum balance to waive the monthly fee. That fee could be anywhere from $8 to $15 a month which translates to $96 to $180 a year.
What’s more, why is your checking not earning interest?
Stop wasting money on checking fees and start earning it. If you are still paying fees, start shopping for that new account.
3) Super Sizing
If you do the fast food thing for lunch, you are better off skipping the super sizing. For around a dollar you might get a few extra fries and some more soda but it is costing you.
Not only are you getting more calories than you need, but you are also wasting $5 a week. Not a lot, I understand, not unless you calculate it out to the yearly cost. That is $260. In 20 years, that is almost 10,000 dollars. That can let you take a few extra cruises when you retire or perhaps a European vacation. All for skipping those extra fatty fries.
I used to smoke, I understand, it is a tough habit to kick. You have got to do it though. Do it for your budget, for your health and your quality of life.
From a money perspective, at $5 a day, you are literally burning through $150 a month. And that is at just a pack a day. $150 a month translates into $1800 a year. Using the magic of compound interest, that could easily be over 62,000 dollars in 20 years or over 125,000 dollars in 30 years.
5) Gourmet Coffee
Have an addiction to the coffee bean. There is nothing wrong with that. Moderate use of coffee has even been proven to be good for your health in many ways. The only problem comes when you have to spend $5 at a time to satisfy it.
Skip the long line and the expense and save $5 a day, $25 a week and an easy $1300 a year. Possibly more if you buy a cup every day of the week or multiple times a day.
Satisfy your cravings with a one time $10 french press and $10 coffee bean grinder. WIth those two things, you can stretch out a few dollars of gourmet beans over a several week period. Huge savings and you still get your caffeine.
6) Rental Car Insurance
This is almost always a useless expense. Most auto insurance policies will cover you when you drive a rental vehicle. Double check with your insurance agent and then decline the additional and very expensive rental insurance.
7) Lottery Tickets
It is nice to dream but it is just unrealistic to bet your future on a chance.
Despite the fact that most Americans do not play the lottery, the average spend is $325 a year per American according to CNN Business. That means that if you play, you probably spend more than that. It is a huge waste.
Invest that money instead and at a 10 percent return, you would have almost $60,000 to show for it. Get the money without the chance by ditching the lottery.
8) Paid Phone Apps
This could not be a bigger waste of money. For just about every paid app on the market, there is a free version that can get the job done. You might have to deal with a few advertisements but who is not used to tuning those ads out by now.
Apps can be anywhere from $1 to $5, which is money that is much better used to boost your savings.
9) Gym Memberships
If you use it, good for you. There is one thing that gyms count on though and that is that most people will not use it. Over half of gym memberships go unused and the members keep paying the dues month after month.They either do not want to spend the time needed to cancel or they think that they will get the motivation to hit the gym any day now.
If this is you and you have not used your membership for 3 months or more, cancel it. This is a huge waste of money at anywhere from $20 to $100 a month. or $240 to $1200 a year.
So, how many of these things are you guilty of wasting money on. If it is more than one, you have got some work to do trimming the fat off of your budget.