If you are trying to get out of debt, save for an emergency fund or build up your retirement you are probably trying to squeeze every little bit of money you can out of your budget. What’s crazy is, so many people look for ways to save money, but they miss some really big opportunities to cut their spending big time!
Some normal habits of life, things people consider to just be standard spending habits, are actually wasting your money and you don’t even know it. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have more money to work with? You would be able to accomplish your goals that much faster.
By paying attention to your spending, you will be saving yourself thousands over the course of a year. The best part about these things is they are so simple! These are not insane life changes you are going to have to make.
Simple changes = insane savings!
11 Ways You Are Wasting Money
Paying for Name Brands
Brand loyalty, that’s a thing. I know we all have it. But, according to Consumer Reports’ research, you could be spending up to 25% more of your grocery budget just by purchasing name-brand products.
Imagine putting 25% of your grocery budget back in your account. That’s huge! A simple switch to buying generic products instead of name-brand is all it takes. The awesome thing is generics typically have the exact same ingredients as the name-brand so you won’t really be missing out.
If you are looking for a way to save additional money on groceries, check out the iBotta app! It’s amazing!
iBotta is one of those super easy to use apps. This app gives you cash rebates on purchases you make (both store brands and generics). Even if you buy generics all the time, this is still an awesome app to use!
This app will give small amounts of a cash rebate on these items that you would be purchasing anyway (milk, eggs, pasta, bananas, etc.). I have also used this for things like diapers and toilet paper (Pampers and Charmin).
All you have to do is find the rebates on the specific items you plan to buy and “unlock” them. Once you have made your purchase, you just scan your receipt and receive your rebate!
The amounts you get back may seem minimal, but even a small rebate of $3-$4 dollars a week can save you up to $200/year! This kind of savings can help with your holiday budget!
Finding rebates and scanning your receipt will literally take 5 minutes to save you hundreds in a year.
Paying ATM Fees
These are the most ridiculous thing ever. You are in a crunch, you need cash, so you run to the nearest ATM and pay $4 just to have the convenience of using the out-of-network ATM. You just gave away $4 for nothing.
I have done this one too many times. Think about how many times a year you do this. Pending on how active you are with using out-of-network ATMs this could save you hundreds over the course of a year.
Pro-tip: Instead of searching for a nearby ATM, search for a nearby grocery store where you can make a tiny purchase (mints or gum) and get cash back with your purchase. This will totally eliminate the ATM fees!
Paying Interest on Credit Cards
Credit cards….you have to cut these up! According to Nerd Wallet, the average household with debt is paying close to $1,000 per year in interest alone. That’s insane! You are paying $1,000 just for the luxury of carrying a balance on the card.
Get rid of credit cards today! Stop telling yourself you will pay off the balance every month. Statistics show, you probably won’t and then you are just wasting your money paying for the convenience of the card that is keeping you in debt.
Lose the credit card and save $1,000.
Not shopping for insurance every year
This one can be tough if you are new to it and don’t have a lot of time. Shopping for new car insurance (as well as your other insurances) can see like this really overwhelming task. Isn’t it easier to just renew the policy you already have?
I did that for years! Turns out you could save hundreds just by shopping around for the best rate every year.
There are so many insurers out there. You could be getting the same coverage for hundreds less just by shopping around. As far as return on investment goes, is one hour of your time worth a couple hundred bucks??
Not using cash for shopping
It is no secret debit and credit cards make shopping super easy. There is no effort involved with swiping your card. This often means you don’t even really pay attention to how much you are spending because you didn’t have to count out the money for your purchase.
According to Forbes, a 2001 study from MIT found shoppers spend up to 100% more when using their credit card instead of paying with cash.
100%! That’s insane. Think about all the impulse purchases you make over the course of a year. Now imagine you were only using cash to pay for them. This would significantly cut down your spending.
CNBC reported the average consumer spends $5,400 per year on impulse purchases. If you started using cash for all of those purchases, you could be saving yourself thousands every year!
Not using a budget
If you are not using a budget, you are wasting your money. Every person I have talked to who started to budget, easily found $500-$1,000 they were wasting on something every month. Typically, it is food.
Without paying attention to your money and where you are spending it, it is just like you are flushing it down the toilet…..it serves no purpose.
When you actually have a plan for your money and know where every single dollar is going, you aren’t going to waste it. You will be aware of exactly how much is being spent and you get to decide where to prioritize your spending.
If you aren’t budgeting, you could be (and very likely are) leaving thousands on the table every year.
IF YOU ARE WANT TO GET STARTED BUDGETING TODAY. SIGN UP HERE FOR OUR BUILD YOUR BUDGET IN 5 DAYS COURSE WHILE IT IS STILL FREE! LET ME SHOW YOU HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES TODAY.
You make late payments.
This can be such an easy way to save some money throughout the year. Every late fee you pay is totally unnecessary. These are just convenience fees, again, that can completely be avoided. Instead of risking having late fees, set up reminders in your phone calendar to give you a week’s notice on the payment, or set up auto-pay to not worry about it anymore.
Late fees should not be something you are spending your money on. Making on-time payments could save you up to $100 a year!
You are still eating out
Eating out is super expensive! Whether you are swinging by the drive-thru at Wendy’s, eating out at Applebee’s or splurging on a night at Ruth’s Chris Steak house, you will always spend more than you intended to.
A moderate dinner for two can be $60 (on average). If you do this only 2-4 times a month that is $240. In one year, you could be spending upwards of $3,000….on food! That’s freaking nuts!
Think about where an extra $3,000 could get you right now. If you are eating out, all that money, literally ended up in the toilet instead (gross, I know).
Not cutting cable
If you are paying for cable, you are wasting your money. On average, if you spend $85-$100/month for cable, you could trade that out for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and still, save $800-$1000 per year.
There is nothing on cable that is so important you can’t replace it with other alternatives. If you are trying to save money, this one change alone could fulfill your emergency fund!
If you are dying for local channels, bring back that antenna! They are so much better now than they used to be, and you will be surprised by how much you do not miss cable.
Not giving up Starbucks
Do you love coffee? This can be a huge weakness for people who relish that first cup of coffee in the morning. If you are spending money on specialty coffee or hitting Starbucks every day, you are wasting so much money!
I know this because I used to do it. It is insane to me how much money can be spent at Starbucks if you order from there just 1-2 times per week. Save yourself the gas money driving there and the $3-$4 you will spend on coffee. Make your own coffee at home! If you want to make it special, you can buy syrups or creamer flavors.
I don’t know if you were paying attention, but all of these money wasters could be costing you up to $10,000 per year!! The key to budgeting, saving money, getting out of debt and building retirement is all little changes.
Everyone is always looking for these big moves they can make to suddenly have a pile of cash. This is a prime example of how the little things are what really add up. If you are willing to start changing how you live, over the course of the next year, you are going to save big time!
Could you use an extra $7,000/year?
Of course you could! It’s crazy the amount of money people can actually save.
Download this money spending assessment and I’ll show you how to:
+ Find your biggest opportunities for saving TONS of money within your current budget!
+ Start implementing very simple & proven tips to save you thousands. (NO joke)
+ Set super easy and achievable budgeting goals to take control of your finances & increase the digits at the end of the month in your bank account.
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