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20 Things You Are Wasting Money On

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20 Things You Are Wasting Money On

There are most likely a good amount of items in your budget that you can probably cut out completely, or at least lower your spending on. There are some instances where you may not always be “wasting” your money, but in the cases below, you should try to evaluate your spending. A lot of these little things can add up quickly.

Here is a list of things that you may be wasting money on:

Bottled water

Bottled water can be expensive. If you want filtered water, buy a water filtering system and fill-up a re-usable bottle on your own. You are helping the environment this way as well, since you won’t be using so many plastic bottles.

Famous brand products

When was the last time that you bought something primarily because of the brand? Many people do this. Try to look for items that are similar, but without the brand name logo on it.

Jewelry

Yes, jewelry can be nice to have at times, but should you be spending your life savings on it? Probably not.

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Shoes that you do not need

Shoes are important, but are a pair of $1,000 sneakers a “need?” Buy shoes that help you run, walk, hike, look good, etc., but a crazy expensive pair is most likely just a waste of money.

Second-rate entertainment

Second-rate entertainment can be a big money waster. Try to find things to do that are more frugal and fun. Go for a hike, a bike ride, and so on.

Transportation

Do you find yourself driving to where you need to go, when you could easily walk or drive a bike? Think about this next time before you get in your car. Also, think about living closer to work so that you can save on transportation costs that way as well.

Movie theater food

Buying food at the movie theater can be very expensive. Boxes of candy may be around $4 or $5, drinks around $7, and popcorn somewhere between that. Save money and skip the food.

ATM fees

ATM fees can add up quickly. My bank charges an extra $2 or $3 onto whatever the ATM charges me. At times, that means that I have paid over $5 just to get money out. Instead, try to figure out a different way to not pay an ATM fee.

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Lottery tickets

Yes, it is nice to think about what you would do if you won all of that money, but the chance of you winning is very slim. Save that money instead.

Coffee

I know of someone who complains about never having money, yet they go to Starbucks every single day and buy a latte. It makes no sense! Save your money and make your cup of coffee at home.

Prepared foods

When at the grocery store, there are always many food items that are already prepared for you. However, try to cook yourself or make things from scratch. You can save money this way.

Insurance

Insurance is expensive, no matter what you are talking about. Car insurance, health insurance, home insurance, life insurance, etc. most likely eat up a lot of your budget. Shop around and find the best rates.

Buying books

Reading a book can be a great hobby that is cheap, but it could be cheaper. Borrow books from your library to completely cut out this expense.

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Too large of a home

How much of your house do you actually use? If your house is too big, then you probably have extra rooms that are empty, or you might buy furniture just for the sake of filling those rooms. A bigger house costs more to maintain, and utility bills are most likely higher since you have more space to heat or cool down.

Warranties

Sometimes a warranty may be a good deal, but most of the time they are not. They are usually pure money-makers for the company offering them. If you think the item will break, then you might want to rethink the purchase altogether.

Food that you don’t eat

If you are not careful with what you buy, then there is a large chance that you are wasting a lot of fun. The average family wastes around 25% of the food that they buy.

Smoking

Smoking is not good for you. Try to find a way to break this unhealthy habit. You are saving your life and your money.

Taxes

Many people think that they can do their income taxes on their own, however this isn’t always the best case. A good accountant can help you find areas where you might be able to lower your taxes.

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Water

Water can be expensive, and there are things that you can do to lower your water spending. Look into buying more efficient home products, such as a better toilet, faucet, shower head, dish washer and so on.

Cell phone

Cell phones are expensive.  Evaluate your needs and see if there is a cheaper contract out there. There are many new companies popping up all over the place with plans under $30.

What are you wasting your money on?

More by this author

Michelle Schroeder

Michelle is a personal finance expert. She earns $1 million per year while sailing.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

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Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

Break Free of Your Finances

Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

2. Plan a Monthly Budget

This is a great opportunity to get serious.

Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

3. Cut-up Credit Cards

Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

4. Increase Savings

There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

5. Invest Wisely

Consider investing in funds.

Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

6. Invest in Gold

There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

7. Stash Emergency Funds

Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

Make it hard to get your cash.

Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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8. Find Fabulous Mentors

Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

9. Be Extra Patient

Patience is the key of financial success.

Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

Financial Freedom for All

Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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