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20 Things You Are Wasting Money On

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?

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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