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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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Michelle Schroeder

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

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Published on January 8, 2021

How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast: 7 Powerful Tips

How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast: 7 Powerful Tips

Ever wondered whether your credit card debt is the reason you’re in a bad financial situation? You can’t enjoy any fun activities because a good chunk of your money goes toward debt payment. Heck, you’re even behind on some of your monthly bills.

The effects of clumsy debt management are too many to list here. This guide is going to help you discover how to pay off credit card debt fast and start chasing your financial goals.

Debt problems are the last thing anyone wants to encounter. But things can get out of hand when all the “little debts” you take accumulate in interests.

What if you knew some simple and proven ways to be debt-free quickly? Implementing them would mean better financial health for you. It becomes possible to free up cash for your “wants.” These include taking a trip or buying something you’ve always desired. All that while paying your bills on time!

Let’s not wait any longer. Here are 7 powerful tips for paying off credit card debt fast:

1. Pay More Than the Minimum Credit Card Payments

Many people only pay the monthly minimum on their credit cards. Truly, that’s the right amount for staying on good terms with your credit card company. But you need a different approach if you’re looking to achieve financial independence within a short time.[1]

Most of your payments go toward interest costs when you only pay the minimum amount. A substantial sum of your balance remains standing. As a result, it becomes more expensive to eliminate your debts.

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You don’t want to wait more than 10 years to get rid of debt while it’s possible to do it sooner. All you have to do is double that $100 minimum payment to $200 or go higher.

The good thing is that minimum credit card payments are affordable in most cases. By paying a higher amount, you reduce your interest costs, lessen your borrowing period, and boost your credit score.

2. Start With High-Interest Credit Card Debt

If you have more than one credit card debt, prioritize putting the extra money toward the ones with the highest interests. This debt pay-off strategy, known as the debt avalanche method, is essential for being debt-free quickly.[2]

First, you need to list down all the credit card debts you have in the order of their interest rates. Next, you choose the one with the highest interest and pay a significant amount toward it each month. It can be an amount twice or even thrice larger than the minimum payment.

At the same time, you make monthly minimum payments on the other debts. Their interest charges won’t be as costly as that of the first debt on your list. You only move on to the next high-interest debt after the first one is gone. Remember that your focus is on the interest rates and not the balances.

3. Revisit Your Budget

Budgeting is useful for tracking your financial moves. Once you create a budget, some tweaks along the way can make it work for you better. One situation that requires you to revisit your budget is when you’re struggling with debts. It might hurt a bit to slash some expenses. But you also don’t want to miss out on achieving financial freedom in the long run.

You can reduce some variable expenses to free up more cash for credit card debt payments. They’re the ones that change from time to time. Some examples are groceries, fuel, and clothing.

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Other opportunities for cutting down your spending lie in non-essential expenses. Instead of dining out all the time, you can cook at home more to save money. You can also share some subscriptions with friends and pay a fraction of the cost.

If you’re determined enough, you can eliminate all your unnecessary expenses and focus on paying off your credit card debt first.

4. Avoid Using Your Credit Cards

Do you want to know how to pay off credit card debt with a low income? One simple way is to stop using them. Having your credit cards everywhere you go means that you’ll be more tempted to buy unnecessary stuff. In this case, you spend money that you don’t really own and get deeper into debt.

The quickest fix to stop the debt build-up is spending with cash. You’ll be more aware of everything you can afford at any particular time. If you decide to keep one or two cards to ease the transition, always make wise choices. For instance, only use them when experiencing financial difficulties.

It’s best to categorize your fun activities under “discretionary spending” in your budget. This way, you won’t need more debt to kill your boredom. By halting your credit debt from accumulating, it’s easy to pay down what you already owe and be happy with the progress.

5. Start a Side Hustle to Boost Your Income

You’re probably turning away a lot of money by not monetizing your skills. Everyone has something that they’re good at doing. And you can use that to generate extra income for attacking your credit card debt.

If you look around your neighborhood, you can find several side hustle opportunities. It can be pet sitting, tutoring, or lawn mowing. You can start an online business by offering services such as digital marketing, content creation, and web development. Such skills go in high demand on freelance sites and job boards.

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Finding clients on social media is also a good strategy to utilize your skills and make more money. Facebook groups, Quora Spaces, and subreddits are some places to look for side jobs. You only have to join a niche-specific platform, share your services, and respond to any opportunities.

It’s possible to learn a skill, practice it, and earn from it. Use the free resources online or purchase some e-courses to get started.

6. Sell Your Used Items for Extra Cash

Starting a side hustle isn’t the only way to generate extra money. You can turn unwanted items into cash for paying off credit card debt. Whether it’s an old TV, book, or furniture, there is always someone itching to buy your used stuff.

A garage sale, as much as it’s old-fashioned, is perfect for getting your neighbors and passers-by to buy from you. You keep all the money because there are no business permits or taxes involved. While you may not make much cash, it’s better than leaving your stuff to go defunct in your storage.

Other than that, you can sell your used stuff on online marketplaces. Facebook groups are great places to start if you want quick approvals and hence sales. You only have to ensure that your listing follows Facebook’s commerce policies.

When selling any pre-owned items online, ensure they’re in good shape to avoid problems with your buyers.

7. Know When to Seek Help With Your Debt

Asking for help with your credit card debt can be challenging to do. But letting it drown you is a road you don’t want to take. While you may feel embarrassed at first, it’s the best way to get back on track when you run out of options.

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There are tons of non-profit credit counseling organizations that can offer you free guidance on how to escape the debt trap. An example is The National Foundation for Credit Counseling. They simply review your finances and help you determine the source of your financial problems. After that, they match you with an actionable debt management solution.[3]

In extreme cases, the debt solution can be:

  • Debt relief – where your debt is partially or wholly forgiven
  • Debt consolidation – taking out one loan to repay others
  • Debt settlement – the creditor forgives a significant portion of your debt
  • Bankruptcy – legal process for seeking relief from some or all your debts

It’s necessary to carefully weigh your options before deciding on the way to go. Find out how it might affect your credit score and any other risks.

Wrapping It Up

Debt is a major setback when you’re trying to prosper in life. Paying off credit card debt is essential if you want to reach your financial goals. That means having more free income, a good credit card score, and even a chance to retire early. You become more productive each day because of the peace in your mind.

So, you now have some tips on how to pay off credit fast. Go ahead and get rid of that good life progress killer!

More Tips on How to Pay Off Debt

Featured photo credit: rupixen.com via unsplash.com

Reference

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