A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about wasting your money through late and overdraft fees. The post seemed to hit home with a lot of you. In the comments on that post, as well as in other posts I read on the Internet, such as Jason Price’s on Five Tips to Get Your Money Back on Track, I came across more areas that people might be wasting money without even realizing it.
Are you getting the newspaper every day? How often do you actually read that newspaper? Do you have any magazines lying around the house that you bought through subscription but have never read? If you’re not reading any of these, there’s some waste money right there.
What about cable? Do you really need the cable TV? Are you actually watching the cable TV? Did you know that many of the shows on TV today can be streamed through the Internet? You might have to wait a day to catch the streamed episode, but you can watch it when you’re ready to watch instead of when the network says you have to watch. This can give you more freedom. I haven’t had cable for several years, and don’t really miss it that much.
Do you have a gym membership? Are you actually going to the gym? How often? You might be surprised to know that gyms thrive on people who pay for membership yet fail to go.
Perhaps there is a site that you paid to be a member of but no longer visit. If so, this is another source of wasted money.
The other day when I was listening to the radio I heard the story of one person who had canceled his gym membership but was still getting charged for it. Have you checked your statements lately to see if you might have a membership fee that you’re still paying for, even though you canceled it?
How often are you eating out? At my household, we usually average around $15-$20 per person when we go out to eat. Going out just two times a week, we would spend as much as a weeks worth of groceries would cost for us. Now I’m not saying you can’t enjoy a night out, but eating out every night could be costing you money.
Do you have a cup a day habit? You know the kind I’m talking about. That cup of coffee you just got to have. Where are you getting the coffee from? If you’re getting it from a coffee shop, you could be spending $25-$35 a week just to buy that cup of coffee.
Do you smoke? Do you go through a pack a day or a carton a week? When my friends are asking me for cigarettes, I quite often tell them “smoking is hazardous to your wealth.” There is a lot of truth to that. A pack a day habit can cost $150 a month or more.
How often do you go out for drinks? When you go out for drinks, how many are you having? If you buy a mixed drink, you are usually paying at least five dollars a drink. Buy some food with that, and you could very easily spend $20-$30. Even if he does have a few beers, you might still be spending $5-$10. That might not sound like much at one time, but if you’re going frequently that can really add up.
Today we have looked at several different ways you may be wasting your money through subscriptions, food, bad habits, and memberships. Maybe you have found as much as $100-$200 per month you could save. How much would your life change if you put that amount toward savings? How much faster can you be debt-free? How much faster could you develop the kind of wealth where you can have anything you want?
What are some of the ways that you are finding money to build your wealth? What “hidden” expenses have you found? Share your experiences in the comments below!