Saving money is more difficult than it seems. There’s always something that needs to be purchased and way too many temptations! When you’re doing well and saving money, the last thing you need is to spend it on things that are just a serious waste…even if you don’t realize it! Take this “Heads Up!” and stop wasting your money on these things!
Cell Phone Apps
You’re playing a game on your phone while waiting at the doctor’s office. You’re crushing colored candies furiously and suddenly you realize you can’t play another round until you have 5 more super special peppermint points. A notification pops up telling you that you can get 25 for just $1.99! Don’t do it! You can also wait an hour and your super special peppermint points will be refilled. People don’t realize just how much money they waste on cell phone apps. $1.99 each day for a month is almost $60 spent…on crushing fake candy in a game.
Various Cleaning Products
Take a peek into your cleaning supply storage area. You’ve probably got a spray bottle for cleaning windows, one for bathrooms and kitchens, a multi-surface cleaner, disinfecting spray, and a variety of other cleaners. This is just a huge waste of money. In truth, you can clean just about everything with the same cleaner save for a few surfaces, such as wood or fabric. Windex makes an amazing duster and multi-surface cleaner. You can even use it to spray down toilets and other bathroom surfaces. In fact, you can create one single multi-purpose cleaner by just mixing 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle. You can also check out our ultimate guide to cleaning your home on a budget.
Designer Baby and Toddler Clothing
Why would you spend $60 on a newborn baby shirt just because it’s a certain brand, when your child will outgrow it in a few months tops? It just makes no sense…or cents! In fact, other than a few special outfits (for pictures or holidays), your baby would be totally fine (and just as adorable) in a wardrobe that fully consists of used clothing. Used baby and toddler clothes can be purchased for less than $1 a piece.
The Latest Smart Phone
Sure – you definitely want the latest iPhone with the shiny packaging and the clever design, but do you really need to spend $800 on a phone? This is an especially relevant question if your current phone works just fine. Rather than focusing on the “new” features of the latest smart phone, consider what your phone can already do and how it meets your needs. Running out to get the very latest smart phone isn’t very…well, smart.
Every day I see ads for expensive “purebred” dogs, with breeders charging as much as $3,000 for a puppy! Not only is this a massive waste of money, but it supports an industry that is irresponsible and sometimes downright cruel. Visit your local animal shelter and spend less than $100 and you can rescue an animal in need, plus that animal typically comes with an included spaying or neutering, immunizations and a microchip.
Unless there is a legitimate reason that you’re unable to drink the tap water at your house, you should be doing so. Bottled water is simply a waste of money, resources, and it’s quite frankly irresponsible. Drinking 8 glasses of tap water a day for a year costs just fifty cents. Drinking 8 glasses of bottled water each year costs $1,400. If you absolutely must drink bottled water, consider using refilling stations to save money, and recycle those bottles to save the planet.
Faster Shipping Rates
Choosing faster shipping options can end up costing as much as the product being ordered, and overnight rates are absolutely exorbitant. Unless there’s an immediate need to have an item shipped using the faster methods, opt for standard shipping.
Warranties on Products
It’s likely that you’ve been asked whether you want to purchase a special warranty when checking out with appliances, electronics or other goods. It makes little sense to purchase these warranties, since most products are already under warranties through the manufacturer. In addition, the useless warranties can cost as much or more than the original product.
Just like with clothing, make-up with well known and “luxury” brand names written on it will cost much more than generic make-up. The Clinique Chubby Stick “Sculpting Highlight” costs $22 at Nordstrom, while the Rimmel London Good to Glow Highlighter costs less than $5 at Walmart. They literally do the exact same thing, except one costs $17 more. Buying the cheaper brands can accomplish the same thing but save a ton of money.
Rather than purchasing the $30 super-protective phone case, many people purchase the $30 super-cute phone case that isn’t quite as protective. Then, when the phone falls and the screen cracks, they are looking at a few hundred dollars for a replacement screen, at least. It’s definitely worth it to choose the protective phone case to begin with.
Manicures and Pedicures
Some people think that weekly manicures and pedicures is a necessity. It’s not. Typically, the cost is $40 each for a mani and pedi, so getting both will run about $80, minus the tip. Buying fingernail polish and painting your own toenails and fingernails costs less than $5. Sure, manicures and pedicures are a nice luxury, but they’re better saved for times when you really want to treat yourself and not thought of as a necessary weekly expense.
Food Delivery from Local Restaurants
How many times have you called and ordered from one of the services that deliver local restaurant food? Many people do this regularly, spending hundreds of dollars a month to have food delivered. It’s a huge waste of money. Rather than doing this, pick up some favorite items from your grocery store that you know you will eat when you don’t feel like cooking or have very little time. This will save lots of money and is typically quite a bit healthier as well.
Lunch or Dinner Drinks
Many times, money is spent just for an experience. For instance, many people enjoy the camaraderie and bonding experience of having lunch or dinner drinks with co-workers. They may not even want the drinks, but it’s difficult to go into a bar or restaurant and spend time with people without ordering anything at all. Add up the cost of those $5 drinks over the period of a month and even a year, and you’ll quickly see how this money is simply being thrown away. Skip the drinks and invite co-workers to your home for brunch and drinks and you’ll save money.
Brand-New Designer Clothing
I know a girl who was trying to get a job in her new city, and because she wanted to look “put together” and “professional,” she racked up thousands of dollars in debt on her credit card, purchasing trendy and designer “work” outfits. Here’s the thing, though – the right interviewing manager will not hire you based on your clothing and whether you’re wearing Louboutin shoes but based on your qualifications, demeanor and potential. You’re better off visiting the local thrift stores or consignment shops and finding sensible, attractive clothing at a fraction of the cost.
Automatic Car Washes
I’ll admit to being guilty of this one. I love when my car looks clean and it can go from dusty and gross to sparkling and shining in 5 minutes with the automatic car wash. The problem is, to keep it looking clean and shiny, it would need to go through the carwash at least every other day. The cost of the automatic car wash I visit is $16 for the full wash – the pre-soak and rinse, the pre-scrub, the actual wash, the luster-spray, etc. This is $16 that I could spend every few days, adding up to hundreds of dollars a month spent on the car wash! This is money that literally goes down the drain. Instead, wash your car at home once a week and spend just a few pennies each time.
Although it’s extremely easy to waste money and spend it on things we simply don’t need, when you’re more aware of the traps and pitfalls, you will be less likely to let those dollars go so easily! Can you think of anything you regularly waste money on? Is it a guilty pleasure? A hobby? Let us know in the comments below!