For the most part, you may not even realize you are wasting money on these goods and services. So, you might actually be the victim here.
Luckily I got you! Let’s talk about how to stop wasting money because after all, not wasting money is the best way to save money!
Now frankly, one of the main reasons you might not even realize you’re wasting money is because some of these goods and services seem affordable.
For instance, a cup of your favorite Starbucks coffee is just $5 so what?
However, if you consider the opportunity cost of $5, you may quickly realize how much a $5 cup of coffee every day or every other day could be screwing up your savings and investment plans big time.
Incidentally, if you have limited resources, you must make the necessary sacrifices, if you want to save money and invest, or you will be left behind financially.
Sadly, that shouldn’t be the case. However, in an economic climate where the cost of goods and services continues to increase, you may not have a choice.
Sneaky Price Increases
Price increases nowadays are sneaky. Firstly, the price increase on cheaper goods and services usually doesn’t seem substantial enough to fuss about.
However, once you find the difference between the current price versus the price you usually paid you begin to wonder about a few things.
For instance, you wonder about how much more money is now being used to purchase other goods and services you purchased last year or the last six months.
Are the prices the same or was there a dramatic increase or decrease?
Buying Pattern After A Change In Price
If the prices remain the same sentiments are neutral and our buying pattern also remains unchanged for the most part.
On the contrary, when prices increase or decrease sentiments change and so does our buying pattern.
If there’s a decrease in the price we’re happy and tend to consume even more goods and services.
However, when prices increase we tend to consume less.
Price Increase Due To Inflation Or An Increase In Relative Price
Regarding price increases, it can be caused by inflation or an increase in relative price.
When an increase in the prices of goods and services is caused by inflation there’s too much money circulating in an economy and not enough economic growth to sustain that money supply.
However, when an increase in the prices of goods and services is caused by an increase in relative price it’s due to normal economic growth.
Either Way, You’re Getting Screwed
Regardless, whether an increase in the prices of goods and services is caused by inflation or an increase in relative price, you are without a doubt getting screwed further when you’re out here wasting money.
Therefore, unless you own a money tree farm (a farm I wish I own too), help yourself save money by stop wasting money on these.
Trust me, your bank account, and your future self will thank you!
Save Money By Stop Wasting Money On Goods And Services
- Coffee drinks … cough cough … Starbucks coffee drinks
- Movie theater food
- Spending money buying meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Buying new books
- Not utilizing cashback services and coupons
- Expensive phone plans
- Buying new phones every year
- Paying for warranties
- Bank fees: late fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees, money transfer fees, and paper statement fees
- Paying for famous brand designer products
- Buying a more expensive product because you think it’s better quality
- Paying for things you could easily DIY
- Wasting money on insurance
- Not waiting for better deals
- Subscribing to several subscription services
- Buying a product just because it’s on sale
- You’re always grocery shopping without a grocery list
- Paying for procrastinating
- Stop wasting money buying items for convenience
- Buying new and not used
- Paying for Apps when similar free apps do the same thing
- Wasting money on utility bills: cable bill, water bill, electricity bill, gas bill, and internet bill
- Supporting your impulsive shopping habits
- Paying for any goods and services in hopes of impressing people you don’t even like, or they don’t even like you or notice you
Stop Wasting Money Buying Coffee Drinks … cough cough … Starbucks Coffee Drinks
I promise you if you start practicing making your coffee drink at home eventually it will taste just as good or even better than your favorite Starbucks coffee drinks.
Now don’t get the wrong idea here, I love a Starbucks Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino and Coffee Frappuccino, but I like having money to pay for more important things in my life.
So guess what? Yes, you guessed it! I make my own copycat Starbucks Frappuccino drinks at home. It’s more affordable versus, paying Starbucks prices, tax plus gas.
How Much Money You’re Really Wasting Buying Starbucks Every day
Now for argument’s sake let’s run the numbers, $4.80 per Coffee Frappuccino (cup size venti) multiply by 20 days per month annually. The grand total is a whopping $1,152.00 ($4.80x20x12).
What can you do with an extra $1,152 or $96 per month if you decided to forgo buying Starbucks coffee drinks? Well, on the surface it may not seem like much.
However, if you invested $96 per month for 5 years in an investment with an annual return of 7% compounded monthly you would gain $1,112.92 in interest! Cha-ching!
Calculating Compound Interest Using A Compound Interest Calculator
Calculating compound interest manually can be time-consuming. However, using a compound interest calculator saves you time.
Plus, you are less likely to end up with inaccurate numbers because the calculator does all the arithmetic for you.
For the calculation above two compound interest calculators were used – one from Money Chimp and the other from The Calculator Site.
While both compound interest calculators worked out great, I prefer the compound interest calculator from The Calculator Site, since more data is provided.
However, if you just need the future value, Money Chimp have you covered.
So before buying Starbucks vanilla coffee drinks, think about the opportunity cost of that cup of coffee, i.e. think about what else could I do with my coffee money to help me generate more money, and while you at it consider buying a Starbucks stock or two instead.
After all, the return on your investment might just have you smiling all the way to the bank considering the ROI for Starbucks stocks the last 10 years.
Stop Wasting Money Buying Food, Drinks, and Snacks at Movie Theaters … The Price Of Movie Theater Food Is A Total Ripoff
One of the fun things to do on Friday nights is to sneak in food at the movie theater.
Now if you get caught you didn’t get the advice on here – sorry we can’t help you.
However, on a serious note, the food, drinks, and snacks at the movie theaters are ridiculously expensive.
You can easily pay double the price of the movie ticket on just movie theater snacks alone and for food and drinks, you will need extra money to pay for those.
Now if you decide to bring your kids oh boy! Be prepared to be “movie theater broke” afterward.
So how do you avoid getting ripped off at the movie theater especially if you’re treating your kids?
Well, the most effective solution is to have everyone eat before going to the movie theater and if you prefer not to sneak in snacks have a strict budget and stick to it.
I personally like to add a pack of gummy bears or gummy worms and a pack of hot fries in my hobo bag, but that’s just me.
Not only that, I have actually sneak in two whole meals from On The Border, into the Movie theater, and had a blast but that’s just me.
Now, I am not giving you any ideas about how to avoid buying movie theater food by sneaking in food. You know *wink wink*, but sometimes you got to do what you got to do to save some money, especially during these hard times.
Stop Wasting Money Buying Meals For breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Now I get it. Sadly, whether you purchase the meals or purchase the ingredients to prepare the meals you have to eat and money will be spent.
But what if you can eat healthy meals and save money at the same time by preparing these healthy meals yourself.
Now the meals don’t have to be fancy. In fact, keep it simple especially if you don’t have time to prepare elaborate meals during the week.
For instance, for lunch, a luncheon meat sandwich that you prepared can be fresher, taste better, and cost you less money versus paying for one at a restaurant or the cafeteria at work.
Now if you really don’t have any time during the week to prepare your meals then you should consider meal prepping during the weekends.
Meal prepping during the weekend, in general, helps you avoid spending money on random meals during the week.
Also, meal prepping helps you stick to your diet. Plus, meal prepping also makes it easier to avoid consuming certain ingredients.
The simple explanation is that since you are the one preparing the meals you know what’s in there – so there’s no second-guessing.
For instance, meals containing, gluten, animal products, carbs, peanuts, etc. can easily be avoided if need be.
Stop Wasting Money Buying New Books
Nothing will hurt your heart more in college than buying a new required textbook from the college bookstore just to sell it for half the original price at the end of the semester.
Well, that was my story with a Principles of Biology textbook at the end of my first semester as an Accounting and Economics student.
Yes, still to this day I roll my eyes just thinking about it.
Why do business students are still required to take these introductory science classes, but science majors, in general, are not frequently required to take entry accounting and economic classes? This has yet to make sense to me other than colleges must make money.
Anyway, in some way, I digress it is what it is.
However, it’s really unfortunate, that one of the main ways they do so is to keep the students in their programs as long as possible by including pointless classes that add no real value to the student’s major.
So take it from me, avoid buying new textbooks, and if you’re a student search for PDF files online and use the Adobe Acrobat PDF Editor to open these files then make a copy for yourself.
If PDF files are not freely available consider purchasing previous editions after seeking buying guidance from the professor.
As for even buying books from your college bookstore skip it altogether.
Unless it’s one of those lab books colleges create, so students have no choice but to get the lab book from them and nowhere else.
Yes, some colleges do that. It’s a foul move in my opinion, but they get away with it – I mean who’s going to stop them?
Stop Wasting Money By Not Researching And utilizing cashback services
A couple of businesses don’t offer discounts that often or at all for that matter.
However, from time to time these companies enroll in cashback programs or establish credit cashback debit or cashback credit cards that allow their customers to receive cashback on purchases.
So how do know which companies offer cash back on purchases?
Well, one of the simplest ways is to search for information on Google. However, it’s time-consuming.
In fact, if you really want to take advantage of cashback opportunities install the extension provided by the cashback program.
For instance, Rakuten extension has helped me save over $200 on my online shopping.
Yes! Over $200! That’s more savings in my pocket.
Now, imagine leaving close to $300 on the table by not having an account or by having an account but not installing the extension cashback button?
If that’s you, stop wasting money by paying more than others for the same thing.
Instead, get your own Rakuten account here to start accumulating cashback on your online shopping.
Now once you install the Rakuten cashback button and add it to your browser toolbar, you no longer have to worry about missing out on another cashback opportunity. Here’s how!
So after you register for a Rakuten account, find the Rakuten extension for your browser toolbar here.
However, here are the Rakuten extensions for two of the most commonly used browsers:
After installing the extension for your browser toolbar you are ready to save on shopping online!
Overall, the Rakuten extension works instantly once you visit an e-commerce website that participates in the Rakuten cashback program.
Firstly, after the web page has downloaded you will immediately be greeted with a pop-up window letting you know it’s time to activate your cash back button to receive cashback for your current shopping visit.
Always activate your button – don’t wait for later. Since it’s so easy to forget to activate your cashback button once you are ready to pay for your products.
Therefore, to avoid a “missing cash back Rakuten situation” always activate your button immediately, and as an extra precaution check your browser toolbar to ensure the cashback button is still activated.
Yes, sometimes you have to go an extra mile, but it’s worth it if it means you are saving money.
There have been instances I forgot to activate my Rakuten cashback button. Yes! It happens! Life happens.
Unfortunately once, you checkout without the Rakuten cashback button activated, there isn’t anything you can do about it unless the website allows you to cancel the order.
So always activate your cashback button before you start shopping and double-check to ensure your button is still activated before checking out.
So what if I told you – you can earn double cashback or even triple cashback! Would you be interested?
… and no I am not joking!
Yes! Double Cashback Shopping Online and Even Triple Cashback
Now earning double cash back shopping online isn’t difficult is easier than you think but in order to actually save money, you need to follow a couple of rules for this to actually work.
However, if you break the rules, you will not be saving any money. In fact, break the rules, and you will be punished with paying interest.
Just a heads up! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I am just looking out.
Now let’s learn the rules so we can save money on our online shopping trips!
So one of the easiest ways to earn double cashback is by just paying for your purchases with credit cards that earn cash back for instance a double cash back credit card!
Now you may be saying or thinking … Credit card! Girl hell no! I don’t need or want another credit card! If that’s the case, I understand.
However, using credit isn’t bad when you know how to use it to benefit your finances.
Now if you up for the challenge here are the rules:
- Don’t use credit cards that earn cash back unless you can afford to pay these credit balances in full every billing cycle.
- Likewise, don’t miss payments accidentally. Set an alarm, write the credit card due date on your kitchen calendar, pin a post-it to your wall with the due date written in bold, write the credit card payment date in your planner or on your arm or wherever but whatever you do, don’t miss that credit payment.
- Don’t charge on credit cards that earn cash back or credits in general what you can’t afford to pay back immediately without depending on wages and or salary from your job.
- Avoid wasting money on things you really don’t need, even if using this method will help you save money on the purchase.
- Primarily use these credit cards that earn cashback when the website you’re visiting participates in a has cashback program.
Now We Have The Rules Here’s How It Works
So after creating your Rakuten account get a credit that earns cash back on purchases. Preferable a double cashback credit card.
Now you have options! You can apply for:
- Capital One double cashback card
- Chase double cashback card
- Citi double cashback card
- Discover double cashback
Or you may decide none of them and use another bank, or your own bank if they have a cashback program.
Either way, get your hands on a cashback credit card even if it’s not a double cashback card. Overall, as long as you can follow the rules you will save money.
So here’s how you do it! For double cashback:
- First, make purchases using Rakuten cashback or whatever cashback program the website participates in.
- Second, use a cashback credit card to pay for these purchases.
- Third, pay these credit card balances in full and on time every month.
For triple cashback:
- First, make purchases using Rakuten cashback or whatever cashback program the website participates in.
- Second, use a double cash back credit card to pay for these purchases.
- Third, pay these credit card balances in full and on time every month.
So between the double or triple cashback method, there isn’t a big difference in terms of what you need to do.
However, the only difference that affects how much more money you can save is the use of the double cashback credit card.
The best double cash back credit card offers you cash back on purchases and cashback when these purchases are paid off! Yes!
So here you have it! So if you are not using cashback to save money on your purchases you are wasting money big time.
Fortunately, information is power, and with this information, you now are equipped to stop wasting money paying more for your purchases when you don’t have to.
Stop Wasting Money Buying Things Before Searching For Online Coupons
While cashback programs like Rakuten make it easier to find coupons for some of your favorite retailers you still must do your due diligence by double-checking online for additional coupons.
Start by checking coupon sites, but don’t forget YouTube!
The YouTuber usually receive special discount codes for their subscribers.
How do I find the discount codes on YouTube?
Well, these discount codes are mentioned in the video and are placed in the description box 99% of the time.
Thus, before you pay full price for that product or service first search for reviews about the product or service on YouTube.
You might just get lucky!
In addition to coupon sites and YouTube, consider searching for coupons on niche websites that provide free content about the product you are about to purchase.
Fortunately, some niche websites work directly with retailers and manufacturers to promote products through affiliate marketing.
In return, these niche websites receive commissions on each sale and the owners also receive special discounts to share with readers and subscribers.
For instance, if you’re looking for free grocery delivery codes, Pizza Hut coupons, Dominos coupons, Staples coupons, Denny’s coupons, or Panda Express coupons, etc. search for niche websites that create free content about each of these companies. Chances are you will find some amazing deals on these websites.
Stop Wasting Money Smoking
The average price of a pack of cigarettes is $6.28 in the United States. Now talk about an expensive dangerous habit!
So based on a cost per pack, a cigarette pack-a-day addiction can set you back thousands of dollars a year.
Now that’s before you even consider the opportunity cost and calculate the compound interest of that cash being used to buy the cigarettes.
If you’re a smoker and want to save hundreds of dollars stop wasting money on smoking.
You will not only save money but improve your health considering smoking is bad for your health and those around you.
Now I get it easy to say stop smoking than actually doing. However, you will to save money and be healthy needs to be stronger than you will for smoking.
Fortunately, with the right help and support system, you can beat your smoking addiction and come out on top.
In the short run, you may have to make sacrifices but you will be better off in the long run.
Now while some businesses help smokers fight their smoking addiction others in some way encourage it.
For instance, some businesses accommodate smokers by allocating designated smoking areas.
Well, on one hand, you’re thinking accommodating the smoker is good right? However, not so much, especially if they are trying to quit.
So maybe choosing to do businesses with places that don’t accommodate smokers can be a good start if you’re fighting a smoking addiction.
Seeing is believing my friend so here we go again. Just in case I was just kidding! Let’s do the maths!
Say you smoke one pack of cigarettes costing $6.28 per day for 25 days each month for the next five years, instead of investing your money in an investment with a return of at least 7% annually. Here’s how much money you’re wasting.
I am using the compound interest calculator from Money Chimp and The Calculator Site again.
Base on this data, if you invest your money instead of wasting your money smoking cigarettes you will earn a total of $1,820.09 at the end of the fifth year of your investment
So what’s it going to be? Waste money smoking or invest your money for your future? It’s your choice! You choose.
Stop Wasting Money on expensive Phone Plans
Cellphones have come a long way. Remember the days you couldn’t even browse the internet with your cellphone?
Well, those days are over. Now smartphones have taken over.
In fact, nowadays smartphones are faster, small, more effective, and even more affordable unless you’re purchasing the latest Android or iPhone.
However, with all these benefits there are also a few ugly drawbacks including the cost of phone plans.
Yes, the cost. The costs of a phone plan can add up really quickly if you don’t pay close attention to your phone bill especially if you’re on a contract phone plan.
However, thankfully you can reduce the cost of your phone plan significantly by opting for one of the many low-cost prepaid plans.
Here are a few companies that offer less expensive phone plans. Use this list to jumpstart your search in finding the right prepaid phone plan to fit your lifestyle!
Mobile companies offering prepaid plan deals:
- AT&T Prepaid
- Boost Mobile
- Consumer Cellular
- Cricket Wireless
- Google Fi
- H2O Wireless
- Mint Mobile Prepaid
- Red Pocket Mobile
- Republic Wireless
- Straight Talk Prepaid Plans
- US Cellular Prepaid Service
- US Mobile
- Verizon Prepaid
- Visible Prepaid Phone Plan
If you are still hesitant about switching your phone plan here are a few benefits of switching to one of the least expensive cell phone plans you can afford!
Benefits of switching to a prepaid phone plan:
- You save money since prepaid phone plans are usually cheaper than contract phone plans.
- If you need to suspend your service for a while you can since you are not contractually obligated.
- Since you are not contractually obligated you are free to switch companies and take advantage of better-prepaid phone deals to fit your lifestyle.
- If you are currently working on your bad credit score don’t worry you’ll still be eligible for a prepaid phone plan, unlike a contract phone plan.
- You get peace of mind since you will no longer have to deal with and/or stress over expensive phone plans.
- Some companies may even allow you to keep your phone if you sign up under one of their “bring your own phone prepaid plans” programs!
If you are still indecisive, about switching to a prepaid phone plan rest assured the best value prepaid phone plans also offer the following key features that are on par with contract phone plans including:
- Unlimited talk, text, and standard data package or High-speed LTE data
- Mobile hotspot capabilities
- Music streaming capabilities
- Pay-as-you-go International add-ons such as talk and text to Canada and Mexico
Therefore, unless you require one of the best business phone plans because you require the best services to run a business, switching to one of the best-prepaid no-contract cell phone plans is one of the best money-saving decisions you can make this year.
Stop Wasting Money Buying A New Phone Every Year
According to Forbes, buying a new phone every year makes dollars and no sense and I couldn’t agree more.
Yes, buying a new phone every year is beneficial but mostly for the Big Tech companies who are making these phones.
In fact, they are the only ones not getting screwed in such a wasteful transaction.
Hence, for them, it makes dollars and lots of it but for you, it makes no financial sense to buy a new phone every year.
However, by using expensive marketing campaigns, these Big Tech companies preach otherwise.
I mean who can even blame them, for them, it’s just business at the end of the day.
Furthermore, there’s that pressure to outperform previous sales performance to create more value for their shareholders.
So from a business standpoint, these Big Tech companies are doing what needs to be done to stay financially stable.
So what are you doing to stay financially stable? What are your financial plans for your money?
Handing your money to a Big Tech company every year shouldn’t be part of your yearly financial plans.
If you are buying a phone every year because your phone looks outdated here are a few ideas to help your phone look new:
- Change your phone case
- Clean your phone
- Repair the phone screen if it’s cracked
- Free up some storage space
- Add a new cute Android wallpaper or a new cute iPhone wallpaper
- Organize your phone by adding related apps to separate folders
- Add some new games and new music
- Edit your contact list
- Add some cute new phone charms
Overall, appreciate your money more and help stop this madness by not wasting your money buying a new phone every year. Your financial future will thank you.
Stop Wasting Money On Extended Warranty or Product Protection Plans or Service Contracts
In the past additional warranty that extends past the manufacture’s warranty, was reserved for expensive purchases like cars now not so much.
Nowadays manufacturers and retailers alike make it their top priority to bombard consumers with extended warranties on devices like home appliances, smartphones, laptops, TVs, and other household items.
However, according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Reports that additional coverage is rarely needed.
Actually, it’s simply just another way for manufacturers and retailers to suck more money out of consumers while doing as little as possible to help these consumers.
The FTC states service contracts like product protection plans might not be worth the price for the following reasons:
- Some service contracts duplicate the warranty coverage that the manufacturer already provides
- Some service contracts cover only part of the product
- While some make it nearly impossible to get repairs when you need them
So instead of wasting money paying for extended warranties Consumer reports recommends the following:
- Buy Reliable Products
- Read Manufacturer Warranties Before Buying
- Examine the Retailer’s Return Policy
For more information read their Extended Warranty Buying Guide.
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Stop Wasting Money On Bank Fees including late fees, overdraft fees, Maintenance Fees, ATM fees, Money Transfer Fees, and Paper Statement Fee
Are the banks ever at fault? I mean even when they screw up they get a bailout! See bailout list here. It must be nice!
What about us … the commoners? How about forgiving a few of these ATM and maintenance fees uh?
No uh … I thought so! Hey, I don’t hate the game. Actually, I wouldn’t mind owning a few banks.
Heck yes! After all, who wouldn’t want money after screwing up or being too greedy at the casino?
Anyway, don’t mind me. I am just over here on the commoner’s side grasping at straws.
While the banks may have their faults they do one thing very well and that is – charging you a fee for everything they can legally get away with.
Here are the most common bank fees you can be wasting money paying if you’re not careful:
- Late Payment Fees
- Overdraft Fees and Non-Sufficient Funds Fees/NSF Fees
- Maintenance Fees
- ATM Fees
- Money Transfer Fees
- Paper Statement Fee
Late Payment Fees
A late payment fee is what financial institutions like banks charge you when your payment for a loan or credit card is received after the due date.
Thankfully you can avoid late payment fees by making the required minimum payment by the due date and under certain circumstances, you may request a late payment fee waive.
Overdraft Fees and Non-Sufficient Funds Fees/NSF Fees
Overdraft fees and Non-Sufficient Funds fees/NSF fees are one of the same.
However, you must know a few differences between these similar bank fees to help you avoid them.
The main difference lies in the amount the bank charges per bank fee and what triggers each bank fee.
Regarding The Difference in Amount The Bank Charges
Banks typically charge $35 per overdraft bank transaction and $27 to $35 per Non-Sufficient Funds bank transaction.
What Triggers Overdraft fees?
An overdraft fee of $35 is charged by the bank when you make purchases, and/or withdraw cash from ATM without ensuring your bank account balance is sufficient to clear these purchases and/or cash withdrawals.
What Triggers NSF fees?
An NSF fee of $27 to $35 is charged by the bank when you schedule recurring payments, and/or write checks without ensuring your bank account balance is sufficient to clear these recurring payments and/or checks.
Also note, a bank can decide not to clear the payment or check but still charge you the NSF fee.
So imagine incurring an NSF fee plus a late payment fee from a credit card company because the bank didn’t process your credit card payment!
Talk about a double whammy! Now you owe the bank $27 to $35 NSF fees (hopefully in your case it’s $27) plus the late fee of $35.
Now in certain circumstances, an NSF fee may be the least of your worries – some banks may even press criminal charges if you write the bad check. So be careful, because there are real consequences for writing a bad check!
How to Avoid Wasting Money On Overdraft Fees
Thankfully, you can avoid wasting money on overdraft fees by simply opting out of your bank’s overdraft service due to the Overdraft Payment Supervisory Guidance implemented by the FDIC in 2010.
Under the FDIC’s Overdraft Payment Supervisory Guidance, banks must promptly honor customers’ requests to opt-out overdraft service offering coverage of overdrafts resulting from non-electronic transactions.
So if you’re paying overdraft fees constantly then it’s time to call your bank to opt out of their overdraft service.
Now Avoiding NSF Funds Gets Tricky
While avoiding overdraft fees is just a phone call away avoiding NSF funds isn’t that easy, but it can still be done – you just need to be more proactive.
Since NSF fees are triggered when there aren’t sufficient funds to clear recurring payments and/or checks then don’t schedule recurring payments and don’t write checks without ensuring you have sufficient funds to clear these payments or checks.
You may be still wondering why opting out of the overdraft service isn’t covering recurring payments and bad checks. Plus, how will you keep up with all these recurring payments without scheduling the payments?
Well unfortunately opting out of the overdraft service won’t help you avoid an NSF fee if your account is overdrawn due to a recurring payment or a bad check. Sad to say the Overdraft Payment Supervisory Guidance of 2010 doesn’t cover NSF fees.
Now regarding keeping up with all these recurring payments it can be done. For instance, you can set up monthly reminders on your phone or record the due dates of these recurring payments in your planner or journal.
So, control money better by stop wasting money on overdraft fees and NSF fees.
Banks charge customers a monthly maintenance fee just to keep their non-interest-bearing checking account open.
Yes, you heard right! You have to pay to play! Or better yet, you must pay just to say you’re using a bank account instead of your mattress!
Now, if you’re wondering how much money the top echelons banks are making off this play it’s billions!
According to MyBankTracker U.S. households paid $1 billion in checking account maintenance fees in 2018 while overdrafts decreased from the previous year.
So the banks said y’all finding ways to avoid the overdraft fees well we will deal with y’all butts next year using our maintenance fees. LOL! They are savages!
Now depending on the size of the bank, you could easily pay as much as $15 per month just to keep your checking account open.
How annoying is that?
Thankfully, depending on the bank this fee can be waived by:
- Maintaining a setting up a recurring direct deposit
- Maintaining a minimum daily balance on your account
- Using the debit card associated with the account a set minimum number of times per month.
Now depending on your circumstance, you may qualify for accounts with no maintenance fees. For instance, some banks offer student accounts with no maintenance fees.
So before you waste money on monthly maintenance fees check the banking policies at your current bank so you could learn how you can avoid paying this annoying bank fee.
Or better yet research banks with no maintenance fees and share the results with the rest of us because it’s tough out here.
ATM fees have been increasing. In fact, USA Today reported a 2% increase in ATM fees in 2019.
The article states the hike in ATM fees is due to an increase in the maintenance cost of ATMs since fewer customers are using them, forcing banks to spread their costs over a smaller customer base.
So indirectly, customers are to blame for the hike in ATM fees and not the bank for their lack of innovation and/or greed. That’s what I am getting from this article.
Anyway, I will continue to use peer-to-peer payment apps like Zelle to avoid their hikes in ATM fees.
Thankfully apart from using peer-to-peer payment apps, you can avoid ATM fees by:
- Using your own bank’s ATM
- Finding and using in-network ATMs created by smaller banks and credit unions
- Using the cashback services offered by stores like Walmart
Money Transfer Fees
Charging customers money transfer fees is one of the many ways banks make money. However, due to peer-to-peer payment apps like Cash App, Zelle, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Venmo, you can avoid this fee under certain circumstances.
Paper Statement Fees
If you’re still receiving monthly bank statement mails from banks there’s a high chance these banks may be charging you paper statement fees.
Thankfully by opting for …. you can easily avoid these fees. Overall, out of all the bank fees mentioned above, this bank fee is the easiest one to avoid.
Stop Wasting Money On Name Brand Basic Clothing And Shoes
Now before someone tells me “If you’re broke just say that!” Disclaimer: I am not a designer brand hater!
I like cute things whether they’re expensive or affordable. However, you can bet if something is expensive I will find an affordable substitute.
Now regarding buying name-brand basic clothing and shoes it doesn’t make financial sense unless you can actually afford these pricey purchases.
From my perspective, basic clothing and shoes should be purchased at basic prices. Anything else you’re ballin, or you are desperately trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Now a few may argue, in the example above, the expensive designer brand pointy black flats may last longer because they cost more.
Hence, such a pricey purchase for a pair of basic AF flats is worth it and that takes us to the next point.
… Stop Wasting Money Buying more expensive products because you think They’re better quality
Nowadays just because a product or service is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s better quality!
That’s why product or service research is an important step that must be performed before buying a product or service.
In fact, the responsibility lies on the consumer to research the product or service before buying.
I own drugstore makeup foundations that outperform popular high-end foundations all day long!
However, finding these foundations wasn’t an easy task because of all the fake paid reviews distorting relevant information about these products.
Therefore, before you purchase:
- The most expensive baby gifts for your co-worker baby shower
- The most expensive colognes for your significant other
- Or try to impress your in-laws with one of the best-selling expensive items on Amazon
… ensure you research each product along with more affordable substitutes to reduce the chances of you wasting your money.
Stop Wasting Money Paying for things you could DIY
DIY projects gone wrong can cost you even more money. Therefore, you shouldn’t attempt to DIY everything.
Overall, DIY smartly. In general, depending on the item or situation you are better off paying to get it done professionally.
However, for basic things like getting a set of french nails or a set of fancy nails, you know the pretty nails you see all over social media you can save a lot of money by learning how to do these at home by yourself.
I remember when I just started doing my nails at home there didn’t look great but after practicing and trying different methods now they look great.
So, before you grab your phone and start searching for, “nail salon near me or nail shop near me” consider more affordable alternatives to get your nails done.
Stop Wasting Money On Insurance
How in the world do you waste money on insurance? Isn’t insurance primarily paid protection against future unpredictable risks?
Well, my friends, anything is possible under the sun, especially what you think is impossible!
Here are three legitimate reasons you may be wasting money on insurance.
So you don’t:
- Research and shop around for the best deals
- Utilize all your resources
- Consider alternatives to certain types of insurance
Here is a list of different types of insurance we are encouraged to pay for:
- Car Insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Home Insurance
- Renters Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Wedding Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Accidental Death Insurance
- Pet Insurance
- Rental Car Insurance
- Identity Theft Insurance
- Credit Card Insurance
- Cell Phone Insurance
Now imagine paying signing up to 25% of these and overpaying? Crazy right? So let’s discuss how you may be fumbling your own bag.
You don’t Research and shop around for the best deals
Depending on your circumstance paying insurance is a must – you don’t get to choose whether or not you want to buy insurance, you only get to choose which insurance company that gets to profit.
This is usually the case for home insurance especially if you have a mortgage.
Now while home insurance may seem expensive it to worth it to get one that helps you rebuild your home, cover any injuries and damages that happen at your home, helps you replace personal items, and also covers additional expenses due to the loss of your home.
Renters insurance is also another insurance some renters don’t get the liberty to decide whether or not they want to purchase it.
In fact, some landlords make this insurance mandatory in order to maintain a lease.
So what do you do when you don’t have a choice? Give up and accept the first offer you receive?
Do you know how crazy giving up sounds especially considering this is a monthly bill!
No, don’t give up or settle! Fight back with research and let the best insurance deal win and here’s how!
First, research the type of insurance you are on the market for, because it’s important to understand what you are buying.
Plus, research helps you filter out the bad insurance deals or bad insurance companies.
For instance, did you know some insurance companies use your level of education, zip code, gender, or job, etc to determine the cost of your insurance package?
Well, this is the kind of information and more is what you can gather when you research before you buy.
Secondly, shop around based on the information you gathered during your research.
Don’t just shop blindly and settle for the first insurance quote you receive. No, research to gather valuable information then call several insurance companies and let the chips fall where they may.
You don’t utilize all your resources
So you pay alumni associate fees without piggybacking on the association’s insurance discount program or worst …
You’re that worker who puts in 110% at work, but you don’t even know you could be paying 15% less for car insurance through your company’s insurance discount program.
Now talk about priorities all mess up!
Just kidding, but seriously you are doing yourself and your money a disservice by not taking advantage of the opportunities available to you.
Start using your resources or opportunities to spend less on insurance.
For instance, GEICO offers special insurance savings to alumni association members, faculty, and staff associated with certain colleges and universities.
Thus, if you are associated with any college or university on GEICO’s list you would definitely want to get a GEICO quote. For instance, if you’re on the market for car insurance get a GEICO auto quote online immediately.
Other Insurance Companies with Insurance Programs For members of alumni associations
Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a variety of discounted insurance products as well as advisory services to member of alumni associations, students, faculty, and staff, as well as their spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, and siblings associated with universities and college that participates in their insurance program. These discounted insurance products include:
- Auto, Home & Renters Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Special Event Liability Coverage
- Pet Insurance
Thus, if you’re in the market for any of these insurance products find out if your college or university participates in this Liberty insurance program.
Nationwide also offers a variety of discounted insurance products for members of alumni associations are these discounted insurance products include:
- Health Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Vehicle Insurance
- Home Insurance
- Renters Insurance
- Condo Insurance
- Pet Insurance
Now, apart from your job and colleges and/or universities, you attended other organizations like including business groups, military organizations, recreational organizations, fraternities, and sororities and honor societies can also help save you hundreds or even thousands a year on insurance according to MoneyTalksNews.
So before you settle for the first quote, use all your resources and shop around. Thanks to the internet you can get multiple insurance quotes online. So if you shopping for car insurance you don’t even have to leave your home to get a good quote – you can buy car insurance online.
However, be careful! Even if you want to save money don’t just look for very cheap car insurance policies only. Instead, compare car insurance from different car insurance companies to find the best car insurance policy that meets your needs.
You don’t consider insurance alternatives
Insurance for the most part can be expensive. However, if you are willing to look outside the box, low-cost insurance alternatives are available and this is certainly true for health insurance. Investopedia listed five lower-cost insurance alternatives to traditional health insurance including:
- Primary Care Memberships
- Medical Cost Sharing Programs
- Health Savings Accounts
- Medical Services Discount Cards
- High-Deductible Policies
Therefore, depending on your circumstance, a lower-cost health insurance alternative may provide you with the coverage you need at a lower cost.
Now depending on your employment status, a lower insurance alternative may not be the best choice or even an option.
However, if your health insurance isn’t dependent on your employment status, consider lower-cost health insurance alternatives and if they are not suitable based on your needs don’t settle for the first traditional insurance quote you receive – shop around and negotiate.
Another lower-cost insurance alternative is self-insurance and in most cases, it’s a viable insurance alternative for certain types of insurance including cell phone insurance.
Self-insurance is the act of saving the money you would have paid the insurance company just in case you need to repair or replace the item.
Now, depending on the cost of your phone, self-insurance can help you save a few hundred dollars a year.
Cellphone insurance, programs usually seem like a good idea but that’s not always the case.
In fact, some cellphone insurance programs entail so many limitations and restrictions you may not be fully aware of until you seek help from the insurance company.
Therefore, fully assessing your cell phone insurance policy before opting in and considering other ways you can protect your phone is a must.
Stop Wasting Money By Not waiting for better Prices Offered During Black Friday Deals And Other Sale Events
You will be amazed by the crazy discounts these companies offer customers during the holidays.
For instance, here are a few Black Friday deals Target offered customers during their Black Friday sales event – some of these products were discounted by over 40%!
So unless you need the item immediately, wait. In the long run, having the patience to wait for better deals can help you save money.
Here are a few highly publicized sales events or deals to look out for:
- Amazon Prime Day deals
- Walmart Black Friday deals
- Target Black Friday deals
- Macy’s Beauty Event
- Macy’s Friends and Family Sale
- Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty
- Cyber Monday deals
- Back to school deals
- Sephora Beauty Insider Sales
Stop Wasting Money Paying For Several Subscription Services
Subscription services are a dime a dozen nowadays. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing because when businesses compete consumers benefit.
For instance, in the beauty industry, top subscription box companies like BoxyCharm and Ipsy offer more than one makeup delivery box service with highly discount high-end beauty products.
Now for someone who just started building their makeup kit the makeup delivery box service from these companies provided insane value.
However, no matter the value being created for customers subscribing to many subscription services is costly no matter the industry.
Imagine subscribing to YouTube TV subscription, Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Funimation, and Crunchyroll all at once!
Well in someone’s defense, all these video streaming services don’t offer the same TV shows and movies.
However, if one has limited financial resources choices must be made – it’s unfortunate, but that’s the reality.
Hence, choose wisely and understand you can’t have them all.
Therefore, if you currently subscribe to HelloFresh, Blue Apron and Dinnerly choose one full meal subscription box service then cancel the rest.
Don’t waste money on subscription services.
Stop Wasting Money Buying Things because It’s on sale
Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need to buy it.
Always assess your need for the item on sale in depth before buying.
For instance, do you actually need this product or service and it just happens to be on sale, or is this impulse shopping.
Over the years, I have realized the things you really need are rarely on sale.
However, you can bet you will find TVs on sale, but you already own two or shoes on sale but your closet doesn’t have space for another pair.
Furthermore, whether you paid $50 or $200 for a product or service with an original price of $400 you are still spending money – money that could have been placed in an emergency fund or money that could have been used to pay for a product or service you actually need.
Additionally, you are rarely getting a deal unless:
- That product or service is being offered by many vendors, so you do not have to deal with monopolistic bullshit
- Many substitutions are available for this product or service
- The supply for that product or service outpaces demand
- There’s no price collusion among the vendors who supply this product or service
- The sale isn’t fake
Other than that you’re probably still getting screwed over even with a sale price tag.
Stop Wasting Money Grocery shopping without a grocery list
Walmart and Target shareholders don’t mind you shopping without a grocery list! In fact, I can imagine they love it! Money more! Money more! Well for them anyway.
Can you count on one hand the number of times you’ve visited either store with plans of purchasing certain items but actually purchased several other items?
If you can use one hand to count the number of times you’ve succumbed to impulse buying at Walmart, Target, and related stores congrats!
As for the rest of us boy, we have work to do, because their marketing tactics are running circles around us.
Nowadays, I don’t even attempt shopping at these stores without a grocery list.
Yes, my grocery list in one hand and a pen in another. If you’re looking for a blank grocery list download this one – it’s on the house!
Use this grocery list to help you stick to your grocery budget and save time grocery shopping.
Here are a few grocery list ideas to help create your own grocery budget list based on your needs.
Grocery list ideas:
- Household grocery list
- Basic grocery list for pets if you have pets
- A college grocery list for college students
- Weekly grocery list if you buy a lot of fruits and vegetables
- Grocery list for one
- Gluten-free grocery list
- A grocery list for two
- Separate grocery list for kids if you have to shop for your kids
- Keto groceries list if you’re on a keto diet
- Daniel fast diet grocery list if you’re on this diet
Overall, monthly grocery budget planning using a grocery list can help you stop wasting money on groceries.
Stop Wasting Money Paying for Procrastination
“The early bird catches the worm” are true words if put into practice can save you money. While “better late than never” is a procrastinator anthem that can cost you the shirt on your back if you’re too late.
We all are susceptible to procrastination. However, with effective time management skills, some are less affected by it.
In general, procrastination is costly. For instance, procrastinating can cost you a job, a higher letter grade, a better interest rate on a loan, a promotion, and so on.
Unfortunately, it is human nature to believe we have time thus we procrastinate. However, that’s usually far from the truth. In fact, in most circumstances, we don’t have enough time.
So start taking care of your business sooner than later because you never what money-making or money-saving opportunities you may be missing out on because you’re procrastinating.
This leads us to the next point…
Stop Wasting Money Paying for convenience
In time-sensitive situations, once you run out of time due to procrastinating you will likely trade money for some relief or face the consequences.
Whereas, if you used your time wisely you don’t have to pay or answer uncomfortable questions and give vague responses.
Thus, get your #ish done on time and hold on to your money and your dignity.
Stop Wasting Money Buying Everything New
I like new things I mean who doesn’t? Unfortunately, new things cost more, and in some cases, the additional cost isn’t worth it especially if you can’t pay for that new thing without financing it.
A perfect example is a new car. Yes, brand new shiny car!
Unfortunately, even with the advantage of the manufacturer’s warranty, new cars depreciate by 9-11% in value almost immediately once it’s driven off the dealership’s lot.
Therefore, before you start searching for new cars for sale, find out the possible difference in savings by comparing new car prices to used car prices, while accounting for the additional cost of maintaining a used car.
If you come out ahead after your analysis, then consider purchasing a certified used car in cash or creating a sinking fund with the goal of saving enough money to help you purchase a certified used car in cash.
Remember, the best new cars are usually the cars you can afford to pay in cash.
Now the same rules apply to other consumer goods. For instance, a Kitchenaid stand mixer.
During the holidays I was searching Kitchenaid Artisan 5 quart stand mixer on a budget and found one at Target at a significantly reduced price, but the catch was pick up only no delivery.
Well, considering the global health crisis, I wasn’t about to go out of my for a stand mixer, so I purchased a refurbished Kitchenaid Pro stand mixer with the same budget directly from Kitchenaid and never looked back.
The used Kitchenaid was delivered before Christmas, and it looked brand new. In fact, I mixed my Christmas fruit cake without any issues.
The point here is, new products are great but if you have to go out of your way to purchase this product consider other options.
Plus, by all means, stick to your budget and don’t waste money on a new item when the used item will get the job done just as well.
Stop Wasting Money Paying for Apps
If you paid for Facetune raise your hands… Raises hand slowly in shame. Yes, I wasted money paying for Facetune – I did that.
Now, there isn’t anything wrong with the app per se. Actually, I think it’s a great photo editing app!
In fact, if you have a few pimples and pores you want to remove from your photos this app works like a charm.
However, there are other apps like Facetune that will do the same job for free. So before, you pay for apps find other apps that will help you get the same job done for free.
For instance, apps to help keep track of expenses. Keeping track of expenses shouldn’t be expensive.
Thus, you don’t have to pay for mobile application software to keep track of expenses.
Instead, find a good expense tracker app you like, one that’s free to help you track your spending.
Here’s a list including some of the best expense tracker app on the iPhone and some of the best expense tracker app on Android phones – all these apps for expenses are free!
- YNB Budget, Personal Finance Tracker available on iPhone and Android
- Mint Finance Tracker available on iPhone and Android
- Expensify Expense Reports available on iPhone and Android
- Mvelopes Budget App available on iPhone and Android
- Wallet Personal Finance, Budget and Expense Tracker by BudgetBakers.com available on iPhone and Android
If you don’t like tracking your expenses or budget using mobile application software like those listed above, consider using the envelope system for budgeting and/or create your own expense tracker to budget tracker using Microsoft Excel.
Overall the best apps are usually the ones that are free, especially when you’re trying to save money.
Stop Wasting Money on Utility Bills Including Cable bill, Water bill, Electricity bill, Gas Bill, And Internet Bill
One of the easiest ways to save money on utilities is by reducing your consumption, finding cheaper alternatives, and switching providers for better deals once they are available.
However, depending on the utility bill, more options may be available. Here’s how you can reduce your cable bill, water bill, electricity bill, and gas bills:
According to Decisiondata.org the average household cable package of $217. 42 exceeds all utility bills combined.
$217.42 … Huh? For cable package? Who are these ballers? That’s really on the higher end. Now for some data from Statista, that’s more palatable …
In 2021, Statista.com reported, as of July 2019, around 34 percent of adults living in the U.S. indicated that they pay between $51 and $100 for the cable television bill.
Unfortunately, whether it’s $51 or over $200, the average cable bill isn’t cheap.
Hence, if you want to avoid wasting money watching TV, finding ways to reduce your cable bill should be a priority.
Thankfully, there are ways you can stop avoid wasting money on your cable bill including:
- Bundle related utility bills like internet, home phone for special discounts.
- Stick with the basic channels and avoid adding too many premium channels.
- Additional TVs usually need additional cable boxes, so you can reduce the cost of your cable package by simply reducing the number of TVs in your household.
- Negotiate a lower rate or downsize your package or switch your cable service to another company if negotiating cable bill isn’t possible
- Get rid of your cable bill altogether – who needs cable with Hulu, free YouTube videos, and people arguing on Twitter?
So cable bill too high? Try these solutions above to help you reduce your monthly cable bill.
Water is a necessity – we can’t do without it. However, you can do without a high water bill by doing the following:
- Limiting your showers. So if you shower four times daily, reduce your showers to three times daily.
- Fix these annoying leaking faucets that not only waste water but make noises.
- Do laundry less often, so avoid running small loads of laundry.
- Install efficient showerheads and efficient toilets to reduce water consumption and install outdoor water tanks or use rain barrels to collect rainwater.
- Wash laundry during your free electricity periods if your electricity plan features free power at certain times.
Energy bill comparison can be tough because it’s like comparing apples to oranges. For, instance the average electricity bill for a small home will be different from an average business electric bill.
However, luckily no matter the situation there always something you can do to help reduce that electric bill.
Actually, out of all the bills, this one might be the easiest to reduce. In fact, two of the easiest ways to reduce your electricity bill are first, turning the lights off when you leave rooms and second unplugging all your gadgets when you’re not using them.
Here’s a list of other ways you can reduce your electricity bill!
- Use energy-efficient lightbulbs, dimmers, and motions sensors lights to help you reduce your electricity bill
- Replace the air filter and use a fan whenever you can and keep your place properly insulated
- Don’t run your appliances unless they’re full, for instance, run full loads of laundry
- Lower the temperature of your refrigerator and lower the hot water heater temperature
- Negotiate and lock in lower electric rates whenever possible or switcher your electricity provider altogether.
The average monthly gas bill in the US is $72.10. However, depending on your state, it might be cheaper or more expensive according to Move.org.
However, there are ways you can reduce your gas bill! It doesn’t matter if it’s a CenterPoint energy bill, Atmos energy bill, or any other gas company there are ways you too can reduce your average gas bill. Here’s how!
- Turn down the water heater especially during warmer months
- Keep heating systems and appliances properly maintained throughout the year
- Invest in proper insulation and keep doors and windows closed to reduce gas consumption
- Bundle up your services for cheaper rates
- Negotiate with the gas company, and lock in favorable rates or switch to a lower gas supplier
Ah … reminiscing the good ole days when the average internet bill was about $20 to $30 a month.
Yes, those were good days! My internet bill was about $30 a couple of years ago on Timer Warner Cable.
However, when Timer Warner rebranded under Spectrum, I got bullied into upgrading to more expensive internet packages because Spectrum kept reducing the internet speed and other internet providers won’t available.
Fortunately, if your situation is different, here are a few ways you can lower your internet bill!
- Shop around and compare prices if other internet providers are available
- Reduce your internet speed if you don’t require fast internet speed
- Buy your own modem and router instead of paying the monthly to rent them from your internet provider
- Bundle your TV and internet to access lower rates
- Ask about discounts and promotions, and negotiate your monthly charges or switch internet provider if you can
Stop Wasting Money Supporting Your Impulsive Shopping Habits
There’s no shaming in treating yourself from time to time. In fact why not, after all, it’s your money to spend or save right?
However, if you often “treat yourself” without any advance planning or “treating yourself” is often triggered by emotions and feelings, well you are no longer “treating yourself”.
Unfortunately, my friend, you have succumbed to a bad impulsive buying habit you immediately need to get rid of if you intend to save money.
These buying decisions at the spur of the moment make it difficult to save money.
Plus, purchases made during these moments are not necessities they are wants you could do without especially if you are trying to save money.
In general, impulse buying habits are very expensive habits to maintain.
Therefore, unless you have a money tree, curb this habit by planning your purchases in advance by creating monthly budgeting to help you control your money better.
Stop Wasting Money Paying for any goods and service in hopes of impressing people
As it turns out not caring about how people perceive you can help you save money.
Who would have thought that would be the case especially in this social media era where keeping up with the Joneses is everything!
Just kidding! Don’t do it! No matter how alluring emulating that lifestyle may be.
Instead, stay in your lane and keep on doing you. Remember, we all don’t bloom at the same time. Ken Petti said it best, “Every flower blooms in its own time.”
Overall, live your truth, do your thing, continuing putting in the work and good things will come your way in time.
No point going broke acting rich just to impress people who probably won’t even notice anyway.
Develop a “saving money mindset” and while you at it question the price of everything and act quickly when you must.
Like, hold up! Why is this bill this high this month? Well, it’s time to switch!
How much was that gallon of milk last month? Where can I get it cheaper this month?
Don’t just go with the flow. It’s your money, after all, put up a fight.