No one is perfect when it comes to their money. Despite our best efforts to save or earn money, we get in our own ways and derail our efforts. In the case of the former it means we’re throwing our money away without thought. In a recent conversation online people shared ways people mindlessly waste money. Here are ten of their worst offenders.
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1. New Car Loans
In 2023, the average new car payment is a jaw-dropping $725 per month, with millions of Americans paying over $1,000 monthly.
This is unbelievable. It shows how much men and women care about the vehicle they’re seen in. They’re happy to go into debt buying a car they can’t afford to be seen driving the latest and greatest. Consider yourself lucky if you have a low monthly car payment — or none at all.
2. Donating to Video Game Streamers
Putting people who play video games up on a pedestal and donating money to them in exchange for a simple shoutout of your username defies logic.
Why do so many young adults brazenly contribute to gamers they’ve never met? “I was watching a Twitch streamer the other night, someone donated $500, and the streamer just went ‘Oh thanks, dude’ and went right back to what they were doing two seconds later,” reveals one avid gamer.
3. High-Fashion Clothing
Men and women who waste money on high-end clothing care about two things: The label and how others perceive them. Is there a more significant waste of money than overpaying for luxury clothing?
While most people grow out of this phase shortly after high school, some never grow up and are destined to throw their hard-earned cash away with each luxury purchase.
4. Bottled Water
Purified water is great to drink, but it’s a needless expense when buy it in bottles. For example, the average American spends over $100 annually on water bottles.
One commenter gives a perfect response to this issue, saying “Not only are all those bottles bad for the environment, it’s expensive. Just buy a Brita pitcher and get your water out of the tap.”
That’s exactly what we do in our home to save cash.
5. Tiny Impulse Buys
Many people believe small impulse purchases are responsible for the slow cash leak from their wallets. Inexpensive items like a bottle of soda while filling up your tank at the gas station or a morning cup of coffee at Starbucks may not seem like a big deal. However, over time, those tiny purchases add up in a huge way.
I’m amazed the legacy diamond business still operates! Why would anyone throw money away on a ‘blood’ diamond when better, more ethical versions of diamonds exist?
“You can have a better, bigger, much cheaper artificial diamond, or you can fuel dictators and child slavery to get a De Beers diamond where they literally have warehouses full of worthless rocks that they suck up off the sea floor en-masse and sell for a small fortune as they control the supply,” explains one savvy person. “I don’t understand why more people don’t just go artificial.”
7. In-Game Purchases
Whoever invented in-game purchases and microtransactions in video games should be launched into outer space.
Not only do these games possess addictive qualities that make avoiding in-game purchases impossible, but many parents believe they’re specifically marketed to children who think nothing about charging endless micro transactions to their parents’ credit cards! In the end, these minuscule purchases add up.
8. Home Chef Subscription Services
Often luring prospective customers in by offering heavily discounted first initial deliveries, home chef subscription services quickly become drains on your wallet.
“Companies like Blue Apron that send you ingredients to cook meals at home can drain your wallet quickly,” one woman confesses. “I don’t care how much extra money you have; if you pay the price of a meal out to have one serving size of raw chicken, a potato, and some seasoning delivered to your house, you’re an idiot.”
(If you’ll excuse me, I must cancel my Blue Apron subscription!)
9. Extended Warranties
From home appliances to new vehicles to small electronic devices, many Americans pay for extended product warranties that they’ll never use.
I’m shocked at how many people fall for Apple’s AppleCare warranty for iPhones. The amount they pay each month will most likely go down the drain, and purchasing a quality case for their cell phone will prevent 99% of damage. Talk about throwing money away!
10. Supporting Local Restaurants
Countless people confess that supporting local businesses is putting a severe damper on their savings, no matter how good their intentions are!
“We’ve been doing what we can to help out by visiting different local mom-and-pop restaurants,” admits one woman. “Post-pandemic, the quality of the food has gotten terribly low while the cost has gotten pretty high.”
I agree. Many restaurants don’t offer value anymore.
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This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.