It’s not always easy to spot how your money is being wasted. Or maybe it is, and you just don’t want to stop it? Being able to identify all of the different ways you're wasting money and put a stop to it is key to saving in the long run.
The CGS Team is sharing 7 common ways where your money may be wasted. If any of the ways below applies to your current situation, make the adjustment. Look at the purchase from a yearly amount to really see how much you are wasting.
Unused Services, Subscriptions, and Memberships
Don’t let yourself fall into the “I’ll use it” trap. If you haven’t been to the gym since the New Year, you probably aren’t going to get up and go now. Cancel that membership! If you get the urge to work out, go for a run around the neighborhood or try a workout DVD.
The same applies to your Amazon Prime, Netflix, cable, waxing, beauty boxes, and any other service you may be abusing. If you aren’t using it enough to make the cost of it worth it, get rid of it.
Daily Coffee Trips
The ladies of the CGS Team love a good cup of coffee. We are not advocating you drop your local café or Starbucks, we are simply suggesting cutting back, big time.
The average latte costs around $5. If you are getting a latte every day of the week, you are spending $25 a week. This comes out to $1,300 a year! That money could be used to pay off your debts or fund your next adventure. Cut back those daily coffee trips, and break out the good ‘ol Keurig.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average American family throws away about $2,200 worth of food every year. While most of us City Girls are solo, even a quarter of that amount is enough to raise eyebrows. Not only does wasting groceries cost you major cash, it fills our country with waste.
We don’t want to sound like a cheesy commercial, but there are people starving out there! Try to grocery shop just for the week ahead. If you plan to buy in bulk, make sure your items are not quickly perishable.
Car Lease Payments
In early 2015, the average car lease payment was $405. Not only is that number staggeringly high, but when your lease is up, you have nothing to show for those expensive payments. That’s exactly what auto dealers are banking on. Dealers charge extremely high interest rates on leased vehicles to help cover the depreciation that comes with the car over time. Consider purchasing a used car on your next go-round.
ATM Fees are certainly not cheap. $2-$3 just to pull the money from an outside ATM, and then another $2-$3 charged by your bank from pulling the cash from an outside ATM. Kudos to you for pulling cash (this is a much better strategy than using your debit card for non-necessary spending), but don’t hurt your wallet in the process.
Be sure to hit an ATM in your network to avoid the fees. If there are no ATMs for your bank available, consider switching to a credit union. Credit unions don’t have their own ATMs, and often don’t charge customers for pulling cash.
Are you an online shopper? More importantly, are you an impatient online shopper? If the answer is yes, it could be costing you. If you often opt for the overnight or 2-day shipping for online orders, you could be wasting some serious cash. The prices for expedited shipping are significantly higher than the standard 7-day shipping. Always go with the standard shipping. If you know you need an item by a specific date, plan ahead.
A financially savvy lifestyle does not mean a life of boredom, it simply means a life of manageable spending. Dining out, concerts, movies, and other fun activities can add up quickly. Keep the excessive spending on entertainment to a minimum. There are plenty of local low-cost options available to people in every city.
Consider visiting museums (and breaking out your college ID for free entry), or researching affordable happy hours before going out. Groupon is always a great go-to as well!
Related: 8 Things to Stop Spending Money On
If you’re not careful about where your money is being spent, it can be wasted without you even realizing it. Always keep an eye out on where your money is going. Don’t know how to do that? Set yourself up on a budget! A budget is one of the most effective ways to keep tabs on your cash. Start your budget today with the help of City Girl Savings!
Do you know where your money is going? What area of spending do you think you waste most of your money on? How do you get yourself back on track? Leave a comment below to share with the group!