6 Major Money Wasters

  • 6 Major Money Wasters

    Everyone wastes money sometimes. Splurges add up, or you just don’t do the research necessary to get the best deal. You can limit the money you waste, however, by targeting six major money wasters. These things can bust your budget faster than you might believe. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    1. Impulse Buying
  • 1. Impulse Buying

    A huge discount on that ab machine seems like a great deal when you see it in the store, but once you get home, and use it only a couple of times before it sits gathering dust, you realize that perhaps you could have used the money for something else. Money spent is still money spent, and impulse purchases can be one of the biggest budget-busters out there. Apryl Duncan writes about impulse buying on About.com: “Research shows approximately 66% of all purchase decisions are made in the store. And 53% of those in-store purchases are made on impulse.” One of the best things you can do is to make a list of what you need, and stick to the list. Institute a “waiting period” for wants. No, you may not get the great deal, but if it isn’t a need, you can save up for it — if you still want it when the waiting period expires. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    2. Carrying a Credit Card Balance
  • 2. Carrying a Credit Card Balance

    Even though the minimum payments appear low, the truth is that you are paying a large portion of that toward interest. That’s why your balance never seems to go lower when you pay the minimum; only a very small portion goes toward the principal. When you carry a credit card balance, you pay a high fee for the privilege of lining someone else’s pockets. Try to avoid putting more on your credit card than you can pay off each month, and if you already have a balance, try to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Photo Credit: paalia
    3. Buying Brand Names
  • 3. Buying Brand Names

    Brand name merchandise often costs much more than generic brands. This is especially true of clothing and prescriptions. If you can find a generic brand of similar quality, you can save big. If you can get generic prescriptions or generic versions of over-the-counter drugs, you will find that you can save a great deal of money in the long run. Photo Credit: thisisbossi
    4. Frequent Eating Out
  • 4. Frequent Eating Out

    During this recession, many people have changed their eating habits so that they eat more at home, rather than eating out. This is good news, since frequent eating out can be a big money waster. Not only does food prepared at a restaurant cost more per person than cooking meals at home, but you also have to pay for a tip. You can reduce some of your costs by getting take-out. If you still like to eat out, try going to lunch on occasion, rather than spending more on dinner. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    5. Banking/ATM Fees
  • 5. Banking/ATM Fees

    You might be surprised at how quickly banking and ATM fees can add up. MainStreet.com’s Brian O’Connell points out that “banks earn 53% of all of their income from charges on late fees, overdraft fees, loan-origination fees and other surcharges…” That means that you might be spending a great deal on fees from overdraft charges (which can be as high as $45 per transaction), ATM fees when you don’t go to one owned by your bank, and even monthly service fees. Find out what fees you are paying, and consider switching banks or credit unions if you can find lower fees elsewhere. Photo Credit: ducdigital
    6. Wrong Insurance Coverage
  • 6. Wrong Insurance Coverage

    Review your insurance policies. From life insurance to auto insurance to health insurance, you might be paying for coverage you don’t need (one example is maternity coverage for a woman who has had a hysterectomy). Or, you might even not have enough coverage. Both situations can lead to a great deal of wasted money. Overpaying deprives you of money you could use elsewhere, and being underinsured can lead to financial devastation when you have to pick up more of the tab. Carefully shop around for the best rates, and perhaps get a professional evaluation to find the coverage that you need. Photo Credit: minds-eye
    Wasting Time Too?
  • Wasting Time Too?

    If you're wasting money, chances are you're wasting time too. Check out our story on 11 big time wasters. Photo Credit: ..stiina..
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