Debt Management Finance

Four Unnecessary Wastes of Money You Do Not Realise

Some money-saving tips are blatantly obvious: cutting back on eating out, or ditching expensive bad habits like spending on the latest gadgets every year. Some ways are uncommon enough to be impractical for consistent savings like choosing cheaper hotels on vacation or buying a used car rather than a new one — great advice, but it is not going to help keep your monthly expenses in check. In fact, you may be wasting money in extremely common but often overlooked ways. Here’s a list of four things you probably did not realise you could save on and how you can stop wasting your money on them.

“Look everywhere you can to cut a little bit from your expenses. It will all add up to a meaningful sum.”

Suze Orman

Twenty-year-olds are recognised for many things – having a fat wallet is not one of them. If you are not born to a wealthy family, you may have student debt to pay off despite acquiring your first corporate job. We are constantly bombarded by reminders from our parents and elders that we need to save as much money as we can for the betterment of our future.

Although we have this stubborn tendency to stick to the present, they are correct, no matter how you want to dispute their words of wisdom. We do not want to sacrifice the beautiful lifestyles that we have right now, “What are some of the unnecessary expenditures we can remove from our lifestyles?” We splurge our hard-earned money on so many things and do not even pause for a second to think about how much we are spending because it has become a habit of ours.

Continue reading to find out how you are wasting your money that you could be saving for a more financially stable future.

1. Coffee

I have friends who cannot live without coffee. I have one group of friends who asserted that their days are incomplete without a cup of hot coffee in the morning. Then, there is another group of friends of mine who drinks a cup of coffee every couple of hours because it keeps them alert.

Because there are thousands of coffee shops all over the country, it is easy for one to stop by the nearest coffee shop to purchase a cup of coffee before heading to work. Personally, I am not a coffee addict, but there is one question that never fails to raise my eyebrow: why are people so obsessed with the idea of making their drink as complicated as they can? If you have the answer, please comment below – I would love to know.

“You must learn to save first and spend afterwards.”

John Poole

The price consumers are paying for a cup of coffee is dependent on many factors. For the sake of this discussion, let us assume that a cup of coffee costs $4. If you have made it a habit to grab a cup of coffee before you go to work daily and assuming you do not work on the weekends, you are forking out $20 per week just on coffee. That is $1,040 a year. That is a lot of money, which could have been spent elsewhere, like paying off your student debt or investing in an index fund.

Here is an idea for you: if you want to save money and still have that cup of coffee in the morning, invest in a coffee maker at home. Fret not – you do not have to settle with the ones which have boring features. Go for something more unique such as Keurig or Nespresso machine. If you zoom out the timeline, they will find that the one-time investment in a home-based coffee maker is a lot more worth it than a year’s worth of Starbucks. Also, wouldn’t it be great to have that smell of freshly grounded coffee floating around in the air inside your house?

2. Books

I am attacking myself here because I am a bookworm who will go for physical books over ebooks any day.

I am sure all other bookworms out there want to keep themselves up with the latest trend or topics that are gaining steam. Newly published books, especially hardcovers, are generally expensive and purchasing several a year adds up to be even more costly. There are thousands of free ebooks on the web which are accessible to everyone who has access to the Internet. Even if they are not free, they are much cheaper than their physical forms.

For instance, Amazon Kindle books are always more cost-effective than the book in print. Most of the time, they are about $6 cheaper than the printed ones. Moreover, they occasionally have deals in which the books can be discounted significantly. Oh, did I mention that a Kindle weighs a lot less than a printed book? If you did not know that beforehand, now you do.

3. ATM Fees

This is a financial aspect many twentysomethings never consider when they are applying for a debit or credit card.

“It is never too early to encourage long-term savings. “

Ron Lewis

While there are reasonable grounds to use the cash in your wallet over swiping your credit card because it limits your spending and does not pound you with an interest fee, ATM fees can be a financial pain in the ass over the long run. Some ATM machines impose a withdrawal fee whenever you transfer money from your bank account to your wallet. Over a year, this amount really adds up. I would rather have this amount of money sitting in my bank account or invested in stocks rather than having the bank take my money.

Here is a solution for you: before you apply for a debit or credit card, do your homework by visiting the bank’s website and observe which ATMs around you that impose zero charges when you want to make a cash withdrawal. At the same time, look up on the terms and conditions that come with the debit or credit card you are applying for. You will be grateful for taking these diligent steps.

4. Hyped Brands

The flex culture is everywhere. People want to show off their flashy gadgets and then shiny-looking sports car to prove that money can solve almost any problems. Additionally, we have developed a sense of loyalty to our favourite products and brands (Apple users, you will understand this logic), but that is taking a toll on our finances.

Instead of chasing after the brand name of streetwear, go after the generic versions. Opting for generic brand names over popular brands can save you a significant amount of money. Most of the time, we cannot even differentiate between popular brands and their generic counterparts. So, the next time you are tempted to buy a pair of shorts at your nearest Nike store, grab a pair at the nearest Kmart instead. Trust me – it is not worth spending more just on the brand name.

Final 2¢: Regaining our “Cent”ses

We shed blood, sweat and tears just to earn enough money to keep ourselves alive, especially in this time and age. Hence, why would we want to waste it on things like takeaways and Netflix subscriptions when we can save it for our future’s sake? I want to be able to stretch my hard-earned money for what it is worth. By acknowledging these unnecessary expenses and cutting them out of our lives, we can save heaps of money. Imagine what you could accomplish in the future with that pot of cash.

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