If you are a reader of personal finance topics, you often have come across posts teaching saving money or earning extra money. Let’s now see the ways you can lose money. Sometimes it helps to know how can you lose money just to be cautious and careful in your habits.
The secret of saving lies more in how much you can save rather than on how much you can make. Knowing things that can qualify as ‘losing money’ can help you seal the leak.
80 Ways to lose money foolishly
- Paying for gym membership, not always but, often.
- Buying penny stocks and suffering inevitable loss later.
- Buying lotto/lottery tickets, only one in a million gets success.
- Buying new dresses too frequently, every week or every month.
- Having daily coffee shot at Starbucks or other coffee joints. Some might disagree here. But, its my opinion after-all.
- Paying for week-end shopping spree for no apparent need.
- Paying for magazine subscription that you don’t have time to read.
- Using car for short distance travel regularly.
- Not using comparison websites for car, hotel and flight reservations.
- Not paying off full credit card balance every month. Finance charges take out more money from your pocket than the cost of the goods.
- Paying govt. using credit card, since they always charge service charge for credit cards
- Charging your loans on credit card
- Preparing shopping list after searching coupons and discounts, rather than the opposite.
- Paying for fraudulent charges by not properly scrutinizing credit card bills
- Drawing check before checking for sufficient bank balance
- Buying software when alternative is available for free (ex. MS Office)
- Buying electronics from brick and mortar stores, rather than from online discount stores.
- Not bargaining enough to reduce cost
- Going after brand name when better and cheaper variety is available
- Drinking Bottled water when tap water is available, with similar quality.
- Using vending machines for light snacks or drinks regularly.
- Buying expensive gas when a regular 87 octane grade is sufficient
- Not using cash-back/reward credit card, if you are a credit card user
- Paying annual membership fees on credit cards
- Investing in stock futures and options, unless you are a pro.
- Hiring tax experts when you can self file for free
- Smoking cigarette, I am guilty
- Paying for Viagra when other low-cost options are available
- Not asking doctors for generic alternatives
- Buying Computer maintainance service (ex. Geek squad)
- Having home phone when everyone at home uses cell phone
- Not using thermostat at home, you lose money towards higher utility bill.
- Paying for text messaging plan
- Movie subscription,I am sorry if you frowned at me. I don’t use Netflix!
- Paying fees for banking privileges. There are interest paying checking accounts which can earn you money on your deposits.
- Going for shopping multiple days in a week as opposed to one day
- Not having enough insurance coverage, when something goes wrong you lose your wealth.
- Paying with check (they cost money to re order) as opposed to online payment for free.
- Give in to your kid’s demands most of time.
- keeping money in 0% interest account or in cash, inflation eats your money
- Not looking for cheaper insurance options.
- Drinking alcohol. I do drink but socially. We don’t drink at home unless we are hosting guests. Drinking as habit is surefire way to lose money.
- Visiting pubs and clubs regularly. I admit most of us need to go clubbing but not all the time. Cost of food and drink run high at these places.
- Not refinancing mortgage for a cheaper rate
- Not buying store brands and going for well known named brand for things on which you can go cheap.
- Buying greeting cards instead of sending your wishes electronically.
- Not using yearly free medical, eye and dental checkups that come with insurance.
- Shopping at airports, even if they are duty free, most of time the buying is impulse buying, not out-of-need buying.
- Shopping In-flight is almost always buying a things for twice the market value.
- Paying for small home/car repairs that you can fix yourself.
- Using cheaper utensils, in long run they cost more money than quality utensils.
- Buying things from gas station (convenience stores).
- Spending on expensive hobbies which do not add much values.
- Not driving a car till its dead, trade-ins are almost always losing deal for you and winners for the dealers.
- Day trading stocks if you are not a professional trader.
- Giving to a charity you have no clue on how they spend the money.
- Driving recklessly, the tickets, coupled with increased insurance premium can drain your money.
- Not filing tax on time, or not filing at all. When IRS comes knocking you may find your money
- Not disposing documents and old computer safely
- Paying for energy drink, all you need to do more, is motivation, after-all!
- Not using re-chargeable batteries
- Letting water run at home, Save water and stop the money flow.
- Paying brokerage for frequent stock/fund trading
- Frequent movie theater trips
- Paying for things which can be self-taught
- Hiring a prostitute
- Paying for guided tour. To me, the best way to know a place is to walk.
- Eating out too often. Brown bagging lunch and cooking your own meal saves a lot of money.
- Buying season ticket of your favorite team. Survey shows that more than 50% of season ticket buyers do not watch more than 50% of the games. You decide!
- Using overnight courier delivery when the recipient can wait another day or two.
- Spending on chewing gums
- Spending money in the Casinos. Only rarest of rare people could win money there.
- Buying junk jewelry all the time.
- Paying hefty tips at restaurants
- Throwing too many parties for no apparent reason.
- Betting often causes monetary losses.
- Not taking good care of your health, take care of your health to keep money in your bank.
- Buying new games or music albums without first reading reviews or trying them out.
- Falling to Online/internet scams, learn to avoid being scammed.
- Installing softwares from un-trusted sites and thus revealing few passwords to hackers. Read tips to buying software online.
Every rule has its exception. Likewise, all the above points will have their own exceptions too. Many of us may feel some of these expenses are not really wastage of money. I do agree. Morning coffee, to me, is waste, but may not be for you. Some of the items, I am sure, are pure waste for all of us. Buying lotto tickets is a common habit for many and I wonder each time I see someone buying lotto if the person is sane. Likewise, I can’t think of a situation when hiring a prostitute can be considered a genuine expense.
This list is prepared for a reader who is among general healthy population with average income (USA national average) but, your mileage may vary. Your income can be high enough not to stop putting money away on items like junk jewelry or cigarettes. But, believe me there are 50% of Americans who struggle to meet fundamental needs. For them throwing parties frequently and eating out regularly are nothing but luxury. This blog is for people who want to do better with their finances, we grow One Cent at a Time.
Feel free to criticize, I’ll try to respond. And, if you know of other ways to lose money, do share with us!
|SB is a husband and working as a software professional for a Fortune 100 corporation in Florida. Thanks for visiting the blog.
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