As much as I love to think that I have control of my finances, sometimes I need to be reminded of certain things to help me get back on track. I seem to write about this topic more than how to save money and how to earn money; it seems that we all need to know how wasting your money leads to financial disaster.
The reason why is because until we take responsibilities for our finances, just like we do for certain things, no matter how much I write about the importance of having control of your finances, if you don’t take responsibility and change your mindset you will never achieve financial control.
I had to learn the hard way that I was responsible for my personal finances. Due to my broke mindset and living to impress others, I let money control my life. Living the way I was living lead to working long hours, missing out on family events, and becoming a slave to my job.
I couldn’t leave my high paying job because I wouldn’t be able to support my family. I was in debt and over spending my money on things I thought were important. I felt trapped. If I could make more money, I would have been able to survive. This was my way of thinking at the time; mind you, I thought and said the same thing as the years passed.
Starting from barely making $6 an hour, to making over $50,000 a year; I still had money problems. Even worst, my debt amount was higher than when I started at $6 an hour! I blamed everyone for my financial mess. I acted like I deserved a new car and new clothing because I worked hard. I was so foolish and I wasted money on things that didn’t bring me any happiness.
I was living in my own make believe world of having money, then it came to a sad ending when reality hit me in the face. I was so naive and ashamed of what I had accomplished and really had nothing to show for. All I had to show for were things I didn’t need and failed to make me happy; I had debt that was starting to get out of control.
Does this story sound familiar? Is this the way you are living? The good news is that like me, things can turn around and you can start taking control of your finances and start living the way you want without worrying about your debt.
You are going to stop keeping up with the Joneses and start living the life you and your family wanted from the beginning. If you think that keeping up with the Joneses is not so bad, here are some reasons as to why you are wasting your time keeping up with the Joneses:
Here are the 7 reasons why you are wasting your time keeping up with the Joneses:
- You will always be broke
- It’s too much work
- You compare yourself to others
- You don’t have real friends
- People will use you
- You will never be happy
- You are raising entitled children
I’m not writing this to just write it. I am writing this because I've been there, done that. It lead to my financial mess and my unhappiness. Yet, knowing this and accepting change lead me to where I am today.
I am able to say that I am controlling my finances and living life with less money and less stuff. One of the many things that helps me keep my finances under control is by not wasting money. I think we are so programmed to spend money on things that if you stop and think, are not important at all. Wasting your money will lead you to financial troubles.
Yet when someone mentions or talk about wasting money, we become very defensive about it. Many people will get down right ignorant as I learned when I wrote a post about things people waste their money on during the holiday season. I even got a few nasty emails and some readers assumed that a frugal Christmas mean a bad Christmas for me and my family.
The good news is that this post made people talk and the majority of the feedback was overall good. This is why I love writing because I want to challenge people and motivate them to take control of their finances.
I believe that around this time of the year is when we can start all over and get our resolutions or goals set and planned, writing a post that will help you know where you will be wasting your money was valid and important to do.
Top Ways You Will Be Wasting Your Money This Year
So what would be your top 2017 ways you will be wasting your money this year? I got a few ways you, or someone you know, will be wasting their money and you might agree or disagree. Just keep in mind that everyone financial road is different than yours and never alike!
Here we go!
- Gambling – If you are planning a trip to a casino, you are wasting money. The chances that you are going to win big are very slim.
- Credit cards – If you are having financial issues, the best thing to do is to put your credit cards away and stop using them. You are not only getting yourself into more debt and financial problems, but you are wasting your money on interests and fees.
- Fund raisers – I know we want to help, and I know this since my kids are in school and we have numerous fund raisers to help out. I am in no way discouraging you from helping, but if you are tight on money, buying cookies that are overpriced to help out might not be the best things. Donate what you can and avoid purchasing thing that you don’t need nor want; only a certain percentage of the sale will actually go to the club or organization.
- Weddings – I am going to be the first one to say that having a big wedding is simply a waste of money; not only for you, but for your guests as well. Stick to a simple wedding and never go into debt for your event. The average US wedding is $30,000 and more! Also, hosting a big event adds pressure to your family and friends to purchase expensive clothes and gifts.
- Cable / Satellite TV – If you are struggling financially and want to take some control of your finances, chances are you need to look at your TV services to know that you are wasting your money paying your monthly bill. Reality is that you are going to spend over $1,000 on cable television when you can find alternative options that are way more affordable. You will be fine without cable television or satellite TV.
- Gym membership – After New Years we make goals to get ourselves into shape and we take advantage of gym membership “deals” and start going almost daily. After 2 or 3 months, we stop attending and forget to cancel our membership and continue to pay for it, even after we stop attending. This is a waste of money and something that you should really consider if you are not fully committed to going to a gym.
- Fees – If you don’t have a handle of your finances, you can end up paying fees; lots of fees. Banking fees, late fees, and other fees. Fees do add up and the sad part is that fees can be avoidable if you pay your bills on time or have enough money. This is extremely important and something you need to take control of. Bank fees alone can add up when you don’t have insufficient funds in your account.
- Postage stamps – Its 2016 and honesty, direct deposit and paying bills online are a wonderful things. Paying for stamps when there are free alternatives is a waste of money in this time and age. If you are on a tight budget, skip mailing cards and use other free alternative options.
- Books – If this is the year to get your finances under control, spending money on books is a waste of your money because, well, you can get them for free in other ways. Visit your local library or download free e-books online.
- CDs – Have you heard of the internet? It provides you with free music, among other things, and you don’t have to pay for it. Also, radio is still a good source of free music as well. Save your money and use your money for something else.
- Bottle of water – If you add up the times you purchase bottles of water, it will add up. To cut back on this expense, simply purchase plastic bottles with filters and use it and reuse it. You will save a lot of money drinking water this way.
- Remodeling your home – If you are struggling with your finances, paying to have your home remodeled is simply a waste of your money. Save the money, get your finances in order and pay for the remodel in a more affordable way.
- Coffee – Purchasing your favorite cup of coffee each day is going to cost you a lot of money, and it is simply a waste of money. Don’t believe me? Do the math and see how much this is going to cost.
- SUV / Large cars – If you have a vehicle that is draining your gas budget, you are wasting your money. There are other alternatives and maybe it is time to change to a car with low gas mileage. That being said, this can also be hard to do for some people. My suggestion is to plan your outings and cut back on going out.
- Eating out – I have to say that this lead me to so much financial messes in my life. I enjoy going out and eating. I love spending time with family and friends and eating out. Unfortunately, the cost of eating out can add up and sometimes by a lot of money. This is why it is important to save your money and don’t eat out. Create home cooked meals and find copycat recipes of your favorite restaurants and make it from home. Some of these online recipes will cost you less than eating out.
- Fresh flowers – I love fresh flowers and plants, but having a strict budget prevented me from cutting, and my husband from purchasing, fresh flowers for certain holidays.
- Alcohol – Some of us enjoy a cold beer here and there and/or a glass of wine to cope with snow days! Ha! Just like buying coffee and bottled waters, these extra expenses can add up even more.
- Cards – During Valentine's day, Easter, Christmas, Birthday, the list goes on, we purchase cards to let someone know we care. These cards can add up and honestly, a simple hand written note means so much more than a company printed card and a signature. Save your money and do something that means more to the receiver and it cost less.
- Home services – Home services like lawn care and snow removal, among other things, can add up. While you are getting your finances in order, simply do these task yourself. Hey, the road to financial journey is not easy and requires you to work even harder!
- Not conserving energy – If you don't take a look and start learning how to reduce your your bills, you will be wasting money. Making sure that your home is ready and taking precaution will bring your electric bill down. Start saving money on your electric bill by simply following these helpful tips.
My list of things people waste money on is long, very long. But I think these 20 tips will give you an idea on what you will be wasting money on this year. If you are serious about making 2017 the best financial year, then start working on these tips and I will guarantee you that you will NOT be wasting money and start saving.
How else do you see people wasting their money this year? Share it with us!
Shared at Share The Wealth Sunday!