This whole thing about growing up and having to pay bills and other expenses is not cheap…at all! I discovered this when I was 18 years old and had moved out of my parent’s house. I also found out that how easy it is to spend a ton of money on things that you don’t really need. There are things you need to stop spending your money on because it’s a waste! Your money can go a long way if you don’t spend it on unnecessary things.
I have made a few money mistakes that I regret that go far beyond buying a cup of overpriced frothy lattes every morning. That being said, you don’t have to go out and make a big purchase in order to waste a significant amount of money. Small purchases and buying things you don’t need can add up overtime (best believe this because I learned the hard way a few times in my own life).
Cell phone extras and apps
My cellphone bill last year was almost $100/month ( yikes ! ). $100 is alot of money to pay for features I wasn’t even really using. I realized I didn’t really need 10GB of data and was only using 3GB or 4GB per month since most places such as my gym and coffee shop now have wi-fi (make sure to use VPNs when accessing wi-fi on your phone in public places).
So…I went ahead and changed my mobile plan through my cell phone provider’s website through their self-serve option. In the end I was able to lower my bill from $97/month down to $62/month! That’s $35 less that I am paying each month and $450 I am no longer spending per year on my cell phone!
I still get 4 GB of data, unlimited text/call. and Long distance (within Canada). Overall I still have a very good cell phone plan for less money! Always look into your cellphone provider and you will be shocked at how many extras you do not need but are paying for!
Phewwww anytime someone tells me that they spend over $1000 on their prescription eyeglasses I almost faint (ok I’m being a little dramatic). Unless you have a very complicated prescription for your glasses you can save money with high quality eyeglasses online (at a fraction of what you would pay at the optometrist).
Many people do not know that they can save so much money on prescription eyeglasses by buying them online! I have bought glasses at Eyebuydirect.com and I can confidently say that they have a really good selection of high quality glasses that look expensive (but aren’t) and if use the discount code: IFTZRXIFWU you can get $10 off your first order!
Stuff that’s on sale
Please repeat after me: Even if it’s on sale, it’s not a good deal if you don’t need it. Buying things that you do not need because they are on sale is a good way to add clutter to your house and waste your money. Clutter can make your home look really disorganized, -plus you will just end up with buyers remorse when you buy things that you don’t really need. If you don’t need the item just leave it right where you found it (even if the neon ‘sale’ sign seems to be calling your name)!
Dining out / buying lunch
Food is such a social thing and I really enjoy getting together with my friends and family for a night out over food, jokes and stories. But the thing is I would dine out for lunch and dinner lots and then wonder why my bank account was bleeding money. $11 for lunch 4 days a week and $25-30/plate every other weekend adds up pretty quick if you do it long enough!
Ever since I started preparing my meals at home I now spend less money on dining out. I also have more control over my nutrition and the kinds of foods I eat. My food has less sodium, less saturated fats and I get to eat more healthy food altogether. I also lost some weight so overall it’s been a great change!
You can save money on groceries for you and your family with the $5 meal plan. Meal prepping is a healthier option than dining out and buying lunch or dinner everyday. You can avoid food waste, prepare healthier meals and take charge of your food options for just $5!
Driving to work can be very pricey if your workplace does not provide parking and you have to pay for it out of pocket. Instead of paying for extra parking costs, you can look into more affordable options such as: Carpooling with friends/co-workers, taking the train or bus, or walking/biking to work if you live close enough!
You can also check your classifieds or local Facebook marketplace because some people do rent out their driveways for a fraction of what you would be paying with most privately owned parking companies.
Where I live, people who work downtown pay an average of $180 per month just to park their cars on outdoor parking lots that are not even sheltered from the elements! If you want to park underground then you can expect to pay an average of $250+ a month!! That’s just money that you could be investing or saving for other things (in my opinion).
People spend crazy amounts of money on lottery tickets! Why? Hope keeps people going. People like to dream about all the things that they would do if they suddenly won large amounts of money! Most of the time winning the lottery is nothing more than a hopeful wish. Spending lots of money on lotto tickets is a complete waste of your hard earned money!
During a very big jackpot I once saw a man walk into a convenience store and spend $350 for a bunch of lottery tickets (my jaw dropped and I was SHOOK!). When the man left the store I mentioned my shock to the clerk and his response was: “Oh that’s nothing, there are people who come in here and spend $700+. So far those people have won a few dollars or another free play ticket.” Ummm…Say what?!
The odds of you winning the lottery are so low and spending tons of money on lotto tickets is not the best idea. You are better off starting a business, investing or saving your money if you want to see it grow.
If you are into daily Starbucks coffee runs just check your bank transactions and you will see the costs do add up (especially if you’re doing this everyday). Save money in the long run by getting yourself a espresso machine or a milk frother if you want to make your own frothy Starbucks lattes, Americano or hot chocolate drinks without the coffee shop price tag!
The average cable bill is around $150/month (this is one of the reasons I do not have cable). Not having cable works perfect for me because I only watch a few select shows and I don’t watch live TV. Cable doesn’t really fit into my lifestyle so having it would be a pure waste of money! These days you don’t really need cable because there are so many different options for watching your favorite shows. Check out sites such as: Netflix, Hayu (for you reality tv lovers), Hulu, Crave, HBO etc. for more information.
Name brand items
Most brand name items at the grocery store/drug store are made with the same ingredients and most of the time you are just paying for the brand! If you want to save a few coins buy the store brand instead of the brand name! When it comes to some foods, cleaning products, laundry detergent etc. you won’t miss out on quality by buying the non brand. Take a look at the ingredient list and see for yourself.
If you withdraw your money from random ATM machines you can end up paying a pretty penny. Some of those ATM fees can be $4 a pop. In addition to the ATM fees, your bank will also charge you an additional fee. I remember this because back when I was in college and would go out with my friends we used to get our money from these shady ATM machines. -We were wide-eyed 19 year olds coming of age who didn’t know any better!
Movie popcorn and food
Most movie theater food is full of empty calories with little to no nutritional value. The drinks at the theater can run up to $7 per drink! Add popcorn, candy and other snacks to the movie ticket prices which is usually around $12+/ticket and it can all add up pretty fast! Girl save your money and skip the movie popcorn and snacks! I usually sneak a few snacks of my own just saying…
I am soooo very guilty of this oh my days! In the past I have found clothes in my wardrobe with the tags still attached. I looooved to shop in my late teens and early twenties. I went into greater detail about my shopping addiction so make sure to check it out if you want the 411 on that. Buying clothing for the sake of having new things is just a waste of money. Save money by buying less clothing that have a higher quality. Find your own style and build a wardrobe around that. By finding your own look, you will have outfits for every day of the week and for those special occasions.
I have so many shoes that I don’t really wear and seriously they just sit in my closet collecting dust. When I look at some of those shoes I am kind of disappointed because my shoes used to be money! That money is something I could have used towards bettering myself financially (ahem such as paying for hosting, online courses etc.)
Unless you are some socialite who needs 100+ pairs of shoes to go with the many different outfits for all the different events that you attend,- then you only need a few pairs of shoes! If you are shopping and you see a pair of shoes that you like, but at the same time you don’t really see yourself wearing those shoes regularly,- leave them on the shelf (online and offline)!
I really love home furnishings and home decor (make no mistake). However, sometimes home decor & other trinkets can really clutter up your home. Do you really need 10 different decorative books that you’re not going to read. When it comes to home decor you might be wasting your money if you want it but you don’t need it.
Electronic retailers make a fortune by selling extended warranties. I have never bought an extended warranty and I never will. I take great care of my electronics and even when they wear out chances are that I have gotten the maximum use out of them or I already sold them way before then! In my opinion extended warranties are a waste of money and not necessary.
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