11 Ways to Throw Away Your Money
Posted by Becky Lake on April 24, 2012 at 9:43 AM
You work hard for your money. And when you’re just starting out, it's likely your income barely covers your expenses. So spending it on things that just aren't worth it is a cruel thing to do to yourself. It’s just like your food splurges: When it comes down to it, you're better off putting your cash (or calories) toward some expenses rather than wasting it on others. I'd rather put my money elsewhere than spending it on these 11 things that just aren't worth it.
You need to drink enough water everyday to keep yourself properly hydrated, but you don't need to drain your wallet to do so. Avoid buying bottles of water that are only good for a few uses. It's better for your wallet (and the environment) to invest in one that's ready for endless use.
Brand Name Cleaning Supplies, Meds, Etc.
So many of the store-brand options at the supermarket are just as good as the brand name products. Sure, there might be a certain item or two that you consider to be better quality than the store brand (for me, it’s laundry detergent), but in general it's usually a wash — except for the prices. A word of warning: store brands aren't always cheaper, so make a habit of comparing prices.
First Class/Business Class Tickets on Domestic Flights
Shelling out extra cash for a first class seat on a flight to a domestic destination isn't worth it for just a few hours. Save your front of the plane experiences for longer, international flights.
I love movies and own several DVDs. But you know what? The cost-per-use calculation for the majority of my collection is negative, so most of them weren't worth the money I paid for them. It's easy to get carried away and buy every movie that you think is pretty good, but try and limit your buys to the films that you know will be watched over and over again. With streaming services, you’ll probably be able to find any movie you’d want to watch with a service you already pay for!
Most of the time, the lunches you buy out could have easily been made at home at a fraction of the cost. Unless the 10 minutes it takes to put together a lunch is more valuable than your $8 lunch, brown-bagging it seems to be a smarter move on most days. I try to pack a lunch or leftovers 4 days a week, and use one day as a “treat.”
Premium Gas When You Don't Need It
If you're filling your tank with a higher grade of gas than your car's user manual calls for, you're probably wasting your money, especially with the recent price increases.
Magazines Without a Subscription
Most annual magazine subscriptions cost less than $20, but an issue purchased from the newsstand can cost $4 or more. The math says it all, buying mags without a subscription is typically not worth the marked up price.
Meals Out That You Could Easily Make Yourself
Dining out is something that I make room for in my budget, and when I go out, I make sure to order something I couldn't easily make myself. Why pay more for a meal that could be put together for less and taste just as good?
Upgrading Your Rental Car
It's oh-so-tempting to rent a ride that's much sweeter than your own when you're on vacation. Resist the urge to upgrade your rental; depending on the length of your stay, you could end up paying hundreds more than necessary. A rental car isn't a status symbol.
Bottles of Wine at Restaurants
Every time I select a bottle from a restaurant's wine menu, I cringe at how much the prices are marked up from the retail cost of each bottle. Try and find places that will let you BYOB or order by the glass, and save the wine list ordering for special occasions. One caveat: If you and your dining partner plan on drinking more than one glass each, a less expensive bottle may be your best bet.
Detergent That's For Darks Only
The laundry detergent intended for dark clothes only is a pretty smart marketing gimmick, but it's not worth buying into. Despite what the companies want you to believe, one bottle of detergent is enough to cover your various color loads without ruining the brights and darks.