You work hard for your money, but you know what? Without even realizing it, you could have money free falling out of your bank account. Yes, there are things you do all the time that are robbing you blind. They may seem like small insignificant purchases, but after days, weeks, and years you are piddling away thousands and thousands of your hard earned dollars. That’s why we’re going to show you how to identify those money-sucking purchases and stop the insanity right now.
Instant Gratification Sucks Your Wallet Dry
Instant gratification is probably one of the things most likely causing the mothballs in your wallet. When things are new and shiny, a lot of people convince themselves they have to have it now. Guess what? If it’s around now, most likely it’s going to be around later and might even be less expensive. Save money on purchases like these in a few ways.
1. Video Games: Never buy video games right when they are released. As time goes on, prices go way, way down.
2. Gaming Consoles: At minimum, waiting a year or two can save you hundreds of dollars on gaming consoles. Plus, you can always buy them used to find them cheaper, as well.
3. Computers and Tablets: Technology is always changing. Try to find a system that will fit your needs for many years to come, and don’t worry about upgrading every year.
4. Cell Phones: Buy a phone that does as much as you need it too but not too much. Smart phones come with additional data charges and bills. If you don’t have to have one, stick with a basic mobile phone.
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Not All Big-Ticket Items are Worth the Big Bucks
The American dream is all about the bigger the better, right?! Wrong. If you want to live a financially secure lifestyle, you need to give yourself a reality check and make sure you truly NEED to buy a big ticket item. Having too much house, toys, or other large dollar purchases does not buy happiness. It normally buys a mountain of debt and stress. Challenge yourself to spend a few months evaluating these types of big ticket items before you purchase. Other than your home, if you wouldn’t use it more than twelve times a year save your money and put it elsewhere.
5. Buying a House That is Too Large: Buy a house that is just large enough, but not too big.
6. Boats, Motorcycles, RVs, Four Wheelers etc: Unless you are a rabid user, skip these purchases all together.
7. Timeshares: If you can’t get there four or more times a year, save your money.
Being Lazy or Forgetful Can Get Expensive
Retailers prey on the fact that American consumers are sometimes impulsive and even lazy. Who would’ve thought that being lazy could help them make money? Tons of companies expect you to never use their products or not remember to cancel in time to stop paying them. Tell them to stick it and take the time to find less expensive ways to do things or put on your calendar to cancel so money isn’t leached out of your bank account each month.
8. Dining Out: Learn to meal plan and cook. One meal out could be your whole grocery budget for a week.
9. Gym Memberships: Keep your $1,200 a year and head outdoors to work out.
10. Auto Renewal Programs (Credit reporting, etc): If you aren’t using it, cancel it.
11. “Free” Trials: Write “end of free trials” on the calendar, and remember to cancel. No need to keep giving them your money. Better yet, don’t sign up at all.
12. No Interest Purchases: Make absolutely sure you can pay in the no interest period. Otherwise, interest calculated all the way back to date of purchase is added onto your account.
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Complete and Utter Waste of Money: Buyer Beware
Sometimes things are just not worth the money. EVER! If something is trying to predict the future, it’s probably not a great buy. (Unless they have a valid psychic on the payroll) Rather than try to predict the future, spend your money on things that actually fit the bill or set the money aside you would’ve spent on these items to prepare for what’s to come:
13. Warranties: There are very few warranties out there that are worth the money. They are basically telling you they expect their product to fail. Unless it’s a very expensive item, and the warranty is ridiculously cheap, save your money. Put it in the bank and earn interest instead.
14. High-Priced Cosmetics: High-priced cosmetics play on your vanity. There is no positive research (independent, unbiased research) saying that the more you spend on cosmetics, the better the products work. Cosmetics companies are using the fact you want to believe that their $400 face serum works. Save your money, learn to love yourself, and pass over high-ticket cosmetics.
The No. 1 Thing That Will Empty Your Wallet
The ABSOLUTE No 1. thing that bleeds people’s wallets dry in America is actually something most of the population participates in regularly. It’s so common that people don’t think about the fact how it is burning a hole in their wallets. What is that number one thing? The answer might be shocking!
15. Children: OK, so you have us on a technicality. Having children is not technically a purchase, unless you are buying babies on the black market (which is not only illegal, but really, really bad and morally questionable). According to Yahoo Finance, raising a child costs approximately $240,000! That’s a lot of Benjamins.
Children can bring an amazing amount of love to your life, but it’s essential to prepare financially and understand what it actually costs. To learn more, check out How to Prepare Financially for a Baby.
Now you know where your money is vacationing every month. Review this list and take a look at your statements to see where you can stop the madness and get your money back!
Yahoo Finance is answering your money questions on Tumblr! Got a question about your credit score, your student loans, your retirement portfolio, your health insurance, or anything else finance-related? Drop us a line: YFmoneymailbag@yahoo.com.
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