Top 7 things you didn’t realise you were wasting money on
Common things we waste our money on
We love a good spend as much as the next shopaholic, but there are some things we splash out on that we simply don’t need. If you’re feeling frugal, you may want to consider cutting the following money-wasters out of your life:
Money waster 1: Bottled water
With all of those fresh water springs, tumbling waterfalls and snowy mountains pictured on the front of most water bottles, it’s hardly surprising that we’re more tempted to pluck a fancy bottle from the shelf instead of resorting to the trusty kitchen tap. Research from the Environmental Working Group in Washington found that bottled water is no better for you than tap water and costs around 1900 times the price. Indeed, H20 is H20 and whether it comes from the Scottish highlands or your kitchen tap, it’s all pretty much the same so it’s not worth wasting your money and the world’s resources on bottled water. If you’re looking for something purer than tap water, invest in a water filter.
Money waster 2: Washing clothes
While it’s true that hot water is more effective at removing stains out of clothes, you should only put your laundry on a hot wash if these clothes actually need a deep clean. Otherwise, putting your wash on cool will have the desired outcome that you expect and it won’t be costing you a fortune at the same time. Putting all of your clothes on a hot wash when it isn’t really necessary also makes them more likely to shrink and fade, which means you end up wasting more money buying new clothes in the future. To save money in the long run, put them on a cooler wash.
Money waster 3: Cheap items
We tend to think we’re saving money when we reach for the cheapest shoes instead of splurging on the unnecessarily expensive ones, but this isn’t always the case. Cheap items usually reflect their quality and it works out a whole lot cheaper in the long-run if you buy better quality items. Don’t steer clear of all cheap items forever; own brand products in your local grocery/food shop are usually a similar item but in less fancy packaging so it makes sense to buy the cheaper one. Do bear in mind though that expensive products such as televisions, tools, clothes, and accessories are priced higher because they’ll last longer.
Money waster 4: Rounds in the pub
Buying rounds in the pub can get us into all sorts of sticky situations can’t it? You only wanted a small glass of wine but there’s always one who takes advantage of the situation and orders a triple martini cocktail. Then there’s the situation where everyone decides to do rounds but you’re only stopping for one drink and you don’t want to seem mean with your money so you end up spending a fortune on drinks for six other people and then leaving after you’ve bought your round. If there are four of you in the pub and you plan on staying until the end, then by all means do rounds if you’re prepared for someone to order something expensive and exotic. If you are only going for one or two though, it’s probably best to explain to your friends that you’re leaving soon and that you’ll just buy your own drinks. They’ll understand.
Money waster 5: Phone bill
Sales assistants are good at making us feel as though we can’t live without those 50000 text messages or the 10000 free minutes and before we know it we’re signing on the dotted line. Will you really use all of those texts and calls though? Unless you have an awful lot of gossip on a regular basis, the chances are you won’t need them. Buying something because you get a lot of bang for your buck isn’t necessarily the best policy if you’re not going to use the extras that this includes in the first place. Instead, make sure you opt for a phone contract that suits you, not the one that suits your partner or your mum. Even if you only save a few coins, it’s better than spending those coins on something you don’t use.
Money waster 6: Magazine subscriptions
Talking about paying for things you don’t use, let’s discuss magazine subscriptions. If you’re making excuses like “I would have read every issue of that magazine if I had more time”, it’s a good cue to cancel your subscription. Half the time we don’t even read the magazines that get delivered to our door and they simply lie around gathering dust. Would you have bought this month’s magazine from the shop if you weren’t already subscribed? The answer is probably no. If you want to see all the latest car designs, makeup trends, or healthy eating articles, the internet is brimming with them, and it’s all free!
Money waster 7: Fast food
Fast food is another huge waste of money that does no good for either you or your bank account. Despite all of the “value meals” that fast food restaurants and takeaways offer, it adds up to a pretty hefty sum by the time you’ve included your drinks and fries. Work out how much it would be to have one fast food meal per day and then times it by seven to work out how much that would cost. Think of all the groceries you can buy from the supermarket with that amount of money!