When I say ‘money wasters’ what comes to mind? Unless you happen to be a finance guru (in which case, please be my friend), chances are you are guilty of wasting your money from time to time. With a recent study finding that a whopping 69 percent of surveyed adults have less than $1000 in savings, it’s clear that many of us struggle when it comes to finance, spending our money on the wrong things and money wasting is a nasty habit that is getting in the way of saving for many people.
Talking about finance to New York Magazine’s Science of Us, Megan Ford, M.S., LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist), explained that a “spendy culture” is one of the main reasons that many adults have very little savings, with even high-earning adults who make over six figures often living week-to-week and having minimal reserves in the bank. Even if you are in the habit of making a conscious effort to be good with your money, chances are that if you really tried, you could be saving more. Are you guilty of any of these things?
Throwing away leftovers
According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average American throws away about 25 percent of the food and drink that they buy. If you’re guilty of wasting food, make a conscious effort to use everything in your fridge before buying more food. Whether that means making a ‘kitchen sink’ meal of odd ingredients, or taking last night’s leftovers for lunch, using the food that you buy is not only good for your bank account but also good for the environment.
Okay, okay, I know – if you are a smoker you would have heard this before, but here are the facts. With incredibly high taxes on cigarettes, being a smoker in New Zealand is one of the most expensive habits you can have and a big hit to your finances. According to Quitline, a pack-a-day smoker will spend around $160 on cigarettes every week – a whopping $8300 per year!
Whether you have an unused gym membership that is costing you $20 every week, or you are a sucker for purchasing health products such as supplements online, fitness fads can add up and cost you a lot of money. Make sure that you think twice before committing to spending a lot of money on health related products and be sure that your spend is going to pay off before you blow your budget.
This one is a topic very close to my heart, but it has to be said. If you are buying one coffee every day for $4.00, that is adding up to $28 every week, or almost $1500 per year! If you are wasting a lot of money on your daily caffeine hit, try adding in some restrictions such as allowing yourself to buy three coffees a week and then the other days you drink the coffee at work or home (I know, horrible thought but your bank account will love you for it).