One of the most common questions on the popular game-show Family Feud is “Name something people wish they had more of.” Do you know that the #1 answer always is? That’s right…money. But with so many people wanting more money, it’s quite amazing how much of the money people already have is wasted on dumb things they don’t need. Here are 7 things people frequently waste money on:
That’s right, I’m talking to you Mrs. Skinny, no whip, Double Soy Mocha latte with a shot of espresso. Oh yeah, and that will be $4.50. $4.50…for coffee?!? If you bought cheaper coffee and invested $3.50 a day into the market starting at age 25 you could have $225,000 extra when you retire!
High credit card interest rates
The average American household with at least one credit card has nearly $16,000 in credit card debt. With interest rates in the high-teens, you could flush a lot of money down the toilet every month on credit card interest payments. However, it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars a year by reducing your credit card interest rate through debt consolidation.
One website called Prosper Marketplace let’s you consolidate your debt or take loans for other personal expenses. Your interest rate could be as low as 6.73% with payback terms of 3 or 5 years. You can get a free loan rate-quote here. Consolidating your high interest credit card debt into a lower rate could save you thousands of dollars.
Overpriced car insurance
Everyone knows that having car insurance is required by law. But there’s nothing in the law about having overpriced car insurance! Many people are over-paying for their car insurance every month and don’t even know it. Have you shopped around for rates recently? If not, you could be wasting money every month.
ATM Fees From Your Bank
Sometimes when you need cash the $3 fee does not seem like much. But if you frequently take out small amounts of cash at the ATM, that fee can add up. Save yourself the $3 by going into your bank and taking out larger sums of cash less frequently. (Of course, be sure that you’re not spending more than $3 in gas to go there!)
Unless you absolutely need something right away, don’t pay more for faster shipping. Take a deep-breath and wait the few extra days for standard shipping. You can spend that money better elsewhere.
High-interest mortgage payments
Having a mortgage is not a bad thing. But paying too much for it is. Many homeowners have a rate that is much higher than their current interest rate (hovering around 4%). It’s been hard for many homeowners to refinance over the past few years due to the housing market crash and the equity they lost in their homes, but now that home values are back up across the country it’s time to consider refinancing again.
LendingTree.com is a website that allows homeowners to compare home and automobile refinancing rates from multiple lenders. This way you can get multiple rates and pick the best one for you. You can save a substantial amount of money every month by refinancing into a lower mortgage rate.
There’s nothing like social pressure to make you waste your money on things you don’t need. A family of four may spend as much as $500 a month extra shopping for brand-name goods vs. generic goods of similar quality. If you spent $100 less and bought generic products your could invest the savings towards your retirement instead!
A pack of 20 cigarettes can range from $4.00 to $14.00 So if you smoke a pack a day, that means you waste $1,500 to $5,00 a year on a habit that brings you no tangible gain. But on top of that, smokers also waste millions of dollars of other people’s money through the health care system, where their insurance costs are lumped in together with non-smokers, increasing the cost of everyone’s medial care.
It’s always tempting to spend extra money on little things here and there, but always be sure to have a firm grasp on everything you spend money on and look at the big picture of your spending habits. You may be surprised to learn how much money you can save by cutting back on a few things!