While sure, blowing your money on car accessories for girls might be a waste of money if those purchases aren’t a need and money is tight as it is, but I’m guessing that wasting money goes a little deeper than that. Saving money might not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to your money, or retirement for that matter, but the truth is, time goes by fast, and even though it may even be decades before you retire, the earlier you can start saving, the better, as your funds will have more time to grow over time. The more you can cut back on your expenses and spending, the more money you can free up to put to better use such as building an emergency fund, paying off debt, and contributing towards retirement.
Not Taking Advantage of 401(k) Match
You would never throw away money, at least, I don’t think you would, so why leave free money on the table, which is the same as wasting. Sure, you may not be taking advantage of a rewards credit card where you can earn points or cashback on purchases you would make anyways, possibly adding up to hundreds of dollars a year, but there could be another piece you’re missing out on. Take a look at work to see if you’re taking full advantage of any company-matching retirement contributions, because missing out on that could cost you thousands a year.
Credit Card Interest
Credit cards can be great when they come to rewards as mentioned or giving a nice great period on the purchases you made, not having to pay back until next month. The trouble you can get yourself into is when you charge so much that you cannot pay the full statement balance by the due date, and then interest will start to kick it, which could be upwards of 16% APR, and the higher the balance, the more interest to be charged in your monthly payment that you can try and pay off. Word to the wise, don’t pay just the minimum. Although it will satisfy your account for the month, it will do little to the balance.
It seems that every purchase you make in person these days you’re trying to get upsold for an extended warranty, so are they really worth it or just extra commission for the salesperson? Well it could be both, but think of this, have you ever used an extended warranty you bought? The answer is probably not, as you may have tried but the fine print made you ineligible or was outdated. As cheap as technology is these days, say a TV, by the time it breaks it probably would have been outdated anyways and prices seem to keep going down so it makes sense just to buy a new one.
Booking on Third Party Travel Sites
Whether it’s a commercial with a celebrity, or even searching to book travel will pull up an endless amount of travel sites where they can pull in multiple hotels, airlines, and rentals cars to give you the best “deal”, but how hard are they working for you? Well they need to make money too, so instead of wasting money booking with a third-party, book direct on the website and not only will you get a better, or at least equal deal, but if any issues come up, booking direct will help you deal with in person, instead of having to get pushed to the third-party you booked from.
Buying a Car
Sure, it may not be feasible to not have an automobile altogether, but that doesn’t mean that buying one is the answer either. New cars have a ridiculous price tag and immediately depreciate when you drive off the lot, and used cars come with a whole other set of problems, not to mention the car is already old so that by the time you pay off the loan, you’re lucky if it’s still running. Since most of us don’t “own” a car free and clear, leasing makes sense where you can keep payments low, not have to do much maintenance besides rotate tires and get oil changes, and you can get a new one every two or three years.
Going Out to Eat
While it’s easy to go out and have someone else cook, serve, and cleanup after you, it comes with a price, one that if you were to go grocery shopping and cook your meals at home, you would probably see hundreds of dollars left in your bank account every month!