1. Playing The Lottery
It may seem like playing the lottery is a harmless bit of fun, but the average lotto player spends between $52 and $208 a year doing so. Consider that you are statistically more likely to become the president of United States, die in a freak vending machine accident, or have identical quadruplets than to win the lottery. It really does begin to seem like money down the drain, doesn’t it?
2. Shopping When We’re Hungry
When you shop hungry everything in the store looks good! The emptier your stomach, the fuller your shopping cart, and coming full circle, the emptier your wallet. It’s always best to have yourself a little snack before you go shopping, or stick to the list.
Psychologically when we are hungry in a store full of shiny packaging, we lean towards items that are less filling and more full of refined sugars and syrups. So we buy more of them, they are less filling than real food, and – more often than not – they cost more as well.
3. Getting Deals… Because They’re Deals
It’s hard to resist a good end-of-aisle deal. ‘Buy one get one free’, are magical words that cast an ancient spell over unsuspecting shoppers. I mean, why would you just want one can of soup if there’s a price break when you buy fifty?
Deals can be great, but pick your savings carefully and only attribute value to the items that you both want and need.
4. Buying Films We Haven’t Seen
I’m a sucker for a good film, and I love owning the DVD. However with a world of online rental and streaming services there are always cheaper ways to see those new films. Buying a new DVD can cost you roughly the same amount as a monthly subscription to a streaming package.
Remember as well to make friends with people with epic movie libraries!
5. Nursing A Smoking Habit
$7700 a year is no small amount. This amounts to a new car, a bigger apartment, a fantastic holiday, more fancy dinners, better schools for your kids, or even just seven kick ass parties – every year. This article is not a public health warning, but facts are facts.
6. Office Space Over Public Space
If you run your own business it’s easy to be sucked into needing your office space complete with filing cabinets and desks. However if most of your work is on your computer, then why not consider the coffeeshop approach? Spending five dollars every couple of hours on a cup of decent coffee is a far cry from paying rent on a space that you really might not need.
7. Not Saving Or Budgeting
If you play fast and loose and fly by the seat of your pants month-to-month then you can guarantee that you are wasting money. A monthly budget is a mystical goldmine, a solid foundation that covers those cracks that your money too readily flows down. There are plenty of apps and software out there to make budgeting breeze, but even just sitting down with a pen and paper at the beginning of the month will help you out.
Hewn from the same stone are those of us who struggle saving. It’s too ready an excuse to say ‘I can’t afford to save right now.’ A little bit put away every month – no matter how small – will quickly add up and you will be surprised at the end of the year.