- Buying things and paying for subscriptions you don’t use could be a huge waste of money.
- Spontaneous purchases and sale purchases could be causing you to waste money.
- Making late payments could be costing you in penalty and late fees.
Saving money can be tough to do, even if you’ve created a realistic budget and plan to stick with it. Cutting out big expenditures is one way to watch the cash pile up, but uncovering some of your smaller, more sneaky daily expenses can help you save money in the long-run.
Here are 10 surprising ways you could be wasting your money each day.
Spending on things you don’t use can be a waste of money.
“So much of our spending is done subconsciously through auto-charge,” Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, author of “The 30-Day Money Cleanse,” told INSIDER. “You might be signed up for something like a gym membership that you aren’t even using.”
Other things you won’t use might count trendy items that don’t suit your lifestyle, hot products you’ve heard rave reviews about, or odds and ends you pick up on a whim. To cut everyday costs, ask yourself exactly how you’ll put a purchase to use before you buy it.
Failing to invest in high-quality items could be more expensive in the long run.
Buying low-cost items might save you money in the moment, but you end up spending more each day if you have to keep replacing them.
That being said, higher prices don’t always equate to higher quality. Be sure to do your research before deciding which pieces to invest in.
Making purchases that are motivated by guilt and peer pressure could be costing you.
Have you ever spent money out of guilt? Gertsley calls this kind of spending a “pressure purchase” and told INSIDER that while it feels silly to think that you might shell out cash when you don’t really want to, it’s something many people do.
Examples of pressure purchasing might include picking up the tab for friends who held a table for a long time or buying something in a store simply because a salesperson was nice. Save money by offering genuine thanks and paying it forward instead of paying for something because you feel pressured to.
There are cheaper alternatives to buying a bottle of water every day.
Buying a bottle or two of water on the go each day might not seem like it costs much in the moment, but it can add up quickly.
Cut daily costs by investing in a sustainable, reusable water bottle that you can refill.
In many cases, splurging on spontaneous purchases can be prevented.
“When we don’t plan ahead, we end up having to buy things out of convenience,” Gerstley told INSIDER. “This might mean grabbing a much more expensive lunch on the go or picking up a last minute present to bring to a party.”
Avoid spontaneous spending by keeping some items you buy often on hand. Being prepared with a few bottles of wine, a stash of birthday cards, and a few basic gifts can help you to avoid last-minute shopping trips.
It can be easy to cancel subscriptions you don’t use.
Whether it’s a monthly box that doesn’t bring you joy, a streaming service you don’t use, or a recurring package of classes you pay for and don’t attend, canceling subscriptions can help you to cut down on unnecessary costs.
Snapping up sale items without considering whether or not you really need them could be causing you to waste money.
Gerstley explained that when you buy sale items without intention, you end up spending money you may not have actually spent at all.
To make the most of sale spending, consider whether or not you’d still buy the item if it were full price. You might also keep a wishlist so you can shop for the things you actually want once they’re being sold at a discount rather than buying random things for less on a whim.
Buying things you already have can lead to clutter and unnecessary expenses.
“When we don’t know what we have, we don’t know where things are when we need them and we end up re-buying them,” Gerstley told INSIDER.
Ditch your habit of buying duplicates by taking inventory of what you have — and keeping a list of what you need. You might also adopt a policy that prevents you from buying too much of the same thing, such as donating a sweater each time you want to buy a similar one.
Extra fees and penalties can typically be avoided.
Late payments that incur fees and penalties can become pricey. Each day you fail to pay off a balance or procrastinate paying a fine, like a parking ticket, can cost you extra money in the long run.
Swiftly handle the payments you owe to avoid paying extra costs that add up with each passing day.
Racking up interest on borrowed money can be tough to avoid, but it’s worth prioritizing paying off your debts.
Taking out a loan or using credit cards can help you to fund important life things, such as education or business purchases. But, incurring interest on a big balance can become a sneaky expense that costs you daily.
When using a credit card, do your best to pay down a balance as quickly as possible instead of making minimum payments and accruing interest charges.