The Biggest Ways You’re Wasting Your Money That People Are Silently Judging You For
If you don’t have a plan for how to spend and save, it can be easy to waste money and dig yourself into a debt. After months, or years, of reckless spending, you could find yourself contemplating bankruptcy and wondering how you got into such a big financial mess. All it takes is a few bad money decisions, and you’re on the road to serious debt or even financial ruin.
When made excessively, some purchases are not only a waste of money but can also draw some unwanted judgment from others. Just ask some brutally honest people on Reddit. The site recently had a lively discussion about the biggest money wasters.
Here are the biggest ways you’re wasting your money that people are silently judging you for.
Over-the-top pet costs
Your pets are like family. However, they don’t need their own place to live or fancy clothes. The Today show once reported on a couple who spent $20,000 on a dog house. Another way some people overspend is by purchasing an expensive purebred instead of seeking a new fur baby at an animal shelter. A Bengal cat, for example, can cost as much as $5,000.
One person who spends a lot of money on her pets is Paris Hilton (although, she can definitely afford it). Her dogs have their own two-story dog mansion. Hilton posted on her Twitter account that the dog mansion comes complete with air conditioning, heating, designer furniture, and a chandelier.
Next: This will make you broke and fat.
Eating out often
Have you gotten to a point where you’ve forgotten what your kitchen looks like? If you’re in a rush or just too tired to fix a decent home-cooked meal, it can be tempting to eat out. However, all those meals add up over time. Millennials, for example, spend roughly $2,915 a year eating out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey. Baby Boomers spend an average of $2,914 each year on food away from home.
One Reddit user named busdriverbuddha1 admitted he went into debt over excessive food purchases. “Food. I’m a compulsive eater and every single debt I’ve ever made is related to food. Eating out, ordering food, buying crap I don’t need in the supermarket… I’ve eaten my way into debt many, many times.”
Next: Happy hour won’t be so happy.
Hanging out at the bar
Grabbing a few drinks every now and then with friends or co-workers can be a great way to destress and reconnect. However, when after-work drinks become too frequent, it can empty your wallet in no time. Millennials spend $478 per year on alcoholic drinks.
Redditor jbaer22 noted how easy it can be to overdo the drinking. “It’s so easy to just get in the drinking habit. My partner and I stopped buying alcohol to drink at home, and now it’s crazy thinking that we used to drop all this money for wine and beer. We hardly miss it now that it’s gone.”
Unfortunately, excessive drinking could result in missed work days and health problems. The cost of excessive alcohol use in the United States was roughly $249 billion in 2010, according to the most recent CDC numbers. Most of the costs were from reduced workplace productivity (72% of the total cost), health care expenses for treating alcohol-related health issues (11%), law enforcement and other criminal justice expenses (10%), and losses from motor vehicle crashes (5%).
Next: Unless you’re a model, this isn’t necessary.
Going to the hair salon for a haircut or getting manicures is a great way to take care of yourself. But grooming costs can blow your budget if you’re not careful. Too many visits to the salon or manicurist will also draw some judgment, especially from those who are super frugal. Although it’s nice to have someone else do your hair and nails, it’s easier on the wallet when you keep visits at a minimum.
Next: This bad habit could wreck your finances.
This is one habit that can not only hurt your finances but also your health. Millennials spend an average of $318 a year on tobacco products and smoking supplies. It’s no surprise millennials spend a lot on smoking, considering that smoking is highest among this age group.
Unfortunately, in 2015, Americans spent close to $170 billion in direct medical care for smoking-related illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Cigarettes [are a waste of money]. $7 a day or so is insane for something that is literally killing people,” said Reddit user Ugotdot.
Next: This habit can be hard to break.
Shopping for clothes can be fun, but it can also be addictive. It’s easy to get carried away during a trip to the mall. Your best bet is to spend some time taking inventory of what you already have in your closet. This will reduce the chance you’ll purchase something you already have.
Millennials spend about $1,648 a year to make sure they look good, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Most of that amount is spent on clothing for women and girls ($553 a year) and on footwear ($299 a year). Those age 65 and older are spending an average of $1,627 each year on clothing. That amount includes an average of $317 a year for footwear.
Redditor PartyPorpoise says it doesn’t make sense to buy new clothes if the clothes you already own are only a little worn. Instead, she suggests going the DIY route. “Getting new clothes to replace old clothes with minor damage [is a waste of money]. Fixing small holes and replacing buttons is super easy and cheap.”
Next: Can you go an entire day without this?
Buying specialty coffee
If you’re like most people, you can’t function without that morning cup of Joe. You might even spend extra cash on fancy coffee from Starbucks or some other high-priced coffee shop. However, if you find yourself short on cash, friends and family will most likely point out your specialty coffee habit. The good news is, you can still have that specialty coffee if you want, just don’t overdo it.
Instead of buying a $5 cup of coffee every morning before work, cut back to once a week or find a coffee shop with lower prices. Reddit user Vexation_and_Cookies offers this alternative to expensive Starbucks coffee: “If you have to get coffee in the morning, there are other options. To be honest, McDonald’s believe it or not, makes some pretty good coffee for a lot cheaper. Their mochas taste better than Starbucks, at half the price. My co-workers spend upwards of $50 a month on their coffee. I spend about $20.
Next: They’re small, but they come with a big price tag.
Another potential money waster is K-Cups. Staying at home and making your own coffee will save money, but not if you decide to buy a Keurig machine and use K-Cups. They cost roughly $11 per box, so that’ just as bad as purchasing a cup of coffee every day.
Take the time to make your coffee the old-fashioned way. One user on Reddit, who goes by the user name blueeyetea, had this to say: “K-cups for coffee, and now tea. You’d think people couldn’t spare five minutes to boil water and fill a coffee pot. I always wonder what they did before k-cups.”
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