If you ask 1000 people the question “what would you like to have more of?”, 999 of them would answer “money”. Everyone wants extra money and, one would think, would do everything in their power to get that extra money somehow.
The fact is however that the vast majority of Americans waste money every single day on things that simply aren’t necessary, are overpriced or, in some cases, just plain dumb. Today’s blog will take a look at where most people waste money, including possibly you. We don’t do this to make you feel dumb but just to let you know that, yes, you could have more money if you would just stop wasting it on these unnecessary items and expenses. Enjoy.
First, there’s credit card interest. Did you know that, for every household that has at least one major credit card, they also have almost $16,000 in debt on their credit cards? The average credit card interest rate is in the high teens and some go into the 20s, meaning that a lot of money you could be putting aside for retirement, to purchase a new car or to fund an emergency account, is instead going to credit card companies.
Then of course there’s expensive coffee. When you consider that brewing a cup of coffee at home, on average, costs less than $.40 per cup, and that the average cost of coffee at Starbucks is just under $5, the money waste is extremely obvious. Some people will argue that it’s more convenient but it’s not even close to being convenient, unless you have a Starbucks in your kitchen. If not, you have to drive there, wasting gas, wait in line, wasting time, and pay those ridiculous prices, wasting money.
Paying big bucks for fast shipping is another area where millions of Americans waste millions of dollars. Let’s be honest, unless the item you purchased is going to somehow save someone’s life, waiting a few extra days to get it really is not a big deal. Paying a company like Amazon (or any other company for that matter) an extra 5 to 10% just to expedite shipping is a complete waste of money and gets you absolutely nothing extra in return.
This next waste of money is sometimes unknown but, still, it’s usually because people are too lazy to check. We’re talking about overpriced car insurance and the fact that so few people shop around for rates to see which company has the cheapest rates. Sure, all of us are required by law to have car insurance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check around and see which company offers the best deal on it. Most people check to see which gas station in town has the lowest prices, so why not do some fact checking and find the insurance company that has the lowest prices also?
Purchasing brand-name products is also a huge waste of money in many cases, and millions of Americans do it every day. Yes, on some items the difference is there but, on thousands of others, there is little or no difference at all in quality, but there is a huge difference in price. Things like cookies, toilet paper, laundry detergent and many others are much cheaper when you buy the generic brand and will either taste just as good or do the job just as well.
ATM fees are another huge waste of money, especially for those people who use them frequently. With most banks charging between $3 and $5 for every transaction, that quickly adds up to quite a bit of cash that, unfortunately, doesn’t go into your pocket. The fact is, many grocery stores and retail stores, including Walmart (which in most areas is open 24 hours), will let you get cash when you use your debit card for free, making using the ATM a complete waste of money.
Finally there’s wasting money on high-interest mortgage payments. While it’s true that refinancing has been difficult over the last number of years because of the housing market crash, and the resulting equity loss, now that home values have sprung back in most of the country, refinancing and lowering those monthly mortgage bills is a definite possibility.
The simple, unavoidable fact of the matter is that many Americans, the same ones who complain that they “don’t have enough money”, are wasting all sorts of money every single day. If that’s you, all we can suggest is that you take a look at the items above and, if you’re guilty of wasting money on any of them, do your best to stop. If you do, we guarantee that you will have extra money at the end of the week every week.