This article was originally posted on Dave Ramsey’s website here. We are currently making plans to hold Financial Peace University at City On A Hill, and this is a great article to make us all check our financial habits, and whether we are wasting some of our money that could be spent more wisely.
We don’t think much about them. But we need to, because there are so many places in our daily routine where money can be wasted without us knowing it. It’s ridiculous enough to make a list over–so we did. Here are 10 things we waste money on in America today:
1. Credit card interest
The only thing stupider than buying something you can’t afford is buying something you can’t afford at (insert huge credit card interest rate here). You don’t get jack for that extra money you fork over.
2. Deal websites
Hey, remember that time we bought a laser-hair removal deal for 78% off from that startup place all the way across town and used it for the full amount and within the specified time limit? Neither do we.
Restaurants already have lunch and dinner portions so big you need a box to bring home the leftovers. Why pay an extra six bucks to get something that will take up more room in your stomach before the main meal is even brought out?
4. ATM fees
When we use a bank that is not ours, they charge us. Then our bank charges us again. Don’t think that it’s just two bucks here or three dollars there. It adds up, and don’t even get us started on the overdraft fees that could result from bounced checks. Speaking of which …
5. Overdraft fees
For these, there’s just no excuse. If you add correctly and spend less than you make, you’ll never pay a dime of overdraft fees. Fees result from sloppiness, pure and simple.
6. Speedy shipping
Seriously? Do we think that book or those clothes we ordered online will solve our life’s problems to the point that we can’t wait 4 to 14 days for a package to arrive? With priority shipping, the only thing that moves faster than the package toward you is your money–away from you.
7. Designer baby clothes
Also known as “glorified stain gatherers.” Why do we spend $20 on a “Feed me, or no one sleeps” T-shirt that is three ticks away from being covered with breakfast? On top of that, they’ll wear it two or three times before either outgrowing it or the season changing.
8. Unused gym memberships
How is it that so many people join a health club around the New Year resolving to lose weight, and there are so many empty treadmills come January 15? Unlike the commitment,the monthly dues don’t stop. Besides, you can run around the block for free.
9. Premium cable packages
Not only do we not watch 90% of the channels that are on, but with so many “reality” shows and specialized stations, TV as a concept is about as rich as a person who lives paycheck to paycheck.
10. Daily coffee trips
Back before coffee shops started popping up on every street corner, people brewed it themselves. We as a culture seem to have gotten away from that. You don’t need the caffeine to get your heart thumping–just take a look how much money you dish out for that sugary concoction after a month or two.
Take a look at your own budget and see where your cash might be getting away from you. It can happen easier than you think. Most often, it does.