When it comes to being financially responsible, you hear a lot about saving more money, spending less money, and making more money. When you’re creating a budget, the first things you’re encouraged to cut are money sinks, or things that you waste money on. I’ve wasted a lot of money on things I didn’t use or things I could have thought about before spending. Here are a few of those items:
- Food: Obviously you need food in order to live (unless you’re fasting), but I’m not the only one who has wasted money on food. Everyday, millions of people are throwing away food that they allowed to spoil, or that is still consumable. I have gone to the grocery store many times and bought things I thought I was going to eat and didn’t. I’ve allowed food to spoil more times than I can count. I’ve probably wasted thousands of dollars buying food I didn’t eat. How do you combat this? Menu planning allows you to plan what you’re going to eat and when, and only buy ingredients for those meals.
- Books: I’m an active book reader, and my husband bought me a Kindle so I can always have access to a variety of books. I’ve wasted money on books that I didn’t enjoy. There were books that I got because they were only $1 and didn’t end up reading them or finishing them. I bought one book for $10 because of the hype around it, and found that I couldn’t even relate to it. I consider my book money my fun money, and I could have used the money wasted on books I didn’t read on books I knew I would enjoy.
- Puppy Pads: I have a 6 month old puppy that I rescued, and I live in a townhouse. We have a backyard but it has no grass. On of the many costs of owning a puppy, I purchased packs and packs of puppy pads to potty train him inside, when I could have been potty training him outside, despite having no grass. We’re now working on letting him outside when he has to use the bathroom, meanwhile, I have a whole pack of unused puppy pads.
- Guitar: I begged my mom to buy me an acoustic guitar, promising I would learn to play. The guitar was $200 and came with an instructional DVD. Do you think I learned to play? I can probably count on two hands how many times I took the guitar out the case to play it. Otherwise, it sat as a room decoration. I ended up giving the guitar to my brother, who was a lot more musically inclined. I didn’t buy the guitar with my money, but $200 out of parent’s pocket is not cheap.
- Movie Tickets: I know I’m not alone on wasting money on movie tickets. Going to the night showing is way overrated when you can see the same movie for cheaper during the day. There’s also movies I’ve seen that I didn’t enjoy, wasting up to $12 for a ticket. Now, I usually wait until a movie is out on DVD to rent it or wait until it comes on TV.
- Domain Names: When I first became an Internet entrepreneur, I had so many ideas for websites! I bought so many domains and never got around to actually building the sites. Domains aren’t too expensive, but when you buy over 10 for at least $10 a piece, that’s at least $100 wasted right there. I’ve since let a lot of those domains expire, instead of renewing them for even more money wasted. Maybe someone else will make those ideas come true.
- Netflix Membership: I’m one of several million people with a Netflix membership, and when I first joined, I was overly optimistic as to how many movies I’d be watching. I chose the 3 DVD at a time plus Instant streaming option, along with the upgrade of Blu-Ray discs. I was spending almost $25 a month and watching about 3 movies a month. I was wasting money when I could have had a cheaper and more efficient plan. I have since switched to Instant Only, at about $9 a month.
- Wedding Dress: I had planned on having a big wedding, with almost 200 people and of course a big, beautiful wedding dress. I bought my wedding dress right before I even got engaged, for a whopping $700! We decided we no longer wanted, nor could afford, the lavish wedding we once dreamed of, and opted instead to have a courthouse wedding. No need to wear a big poofy dress at the courthouse. Instead, I bought a much more modest dress for the occasion, while the big dress is sitting in the closet, waiting for a vow renewal ceremony.
- Water Bottles: When my husband and I first moved in together, it was summer time, and extremely hot. In order to stay hydrated, we regularly bought cases of water bottles. We were buying a case of 24 water bottles a week, at around $5 per case. Instead, we decided to switch to a water filtration pitcher, and saved us a ton of money.