The last thing you want to do is throw away your hard-earned money. But when you’re not paying attention to your finances, you might as well be tossing dollars in the trash. Here are some of the most common sources of wasted money that many of us fall victim to in order to help you keep your spending habits under control.
Bad investment choices
With over 1,500 virtual currencies in the U.S. alone, it’s no secret there are bad investment opportunities out there. From Bitcoin to the Powerball lottery, chances are you’ve made a few of your own bad investment choices in an effort to bring in some extra money when you need it most. Unfortunately, these investment options often end up eating your money and you don’t get any return on your investment.
Making smart investment options like investing in stocks is always better than investing in scratch-off tickets, but financial experts only recommend investing in stocks when you have the financial means to do so. To help you save your cash, consider putting the few dollars you thought of using to buy that Powerball ticket into a separate jar in your house. You’ll be making more money by saving than you will be buying a ticket.
Eating at the wrong restaurants
Oftentimes when you consider saving money, the first thing on the list of objectives is to eat out less often. After all, the restaurant industry brought in approximately $863 billion in sales in 2019. But depending on the amount of time you spend driving to the store to get ingredients every week and preparing food at home, sometimes not eating out can be the more expensive option.
The best way to save money on food options is by calculating which places have the best deals. For instance, that new coffee shop down the road by your house may be nice to walk into, but if you’re paying $4 for black coffee that you could get for $1 at the gas station by your house, then you might as well be throwing your money in the garbage. Remember that coupons are your best friends and big chain restaurants aren’t always the cheapest option.
Not using your credit card’s cash-back option
Credit card debt is a major issue in the U.S. with consumer debt rising to $14 trillion in 2019. High-interest rates can hit you where it hurts and make it difficult to pay off what you owe. However, if your credit card offers you cash-back options for certain stores or services, you can use your card to earn yourself free money. Just make sure that you’re paying off your purchase as soon as it shows up in your account so you don’t end up accruing more debt in an effort to save.