There are numerous posts and articles on this topic, but what the heck I will add some more to the information highway. From my personal experience, I can sincerely say these are the biggest money wasters around (not in any order):
- Memberships that you never use — e.g., gym membership anyone?
- Subscriptions that you never read — these magazines just piling up and I am killing trees. No more subscriptions for me.
- Extended warranty on electronics — I was looking at a $450 digital camcorder and the store offers $189 extended warranty. Are you kidding me?
- Car washes — I think this is strictly a new car syndrome thing. I used to wash my car every week. Now it is dirty as heck, but it still runs great.
- Relaxing at the mall — oh, do I hate this…
- Eating out — I enjoy this as long as it is not excessive. I also try to stick to the more reasonably priced restaurants.
- Any special programs and offers from your credit card companies — e.g., credit protection, credit monitoring, etc. Hefty monthly fees always follow the free period.
- Any add-ons, special protections, and warranties offered by your car dealership — Man! I can still kick myself for buying that special paint protection package. It was basically a $600 wax job. What a rip off!
- Expensive hair cuts — what do you think about John Edwards’ haircut? I am perfectly happy at my Taiwanese salon — $12 for a haircut, and add $4 for shampoo with 15 minutes head, neck, and shoulders massage. Who can beat that?
- Any kind of hobbies taken to extreme — some hobbies can be really expensive. I still remember my Magic: The Gathering days well.
Of course, there are others — e.g., gambling, smoking, drug use, etc. — but I will leave that in the bad habits category. What are your money wasters?
Pinyo Bhulipongsanon is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance and a Realtor® licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, financial literacy author, and Realtor®.