Just admit it. You waste money every day without realizing it. We all do, from shelling out $4+ for a non-fat extra foam mochafrappacaramelccino or ducking into the corner store to use the ATM. Identifying money-wasting behavior is the first step to correcting it, so pay attention!
CNNMoney has rolled out a list of 10 of the biggest money wasters, the ones that can sneak up on you and drain you bit by bit. Here are five, and for the complete list, check out CNN.
1. ATM Fees: Yes, sometimes it’s inconvenient to go out of your way to withdraw money from your bank’s ATM instead of just using that other one close by. But when you do use a non-bank ATM, not only are you charged the fee by that ATM, your own bank will usually also charge you. At around $5 total each time, it can really add up if you do that even once a week.
2. Ask yourself this: When was the last time you pulled that Snuggie out of its vacuum-packed bag? Infomercial impulse buys have snagged many a consumer, bringing in about $400 billion a year for the industry Many of those items go unused completely, or rarely enough that the cost to buy them isn’t justified.
3. Lottery tickets: I remember that one time I won a bajillion dollars after buying lottery tickets every month for years. No, wait, I didn’t! You’re probably not going to win, but many people still live by the “you’ve gotta play to win” mindset that resulted in $70 billion in sales of lottery tickets last year. And while some just buy a Mega ticket once in awhile, many consumers dig deep each week to buy scratch-off tickets that end up in little or no payout.
4. It’s funny how people pay for products that give them nasty breath and do significant bodily harm. Of course I’m talking about cigarettes, which beyond giving you cancer, also blight your wallet. Americans spend $80 billion on cigarettes per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are going to stick to your unhealthy habit, at least buy in bulk.
5. Maybe you just weren’t meant to play tennis/eat at that one Thai place/glaze pottery. Buying into daily online deals can end up draining your wallet, as you buy into a Groupon or whatnot and never end up redeeming your voucher later. CNN cites Lifesta, a site that buys back unused deals, which estimates that 20% of those daily deals go unused.
10 Biggest Money Wasters [CNNMoney]