Archive: 10 Biggest Money Wasters (2011 edition)

Posted By on June 15, 2011

Saw this and thought it might be good to talk about with my kids … or add to that Life Lessons Learned advice book I’ve always talked about writing.

10 Biggest Money Wasters

CNN Money lists the 10 biggest money wasters as follows:

  • ATM fees
  • Lottery tickets
  • Gourmet coffee
  • Cigarettes
  • Infomercial impulse buys
  • Brand-name groceries
  • Eating out
  • Unused gym memberships
  • Daily internet deals
  • Bundled cable or phone services

Here’s how I stand with these:

  • ATM fees — The last time I used an ATM machine was probably sometime in the 90’s. The reasons:

1. We don’t spend much cash — we use credit cards and pay them off every month.
2. When we did need cash, we’d go to the bank, get a bundle ($300 or so), and that would last us forever.
3. Since my son and I started refereeing soccer games, I am flush with cash (the teams pay in cash prior to the game being done.)
4. I have $1,000 or so in gold $1 coins left over from last year.

  • Lottery tickets — Don’t buy them.
  • Gourmet coffee — Don’t drink coffee. I prefer my caffeine cold, and we get free sodas at work (which I try to limit since they are not good for you IMO.)
  • Cigarettes — Never have smoked, never will.
  • Infomercial impulse buys — Nope.
  • Brand-name groceries — We do buy generic/store brands quite often, but I do have a few brand-name items I like and will pay more for. That said, if you can combine a sale with a coupon, you can often get brand-name items for the same price or less.
  • Eating out — We eat out once a week or so (if you include ordering a pizza.) We tend to eat a mid-priced (at best) places like Logan’s, Panera Bread, and Papa John’s, not higher-end restaurants. And we don’t order drinks (we have water) or desserts out.
  • Unused gym memberships — I have a membership to the local pool and have been there an average of five days per week for the past two years. Why would someone buy a gym membership and then not use it?
  • Daily internet deals — Ha! Guess who doesn’t like Groupon! 🙂
  • Bundled cable or phone services — Note that they say these are a waste "if you don’t use the services." Isn’t everything a waste if you don’t use it?
  • So I seem like a spending saint, huh? Rest-assured that I have my money wasters too — but I try to keep them to a bare minimum. 😉

How about you? Is there anything you think you waste money on (or would at least try to spend less on)?


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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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