10 Things That You Are Wasting Money On & How to Stop Them

Pritam Nagrale

Updated on:

Wasting Money

All of us are wasting money at some point. I would be lying if I said that I don’t waste money. The discovery that a lot of my money was going down the drain indeed came as a shock. And that led me to find ways and means to prevent this waste of money.

Maybe you’re also in a situation that causes you to waste of money. I’m not saying you’re wasting money willingly. In fact, a lot of this money gets wasted without our knowledge.

If you wish to know the top 10 things that are wasting money and how to stop them, stay with me.

10 Things That Are Wasting Money

Stop Wasting Money

“Before you can transform your wallet from poor to rich, you’ve got to transform your spirit from poor to rich,” says Robert Kiyosaki, the noted American entrepreneur and author of the bestseller book, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad.’

What he means is that we have to experience a complete or total mindset change to become rich. And one of the ways to become rich is by preventing the waste of money.

Therefore, check whether you’re wasting money on any of these 10 things.

1. Throwing Away Coins & Change

A study in 2024 in the US revealed a shocking fact. That Americans throw away at least $62 million worth coins every year. They dump these coins in trashcans, sewers, wells, and other locations.

Because people don’t wish to collect these coins and exchange them for currency notes at banks, credit unions, and other locations.

If you collect these coins for a few months, they’ll add up to a considerable amount of money. And the good news is that you can exchange these coins for currency notes or cash on your debit card from your bank.

All you need to do is roll these coins in paper and hand them over at the bank, credit union or other locations.

2. Making Your Cab Wait

Uber, Lyft and other cab services charge you a fee if you make your ride wait for three to five minutes after scheduled pick-up time.

This fee can vary depending upon the Uber or Lyft service as well as another factor such as time of the day and location.

Both companies have their own policies to charge you a waiting fee. Therefore, check these out before requesting for your ride.

The amount may not appear considerably if you’re a very occasional user of Uber, Lyft and other cab services. However, frequent riders can lose a lot of money every year by making their ride wait.

Ensure that you provide the exact pick-up location with details such as a landmark. This eliminates waiting time.

3. Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is an excellent service. You get speedy and priority deliveries, free movies and TV shows, music, sports and lots more.

However, Amazon Prime ranks among one of the top 10 things that are wasting money if you’re not utilizing this fabulous service fully and paying for the annual membership subscription fees.

One of the ways you can save on Amazon Prime membership is by sharing your account with others. You could pool money to pay Amazon Prime membership fees.

And utilize the account for ordering stuff, watching videos and lots more. My piece of advice: If you’re not going to use all features of Amazon Prime membership, start sharing it.

4. Cable TV & DTH Channels

Cutting the cord or disconnecting cable TV and Direct-to-Home satellite systems is becoming quite popular across America. And there’re strong reasons for this too.

Maybe you don’t know this: the cable TV package or bundle that you’re subscribing contains several channels you’ll never view. But the cable TV or DTH provider is charging you for every channel in the bunch instead of one or two that you watch.

Nowadays, a lot of Americans opt for Free-to-Air (FTA) channels and also watch premium ones using alternatives such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others.

Check how much you’re actually spending on cable TV or DTH per month. And compare the spending with the time you watch TV or the channels. On average, Americans spend over $500 per month in various subscriptions.

Therefore, one of the ways you can slice off a few Dollars or can get free is by cutting the cord or switching to cheaper alternatives of cable TV and DTH.

5. Extended Warranties

Of course, we all want that expensive smartphone, electronic item or home appliance to get the best repairs if necessary. Usually, such stuff comes with a six-month or one-year warranty.

Meaning, the company will repair the appliance for any snags that may arise due to manufacturing defects. Now watch out: the warranty doesn’t cover regular wear-and-tear that occurs due to your usage.

Ask yourself: for how many years do you actually plan to use a smartphone or other appliance? Because all smartphones and electronics are frequently updated due to new technologies.

Therefore, you’ll be forced into buying a newer one within two years at best. And the extended warranty isn’t covering the regular wear-and-tear.

If you’re spending on these Extended Warranties, it’s high time to get rid of them and avoid buying them in the future.

6. Paid Apps

Paying for certain apps is one of the biggest things on which I would be wasting money. Understandably, some paid apps are indeed necessary if you’re doing online investments or other important functions on your smartphone.

Others are not as necessary and some are absolutely irrelevant.

This might come as a surprise: there’re lots of free apps available that perform almost similar or better functions that those of paid apps.

That’s because these free apps are supported by ads and the company or developer can afford to offer it free of cost. Check your smartphone and draw a list of paid apps you’re using.

Find whether they’re genuinely necessary and if free but ad-supported versions are available. And whatever is not needed, stop subscriptions immediately.

7. Non-Prescription Health Supplements

Do you pop a vitamin or other pill daily believing it helps you enjoy better health? If so, let me tell you something unpleasant.

Most non-prescription health supplements are a sheer waste of money. And you would definitely know these health supplements cost a lot.

Therefore, you’re not only wasting money on these things but also harming your health.

How’s that? Usually, vitamin or health supplements are to be taken only when your doctor says you need them for any reason. Generally, our food packs in all nutrients and the body absorbs only whatever is necessary.

If you’re suffering from a deficiency and a doctor prescribes a health supplement, you could be harming your health. Because there’s a medical complication known as Hypervitaminosis.

That occurs when the amount of certain vitamins exceeds much more than necessary and your body is unable to process it. The accumulated excess vitamins or nutrients can cause severe health complications.

8. Shampoo & Haircare Products

Who doesn’t love hair that looks and smells superb? Hair that’s healthy and easy to manage? Of course, all of us want such hair and spend a lot of money on hair care products too.

But using different hair care products can actually harm your hair severely. That’s because each product has a different purpose and hence, consists of different chemicals.

Having that collection of shampoo, conditioners, oils, and other stuff is fine but it doesn’t actually meet your needs. A bottle of shampoo doesn’t really cost much.

But all these products come with an expiry date. When you have a collection, it means lots of the stuff will go waste meaning, your money is also wasted. I’m not mentioning the damage that many hair care products can actually cause.

9. Things with Discount Coupons

Yet another thing I would waste of money was buying things with discount coupons. In fact, the thought of getting something cheaper was so compelling that I would look for discount coupons for almost everything I wish to buy.

Yes, we do get discounts but often end up with things that don’t really match our expectations. Obviously, these discount coupons aren’t charity: the seller is looking at getting rid of something surplus or what doesn’t sell.

Using coupons is an excellent way to get discounts. I agree with that. At the same time, it’s very important to know exactly what you’re getting and above all, whether you need that thing.

Or you’ll end up wasting a lot of money because discount stuff usually has the ‘no returns’ policy. Before you use a discount coupon, also compare prices from other stores. You might get the discount for a high priced product that’s available cheaper elsewhere.

10. ATM Charges

Did you know that your bank charges a small fee for using your ATM on machines of other banks? And much more if you’re using it outside the USA? Usually, we tend to overlook this fee because it’s not quite significant.

But add them up for a year and you’ll see how much money you’re wasting on unwanted things.

Check account policies on ATM charges, especially when using them on machines of other banks. Also, find if they’re offering unlimited free online transactions such as paying for purchases.

These charges are often hidden and would reflect only on your statement. However, you can save a lot of money by knowing your bank’s ATM use policies and charges.

Closing Thoughts

There’re some ways we can stop spending on things that are wasting money. One is by using the simple formula: income minus savings equals spending. That means, you save before you spend from your salary or wages.

The second is using a free budgeting app. You can set limits for spends under various heads. Before concluding, I encourage you to find these 10 things that you are wasting money on and stop it.

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