7 common money wasters to beware of

by - June 27, 2016

Money is great to have as long as you manage and spend it wisely.  But let’s face it; we all waste a lot of money. If we didn’t, we could live off of a whole lot less. We just don’t consider many of the things we spend our money on to be a waste. But let’s look at some of those top wasters and see how we could save ourselves some money.

Here are 7 common money wasters to beware of:

Bottled Water – Water is one of the most abundant, freely available resources on planet. And so is air.  If I bottled some air, would you pay R10. 00 a bottle for it?  I doubt it.  Bottom line: South Africa's tap water is clean. Quit spending it on bottled water and you could save your family hundreds of rands per year.

Satellite TV –  Are you really watching 115+ channels on DSTV premium each month to justify the monthly fee? The price range from R759 - R99. And the truth is that most of us have three or four shows we watch regularly. So if you’re paying more than R100 a month, you’re wasting your money. More and more content is available online, with new streaming services, better access to major networks, and easier access to sports. You just need to look for it. 

Restaurants and Take-aways – Eating out is a wonderful way to spend time relaxing with family and friends. But let's face it, in this economy, eating out is ridiculously expensive. And yes groceries are also expensive too. But if you shop frugally, and keep a kitchen stocked with essentials, eating in would not exceed the cost of prepared food. But on the other hand, take-away food is more expensive because you are paying for the service, the location, the cook and helping the restaurant to make a profit out of it all. So if you cook for yourself you buy ingredients so the chain is much shorter, and that makes it cheaper. I know we are busy women but try and learn to cook and prepare your own food on a regular basis.  It’s not just cheaper, it’s healthier too.

Luxury Name Brand Products – Recently, Alibaba’s founder and CEO,  Jack Ma, told investors that "fakes are now as good or better than the genuine brands". And his argument is that the same factory that create the genuine brands also create the knockoffs. So, if you’re paying premium prices just to get a fashionable brand name labeled on each these products without any regard for how efficiently the products actually serve their practical purpose, you’re wasting your money.

New Cars – A car is a means of transportation to get you from one place to another.  Costly air bags, expensive electronics, and lightweight body materials are driving up the cost of new cars. If you’re buying a new car every few years even when your old car works perfectly fine, you’re likely trying too hard to impress the wrong people… and you’re going broke in the process.

Second-rate Entertainment – The best things in life are free.  Stop wasting your money on games, movies and other second-rate entertainment and take a good look around you.  There is lots of entertainment free of charge. Create a family book, with information and pictures about each family member, take the family for a picnic, go hiking, play in the rain, build a bonfire with your friends, watch the sunset with your lover, etc. The list is endless. 

Let go of money-sucking habits. – Smoking, drinking and gambling are all perfect examples of bad habits in which you choose to trade short term pleasure for long term debt and discomfort. Wondering how much you can save by cutting out even one of the money sucking habits above? Try this experiment: give up an unnecessary expense for a month and put the money you would have spent in a jar at home. You might be surprised to see how much you collect, and maybe you’ll be inspired to continue saving. Consider investing that extra money or using it for a reward (like a vacation) that you feel is worthwhile.

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