7 Habits That Can Cost You a Lot of Money

    No one wants to be stuck without any money, and yet, many of the habits we have leave us with almost nothing in our bank accounts at the end of the month. When practiced over time, these habits can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which is money that could be tucked into a savings or retirement account.

    From skipping your morning cup of coffee to being careful not to overdraw your account, there are many new habits you can get into that will help you save some green. Here are a few more!

    1. Speeding

    Speeding isn’t an uncommon habit. You aren’t alone if you push on the gas pedal to make it to work on time or if you speed simply because you want to spend less time in the car. Unfortunately, it can cost you a lot of money in more ways than one.

    First, speeding can end up costing you more in gas. After you get above 55 miles per hour, the faster you go, the more money you’ll end up paying at the pump, as your car will go through gas more quickly.

    Speeding is also dangerous. Over 9,000 people in the United States die every year in speeding-related accidents, but many more end up surviving their accidents. From paying more in insurance to car repairs and hospital bills, going faster than you should can impact your finances for years.

    Not to mention, speeding tickets can really add up! Do yourself a favor and drive the speed limit wherever you go.

    2. Paying For the Wrong Insurance

    There are some insurance policies that we have to have. For example, you can’t legally drive a car without being covered and health insurance can help you save tons of money. Not to mention, you’re more likely to visit the doctor if you know you’ll only be responsible for a small copay, which is a good thing!

    However, there are some insurance policies that may be a waste of money. A few that you may be spending money on unnecessarily include:

    • Identity theft insurance
    • Travel insurance
    • Children’s life insurance
    • Rental car insurance

    It’s also possible that you could be paying more for an insurance policy than you need. For example, if you have an older vehicle, it has to be insured, but you can skip the collision insurance.

    3. Paying For Unused Services

    Many people don’t track each and every expense in their bank account each and every month with an eye for spotting recurring charges that are no longer useful.

    It’s easy for services that only cost a few dollars to fade into the background, but they can add up when combined with other charges, and they can definitely add up over the months and years you pay for them. 

    Is there a streaming service that you and your family almost never use? Did you sign up for that free 30-day trial, but you didn’t notice that your trial ended and now you’re being charged? Go through your monthly expenses and get rid of them!

    4. Buying Low-Quality Items

    Everybody loves a good deal, especially if it’s time to buy or replace an expensive item. It can be hard to resist the allure of a couch that only costs a couple of hundred dollars or a kitchen appliance that’s on sale for next to nothing.

    Although you’ll save money upfront, you’ll end up spending more over time. Low-quality items may cost less, but they also have to be replaced more often. Instead, you should focus on spending more money on items that will last.

    A few things worth spending extra for include:

    • Mattresses
    • Walking or jogging shoes
    • Kitchen appliances and tools
    • Furniture
    • Computers
    • Purses

    5. Buying Name Brand

    It’s true that buying higher quality items can save you money in the long run, but that doesn’t mean you should always buy name brand items. The trick is knowing what to spend a little more money on and when to save.

    There are a lot of items at the grocery store you should always buy generic. Baby formula is a good example, as it’s all regulated by the FDA, so you aren’t getting anything better or safer by buying a name brand. Things like generic flour and sugar are exactly the same as their name-brand counterparts, while many canned beans and vegetables come from the same factory where name-brand items are canned.

    6. Buying Convenience Foods

    You know you can waste a lot of money eating out, but it’s not just sitting down at a restaurant for lunch or dinner every day that can cost a lot of green. Other types of convenience food that may seem affordable actually cost more too.

    Fast food may be cheap, but it can impact your health when consumed frequently, which could mean more doctor’s appointments and medication later in life. Pre-cut fruit and vegetables at the grocery store cost more than buying the whole thing and cutting it yourself, and of course, everything from pop to candy bars always costs more at the gas station! 

    7. Throwing Out Food

    It may not seem like that big of a deal to throw away a few leftovers or a wrinkly apple, but it does add up, and it adds up fast. It has been estimated that one-third of all food that is produced across the world ends up in the garbage.

    Aside from taking home leftovers and finding unique ways to incorporate leftover items into new meals, there are a few other things you can do. Stop relying on “best by” dates and learn how to determine if a food is going bad yourself. Consider transferring things to your freezer if they don’t get eaten fast enough, and know how to property store produce in your fridge to make it last longer.

    If you’re looking to have a little bit more money in your bank account, you don’t necessarily have to look for a higher-paying job. Break some of your bad habits and you’ll find yourself saving more each and every month!


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