10 Things People Waste Money On

Do you have a goal to spend less money or to increase your savings? I do! My goal for 2017 is to build my savings up to cover 6 months worth of living expenses. In order to do that, I will need to pay more attention to how I’m spending my money.


Are you wasting your money?

DaveRamsey.com posted an interesting article about the 10 things that Americans waste money on. Here’s my take on it…

credit cards

1. Credit card interest – Don’t buy what you can’t afford, especially at high interest rates! If you are going to use your credit card, make sure you can pay it off at the end of the month! No sense is paying interest on your purchases.

2. Deal websites – Just because it is a great deal, doesn’t mean you should buy something. Before you purchase, be sure you will actually use it, enjoy it, and the quality will be up to your expectations!


3. Appetizers – Unless you’re sharing the meal too, you’ll end up with a lot of leftover food if you order an appetizer too. At least make sure some of it reheats well as leftovers! I often skip the specialty drinks too. Water is free and good for you! My husband and I have the rule of no appetizers or drinks each time we go out to eat. Only on special occasions do we break this rule! It has saved us so much money! Those $5 appetizers and $3 drinks can sure add up fast!

4. Overdraft fees – Keep track of your money and spending and you will never have to waste your money on these fees.  Consider using Capital One 360 Checking account… which is a fee-free checking account that we love!

atm machine

5. ATM fees – They can add up! Plan ahead and avoid the fees. Get cash back at the grocery store or go to your own banks ATM to avoid the fees. No sense in paying $4 to get your OWN money out!

6. Upgrading shipping – Many things are not really needed right away, so don’t pay extra just to get it shipped faster if it isn’t really necessary.

gold's gym trainer 420 treadmill

7. Unused gym memberships – Only start a membership if you know it will be beneficial for you and you will continue to use it all year long. I like doing workout DVDs (Thanks, Jillian Michaels!) at home. There are lots of workouts and exercise that can be done at home or outside for free.

8. Designer baby clothes – Babies make a lot of messes and they grow out of clothes pretty quickly too! You can find adorable baby clothes at a GREAT price. Save the nicer clothes for when they quit growing and can actually use them for more than a few months!

keurig b145 coffee brewing system

9. Daily coffee trips – Take a look at your budget and how much this habit is costing you. It would probably cost less to brew it at home. That $3 coffee you buy each day can really add up. Let’s say you buy a $3 coffee 3x a week. You will be spending around $36 dollars a month JUST on coffee!

10. Premium cable packages – Most people don’t watch 90% of the channels anyway! We have an HD antennae that works great for us. Or maybe just a Netflix subscription would benefit your family even more. Whatever your needs, you can find a cheaper way to get your entertainment fix.

Take a look at your spending and see what you might be wasting money on. Write down every single purchase for a few weeks or 1 month to get a good idea of the little things that are costing you. Cutting out a few small regular purchases will really add up.

Most of us have at least one thing we could stop spending money on and we wouldn’t even miss it!

Dave Ramsey Book

Dave Ramsey is one of America’s favorite finance coaches, a New York Times bestselling author, and radio personality. Check out his life-changing books and more.


Comment below what you are going to stop wasting money on!


  • Amy Jo

    What do you do when you don’t do any of those 10 things and still can’t make ends meet?

    • Melanie

      Not making ends meet even when you’ve cut all you can is a tough situation. There are lots more things that we don’t truly need that can be cut from our spending. Basically, one would either need to cut spending even more or increase the income somehow. There are a variety of ways to do this and it really depends on the personal circumstance, resources, and abilities. Hang in there and keep trying! Dave Ramsey really does have some great advice, maybe you would benefit from his some of his expertise?

      • sara

        I am exactly at that place! Can’t cut more and isn’t easy to get more money in! But I ‘m sticking to reading these blogs religiously to keep me going! Thank you.

        • Melanie

          Thank you, Sara! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Hang in there and continue to remember to be grateful for your blessings.

  • K.S.

    Preaching to the choir. Credit cards are paid in full at the end of the billing cycle. Never charge more in one cycle than you can pay off.

  • Olympia

    What is hurting our bottom line now is my husband’s health insurance it went up to $567. Per month. Really hurting it was so much cheaper before Obama changed things.

  • diane @smartmoneysimplelife

    Great list.

    I admit to having been guilty of #7. Only once though… I learned my lesson!

    The upgraded shipping is an excellent point, too. If you plan ahead, you’ll never have to pay for express or expedited shipping.

  • Paula Vaccarino

    I’m completely disabled and trying to live on Social Security and a small disability check. The state that I live in charges me $806.00 a month “participation” fee for my caregiver. I’m already WAY below poverty level and I don’t know too many people who make a “normal” income that could afford this. I am constantly in a state of panic and depression because of my finances and trust me, I don’t (and can’t) do most of the things on this list. What exactly am I supposed to do?



    • Melanie

      Hi, Paula. Sorry to hear that you are in such a tough situation. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do to make things better, but I really can’t. 🙂
      My honest and humble advice to you is the following:
      Keep a gratitude journal in which you write something you are grateful for each day.
      Write down every penny that is spent. Then think of one small thing you can do to make a difference for the better. Start with just that one small thing, then maybe you will find more you can do as you continue to write everything down.
      Hang in there!

  • Julie

    This is a great list. The only one I would maybe disagree with is the appetizers. Since we have started a budget, we now have a set amount for eating out. If we decide to get an appetizer as part of an enjoyable eating out experience then fine – but when the eating out money for the month is gone, it’s gone. If anyone complains about not being able to eat out more, then we might need to discuss where we eat out and what we get each time! 🙂

    I would add buying books. DON’T. The library is such a great resource! And this is a good lesson in practicing patience when the book you want isn’t immediately available or the library has to order a new copy for you (which some will do if you ask!)

    • Melanie

      That tip about library books is a great one! I was just trying to convince my husband the other day that he should check it out at the library, and if he loves it enough to read it many more times, then he can buy it.
      Thanks, Julie.

    • diane @smartmoneysimplelife

      True! I’m a huge fan of my local library. Books are my weakness – I love the way they look, feel and smell but I only invest in a book I know I’ll re-read multiple times.

      Libraries are a great source for magazines and dvds, too.

  • Brenda

    Check out http://www.littlefreelibrary.org . A private citizen erects a weatherproof box on a post to house books for others to have. Here you can trade books or just have one at your leisure. I found five of these sites in my town alone. These are a wonderful resource for avid readers to share their titles.

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