These Adult Habits Waste Money

Everyone has those “doh!” moments when they regret spending money on something. That’s going to happen from time to time, but there are a lot of things that adults habitually waste money on without even realizing.

Here are the habits adults waste money on and what you can do about them.

1) Having A Car

America loves car culture, but convenient transportation is getting to a point where it may not make much sense to own or lease your own car. If you live in a metropolitan area, you should definitely consider giving up your personal vehicle.

The average cost of owning a car is $8,469 per year, according to AAA. That’s over $700 per month! Between public transport, rideshare services, carsharing services and developing methods of transport (scooters, public bikes) you can probably get to where you need to go for less money and with less to worry about.

2) Buying Coffee And Lunch Out

Coffee drinkers need their morning coffee and then some. Still, there’s no reason why you can’t at least make your morning coffee at home. Have a cup at home and take a cup to go with you.

If your office is the one office in the U.S. without a coffeemaker, consider getting a French press or some other small, easy to use semi-portable coffee making device like this one.

Similarly, stop buying lunch out. It’s an easy trap to fall into. It’s more convenient than planning in advance and usually tastes better. But it’s so expensive and in many cases, not even a social experience.

3) Not Budgeting At The Bar

Honestly, a strong argument can be made that drinking alcohol at all is a waste of money. It’s certainly a waste of money to drink out at restaurants and bars because of the ridiculously high margins they get.

However, let’s be realistic, drinking is a social experience can help relieve stress. When you go out, though, be mindful of what you spend on drinks. Just like if you’re planning to drive, plan out how many drinks you’re going to drink throughout the event and stick to it. 

You may love drinking a more expensive liquor at home, but try to go for a house drink when you go out to avoid the super high costs. 

4) Getting Your Own Netflix, Etc.

You should be sharing your Netflix subscription cost and any other streaming services and subscriptions that you have. Most of these companies offer “family” plans at a discount from purchasing individual ones. You can share these with friends and family. 

This includes services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and music subscriptions like Spotify. If you pay for cloud storage, like the one offered by Google, there are also multi-person plans you can get that offer more storage.

5) Amazon Therapy

In many ways, Amazon is a blessing in our modern, adult lives. There’s no match for how convenient it is to shop on Amazon and, for the most part, the site offers cheap prices.

Keep in mind, though, that cheap prices and easy access do not mean that you need more things. Amazon is designed to take advantage of people’s tendency to impulse shop. While you may be getting a deal on something, it’s not a bargain if you don’t need it, to begin with. In that case, you’re just spending money on something you probably won’t use much.

Try to follow a “next day” rule for Amazon purchases to give you time to reflect on if you really need something. Also, avoid making purchases late at night or when you’re really stressed.

6) Buying Bottled Beverages

First of all, unless you live in an area where the tap water is undrinkable, you should not be buying bottled water. Use a filter at home and find a convenient refillable bottle to take around with you outside like this one. There are so many different bottle options that you should be able to find one that works for you.

Because we really only need to drink water, you don’t need to be spending money on other bottled beverages either. Most of them offer no nutritional value at best, and are often bad for you and even dehydrate you. Try adding fruit flavors to your water to make it more enticing if that’s the problem.

7) Not Following A Budget

As a young adult, it’s easy to just ignore finances completely and hope for the best. Unfortunately, not keeping a budget is a habit of modern-day adults. It seems like a pain to keep one, but once you do you’ll really thank yourself.

Budgets help you notice patterns in spending. This gives you the freedom to decide if the patterns are good or bad. Budgets also allow you the opportunity to free money up for other things you’d rather be saving it for or spending it on.

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