We often blame the big expenses for sucking our money away, however it could actually be the regular smaller amounts causing the grief.
These small amounts slip under the radar, yet compound into a larger amount – every – single – week.
We are so conditioned into rampant consumerism that we don’t notice it happening all around us.
The problem with consumerism is that it causes damage to both the environment and our finances – affecting the sustainability of both.sustainable-living.blog
Where Does The Money Go?
These small amounts spent often can be insidious. They happen in a gradual, subtle way but have a huge effect.
The good thing about it, is once you become aware of what’s happening, you’ll be able to make changes.
Below you’ll find a list of ways your money is sucked from you unawares.
As a suggestion any money saved by making a positive choice for the planet and your wallet, should be used to pay off debt (highest interest rate first) and used to invest in the things that really matter to you.
Personally, we invest in low cost index funds in the stock market. Maybe real estate is more your thing? Remember personal finance is personal, it’s what works for you.
The List of Money Suckers
- Paying for ATM fees
- Paying too much on mobile phone bills
- Not getting quotes for the cheapest insurance
- Over-spending on fuel (use an App like Gas Buddy, or walk or bike ride)
- Wasting money on electricity (turn those appliances off when they are not in use!)
- Not getting the best electricity and gas supplier deals (once a year shop around for the best deal)
- Paying for Pay TV or streaming subscriptions such as Netflix, Stan etc
- Buying books or magazines (use the library instead)
- Any monthly subscriptions, e.g. Spotify
- Signing up for one-month free trials and then not cancelling
- Accumulating credit cared interest
- Paying late fees (ring the supplier and negotiate payment before the due date if you know you can’t pay)
- Being hit with overdraft fees
- Eating out too often, includes lunch on a work day
- Buying take away food (cook at home instead)
- Paying for your food to be delivered (walk, bike or drive yourself)
- Buying coffee to go (bring your own in a thermos)
- Paying for bottled water
- Buying fizzy drinks
- Paying for single use throw away items (cling wrap, paper towel, baking paper, tissues)
- Buying brand name food
- Eating too much meat (try to reduce to 2 -3 times per week)
- Doing all your shopping at expensive whole food shops
- Buying prepared foods at the supermarket such as salads, coleslaw, sliced cheese etc
- Throwing uneaten food away
- Accruing parking and traffic fines
- Paying for car washing (DIY at home)
- Going to the pub/nightclub
- Always upgrading to the latest tech
- Buying into the newest trends
- Purchasing in-game items
- Paying for a gym membership (go running, use free council supplied equipment, swim in a lake)
- Paying for exercise classes (use YouTube instead)
- Manicures and pedicures (DIY at home)
- Washing your hair too often, or with too much product
- Buying new clothes. Shop instead at the thrift/op shop or arrange a clothes swap
- Shopping because you are bored
- Not comparing prices when online shopping
- Buying last minute birthday or Christmas gifts at premium prices
- Purchasing travel souvenirs (do you really need them?)
- Buying new instead of repairing
- Not purchasing second-hand, instead of new
- Paying someone for home repairs or garden maintenance (could you do it yourself?)
As you can see there are so many ways that money fritters away without you knowing.
Imagine the savings you could have by keeping a firm grasp on your finances. That house deposit, overseas holiday or early retirement will be much closer if you track your spending!
The Past, Present and Future of Consumerism
In History: Consumerism it’s suggested that we need a new type of capitalism based on being a consumer of higher needs, and not ‘exploitative, silly or vain consumer appetites. We may also learn to generate enormous profits by helping people as consumers and producers’.
What’s your future as a consumer?
What can you do right now to reduce your expenses? Please leave a comment below.