Beyond Debt Blog

10 Ways You're Wasting Money

Posted by Kristin Perissinotto on 7/02/18 8:00 AM
Kristin Perissinotto
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There are countless ways to waste your money. We have gathered 10 of the top ways Australians waste theirs to help you to rethink your purchases and put away some savings in 2018.

1. Convenience stores.


Convenience stores are just that - convenient. It’s easier to pop into the small grocery store or petrol station down the road for your bread, milk, and maybe a small treat. But don’t forget that these stores charge extra for extended opening hours. You might end up paying twice the price for your loaf.

2. Mobile plans

Many Australians are paying for premium mobile plans that they just don’t need. WiFi is usually available at your home, work, cafe, and local shopping centre. Rethink paying extra for data plan upgrades if you don’t go through it during the month.

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3. Buying coffee

We’ve all heard it before, buying coffee every day adds up. If, instead of picking up your double shot skinny caramel latte every morning before work, you put aside the few dollars it costs, you would soon have enough money saved to buy a small coffee machine for your work or home. Making coffee yourself is a fraction of the price, and there are countless recipes online for DIY specialty drinks.

4. Soft drinks

Buying a soft drink with dinner or lunch may feel like the norm, but often we will only order one because the waiter or waitress asks if we want a drink. Stick to water for a few weeks and see if you miss your regular Coke. Chances are you won’t, and you’ll have more room in your stomach for food.

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5. ATM withdrawal fees

These fees might seem miniscule each time you hit the ATM, but they will add up over a year. ATM fees are a complete waste of money - you pay a couple of dollars and receive nothing in return. We recommend walking the extra distance to your bank, or heading into a grocery store where you can withdraw cash for free, even if you aren’t making a purchase.

6. Buying brand name

Buying the premium brand can sometimes cost more than double the generic version. Often times, the cheaper brand will be made in the same factory as the branded version. In terms of medications, for example, you will find that large pharmaceutical corporations will often own multiple brands, and will sell the same product in two different packages for wildly different costs. Sticking to generic and home brand items will save you hundreds.

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7. Paying someone for a service you can do

We spend a lot of money paying professionals to do services that are very straightforward and easy. It can be very lucrative to spend some time learning new skills such as how to hem a skirt, or sew on a button, as this will save you the cost of taking clothes to be repaired. You can find tutorial videos available for free on YouTube that can teach you how to do almost anything.

8. Defaulting to air conditioning

We will often turn on our air conditioner at the first sign of heat. Air conditioners can add a sizeable amount to our quarterly electricity bill. This cost can be cut down by first opening some windows and turning on the fan. You will sometimes find that the breeze from a fan is enough to cool down the house.

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9. In-app purchases

Games like Candy Crush are designed to be addictive, which is why it can be so tempting to pay a dollar or two for extra lives or items within the game. Take a moment before clicking ‘Buy’, as these small costs will not take long to add up.

10. Multiple streaming services

Look through your streaming and TV services and make sure you use them all. In the last couple of years, many have become available in Australia, including Netflix, Stan and Spotify, as well as the existing televsion services such as Foxtel. Rethink your services and only stick to the ones you use regularly. Cancelling a service or two could see you saving hundreds every year. Alternatively, consider splitting your services with housemates, friends, or family. This could cut your monthly bill in halves or even quarters.

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Tags: Affordable Living, Personal Finance Basics, Build Savings, Handle Money

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