It is easy to lose track of your day to day spending unless you record every single item of expenditure and keep a budget spreadsheet of some sort. Living in an expensive city like Sydney doesn't help where the sky's the limit when it comes to spending. I've narrowed down my top 4 money wasters that can be easily avoided if you take note and prevent them from draining your hard earned money.
1. Spending on convenience
Convenience comes with a price. Step into a convenience store around the corner of your house and you'll see why. Everything costs double the price you would usually pay in Coles or Woolies. Parking closer to the main street also costs more. If you keep driving a few streets away from the main street you can probably find free parking. All it takes is a bit more effort and you can easily save tens of dollars each week. Spending money for the sake of convenience is easily one of the biggest money traps a lot of people fall into.
Paying for parking is a huge money-waster (image by Leonid Dzhepko from Wikimedia Commons)
2. Spending on premium products Premium products cost a lot more because of the branding and packaging that the company invests in to attract consumers. Most of the time the quality of premium products are comparable to budget brands especially when it comes to everyday groceries like bread, milk, household products and tissue paper, to name a few. If you can look past the nice packaging and settle for budget brands, you'll be doing your bank account a huge favour.
3. Spending on the latest and newest as soon as they are launched A lot of people rush in to buy the latest Apple products as soon as they are launched. Or buy a 3D TV as soon as they become available in the market. You can be a fan of technology but you don't have to be the first wave of early adopters. If you can wait a few months you'll often find that prices will go down. Being the first to own an Ipad will only leave you cringing down the track when prices drop because the Ipad 2 has just been released.
A night out socializing can cost you a lot (image by Rama from Wikimedia Commons)
4. Spending for the sake of following the crowd It is easy to succumb to peer pressure when it comes to socializing and spending. Your friends are willing to spend $20 on a cocktail, and to keep up with the crowd you fork out the same amount for a cocktail when you don't necessarily want one. You easily burn a few hundred dollars on a night of bar hopping because you don't want to feel left out of the party. Say no when you are not comfortable with spending the same amount of money that they do on a night out. Or simply tag along but don't feel the pressure of buying drinks to match theirs. After all it is your money and you have the right to choose how to spend it. Peer pressure is not the way to do it.
What are some of the other easily avoidable money-wasters that you know about? Do share!