15 Surefire Ways to Flush Your Money Down the Drain Without Even Trying

Although everyone’s financial situation is different, as most of us know, losing money is infinitely easier than making money. To the untrained eye, many everyday habits and products don’t seem like money-suckers on the surface, but in reality, they are some of the quickest ways to lose money if you’re not paying attention! Today, we’re looking at how we throw money away daily.

#1. Unused Gym Memberships

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Unsurprisingly, 12% of all new gym memberships occur in January, when millions vow to get into better shape as part of their New Year’s resolutions. However, these millions of people often don’t follow through on the promises they make to themselves, and their memberships sit unused for most of the year. Unused gym memberships are an easy way to drain your bank account without even noticing it! With some memberships reaching $100 or more monthly, it has a significant impact.

#2. Impulse Purchases

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If you’re anything like me, you are constantly on the verge of making an unwise impulse purchase. Thanks to smartphone apps like Amazon, I’m window-shopping like there’s no tomorrow, and in many cases, I’m pulling the trigger and buying things I don’t need. These purchases add up; many believe the best way to combat this practice is to delete shopping apps from your smartphone entirely.

#3. Always Buying Coffee

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Stop buying coffee every day; you’re throwing money away! The following statistics will surprise you: In 2022, the average cup of coffee cost just under six dollars at $5.89. Calculated over 365 days, that equates to a mind-blowing $2,148.85 spent on daily cups of coffee annually! Ladies and gentlemen, that’s too much money for any rational human to spend on coffee. Start brewing your own coffee at home every morning, and thank me later.

#4. Late Fees

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Most men and women can agree on one thing: Late fees are the worst. They were horrible when we forgot to return books to our local library in the 80s and 90s, and they’re still terrible today when you fail to make a timely bill payment. With many late fees costing upward of $35, forgetting to make one or two monthly payments can cause severe stress to your bank account. Please do whatever you can to remind yourself to pay bills on time because it’s an easy way to lose money in 2023.

#5. Too Many Streaming Subscriptions

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Between Netflix, Spotify, YouTube Premium, Hulu, Peacock, Apple Music, and countless other services, too many streaming subscriptions are available in 2023! The burning question, however, is how many of these are you currently subscribed to? These services are less affordable than just a few years ago, thanks to endless price hikes. Many men and women report significant savings by eliminating one or two subscriptions they forget they were paying for!

#6. Reckless Investing

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If you don’t know how to invest, stay away from that universe because it will only end with losing lots of money! Whether getting caught up in the latest meme stocks, diving head-first into cryptocurrency, or even investing in your friend’s “can’t-miss” business opportunity, many people are surprisingly willing to metaphorically light their cash on fire to capitalize on a money-making scheme that seems too good to be true. Be smart and avoid reckless investing.

#7. Lending Money to Friends or Family

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Speaking of recklessness, lending money to friends or family members is one of the most irresponsible things adults can do with their money. I get it; sometimes people need a helping hand, but people who ask for money (even if they promise to pay it back) need that cash for a reason: They’re irresponsible! Countless people regret lending money to friends or family because the odds say they will never see it returned to them.

#8. Overpriced Cable TV Bundles

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I’ll never forget when I visited my family for the holidays a few years ago and accidentally glanced at my mother’s cable television, internet, and phone bill. It was astronomical! She was paying for every channel, internet speed more suitable for a large office, and a landline phone line even though she didn’t physically own a landline phone. Thankfully, one call to the cable company fixed things, but you never know how much your monthly bills will increase until you do your due diligence.

#9. Starting a Business You Have No Business Starting

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I acknowledge that most people have dreams of being their own boss, but the sad reality is that most men and women don’t have the business know-how to start their own businesses. For example, investing your life savings into the restaurant of your dreams is one of the quickest ways to lose money. According to studies, U.S. restaurants have a 30% failure rate. You’re better off investing your money in anything else than starting a restaurant!

#10. Credit Card Interest Fees

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Failing to pay credit card bills on time will do quite a number on your bank account! Depending on your card, interest fees can tack on upwards of 25% of your monthly bill, quickly putting you into financial distress. Getting behind on payments to your credit card accounts can sap your emergency fund dry and wreak havoc on your credit score, further limiting your future financial mobility.

#11. Overpriced Mobile Phone Plans

the cellphone feature can detect spam calls from annoying telemarketing phone numbers.
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If you’re paying more than $100 monthly for your smartphone plan, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your wallet. In 2023, single-line plans from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are not cost-efficient unless you’re on a family plan with multiple members. Instead of purchasing service from the big three providers, search for discount providers like Mint Mobile; you’ll find shockingly affordable plans that include service strikingly similar to what you’re used to.

#12. Playing the Lottery

A young woman holds the lottery ticket with complete row of numbers and dollar bills on the lottery blank sheets background. Lottery winner concept
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I can’t be more clear: Stop playing the lottery. Buying scratch-off tickets at your local convenience store or supermarket is arguably the easiest way to throw money away. You’re not going to win the lottery. Sure, you may win a few dollars, but playing the lottery is a fool’s errand over time. Although jackpots have reached record levels recently, winning the lottery is next to impossible.

#13. Wasting Food

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Our parents were correct when they told us always to finish what was on our plates during meals. You lose money if you constantly scrape excess food into the trash can after meals. Utilizing leftovers for future meals is one of the most frugal ways to save money in 2023, and everybody can do better. From individual families to major restaurant chains, wasting food is a problem on many levels, especially financially.

#14. Emotional Spending

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Just a few days ago, I lost my fantasy football playoff matchup in the final moments of Monday Night Football in a heartbreaking fashion. Did I take it like an adult and brush the unexpected loss off? Of course not. I went to Amazon within minutes of the game ending and bought a pair of expensive noise-canceling wireless headphones. Do I regret my decision a few days later? Of course I do. Emotional spending is one of the most narrow-minded and dumb ways to part with your hard-earned money; it happens more than we think!

#15. Not Budgeting

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Many believe improper budgeting is the root of financial issues worldwide; you can’t spend your money willy-nilly without knowing your expenses beforehand! While creating proper budgets (and sticking to them) seems like a no-brainer solution for solving the money drain, it’s incredible how many men and women actively choose to ignore this valuable advice. Put numbers down on paper; even the most financially obtuse person will see how much money they lose daily!

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The post 15 Surefire Ways to Flush Your Money Down the Drain Without Even Trying first appeared on From Frugal to Free.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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