We always want a bit more of the green stuff, don’t we? We love the opportunities that it gives us, and when we get to mid-life we think we’re on top of our finances; after all we’ve been around for half a century, surely we should have a handle on it. But do we really know how much of the stuff are we actually haemorrhaging without realising it? By identifying some of your money-wasters from my list below, you could be make a much bigger change than you could ever imagine, and not just to your pocket!
So, here are my top 9 of the most common money wasters to be mindful of:
If the programmes and campaigns by David Attenborough and Gretta Thunburg haven’t pricked your conscience about the use of single use plastic, then think about it this way…water is an abundant, freely available resources, just like air. But what if air were bottled and sold back to you for £1.50, in a bottle you couldn’t use again, would you buy it? I doubt it. Get a filter jug. Get a reusable bottle and stop wasting your money (at the very least).
Admittedly we have been in a lockdown on and off for the past 12 months but even before the Corona Virus Pandemic paying for a gym membership you didn’t use was a very common pastime. Just get out in the fresh air. Take your dog for a walk. Take up Yoga. Dance in front of the mirror. Get tips from YouTube videos. Just move more, instead of paying for that gym membership!
Diet club membership
This previous point leads me neatly onto the dreaded diet club membership. Again, due to the ongoing Covid crisis the face-to-face clubs have been closed, but doesn’t stop them popping up online. Honestly, think about it, do you really want to be belittled by a woman (or man) that has reached their goal weight and survives on dust in order to maintain it? Of course, you don’t. That £5.95 a week, or whatever the ridiculous cost is, would be much better spent supporting a homeless charity! Get your scales out and weigh yourself if you must. Eat a bit less. Move a bit more and you will make a difference to your waistline. You don’t need to be shamed into losing weight, or to continue to fund a multi-billion pound world-wide industry.
Subscriptions are always the things that you plan to cancel but never do. But the chances are that you will find similar or possibly more in-depth articles available from a quick Google for nix, free, zilch. You don’t have to wait for the next issue, they are all free all of the time. Try it now.
Ping meals and Food deliveries
This isn’t rocket science and goes without saying really. Here I’m also talking about the lunchtime meal deals we pick up from the supermarket on our way into the office. We all know the fat, salt and sugar content of these types of meals, not to mention the cost of them. They’re OK for a treat once in a while, but if they start forming part of your weekly shop then stop! Start preparing your own lunchtime food for the office and cooking your own meals, with real ingredients from scratch, on a regular basis. And if you’re not much of a cook head over to trusty old YouTube for some tips. In the long run it’s both cheaper and healthier.
Satellite and cable packages
BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub offer free to watch and catch-up programmes and films. There’s also Netflix, which again offers a mindboggling array of films, shows and series for £9.00 a month. BritBox and Amazon Prime offer similar streams for less than that. Just don’t line the pockets of Mr Murdoch et al, and use that money for other things!
Invest in good quality, ethically sourced and made, timeless pieces for your wardrobe, rather than cheap, flimsy, potential landfill garments that have been made in sweatshops by people earning a dollar a day. Ultimately, you’ll be saving your pocket, the environment and the potential exploitation of a workforce.
These can be a real waste of money, and you’re often duped into buying them purely because through ignorance. My advice, get a free outlook email account and then have access to a chopped down version of the Microsoft Suite for nothing. You can use all your favourites – Word, Excel, PowerPoint – which you can save to your OneDrive account to access it anywhere.
Ditch the bad habits
Smoking and drinking are exactly what I’m talking about here. They are all short-term pleasure, with no long-term gain whatsoever. They shorten your life expectancy, provide a good source of ill health and potential long-term debt. Imagine what you could spend that £4700 per annum on instead of cigarettes (£13 a day x 7 x 52).