If there’s one thing many of us are great at, it’s spending money. We seem to have this innate, not to mention a frustrating, habit of letting money slip through our grasp just like grains of sand at a beach. We hardly make use of savings options available to us like Fixed Deposits, Recurring Deposits or Mutual Funds even.
With every year that passes, it seems like our parents were some sort of financial wizards when it came to the art of saving money. In fact, it’s quite possible they entered into a pact with the horned one down below to keep their savings intact.
But, where does that leave us poor sods? With our financial acumen, it’s no wonder we constantly find ourselves up a creek without a paddle. In fact, we seem to come up with more and more innovative ways of relieving ourselves of our cash. You may not be able to come to terms with the truth, but we’ve come up with 10 stupid things we do with our money that constantly make us facepalm ourselves into next week.
- Night Outs
Hey, everyone needs to unwind every now and then. What’s the problem? Of course, there isn’t a problem. We all work our behinds off every week, and we deserve to trip the light fantastic over the weekend. But how many times have you gone way overboard after you’ve had one tequila too many? Yup, more times than you can count. A few drinks down and you decide to swipe your Credit Card faster than you can swallow those shots. You end up having a hangover the size of Canada the next morning. Not the best feeling, my friend.
Additional Reading: 5 Bad Credit Card Habits Your Need To Change Right Now
- E-mail Scams
C’mon! You’re smarter than that. Stop falling for all those email scams that say you’ve won a gazillion buck, and the only thing you need to do to claim the money is to send them some money to ‘release it’. Wow! You have to be a special kind of stupid to fall for something like that. Lucky for you, and unluckily for the human race, thousands and thousands of people all over the world fall for these bogus offers. So, you at least have company. Anyway, the next time you come across any emails or text messages of a similar kind, just delete them. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Additional Reading: Save Yourself From Fraud Traps
- Gym Subscriptions
Before you get your biceps in a tangle, there’s nothing wrong with signing up at a gym. In fact, it’s one of the best things you could possibly do if you’re serious about living a healthy lifestyle. The trouble is, a lot of people tend to take out a gym subscription, work out for a few days, and then never make use of it ever again. If that isn’t a waste of money, then nothing else is. So, the next time you saunter over to your local gym, adamant about turning over a new leaf, make sure you stick to your guns instead of lounging on your sofa gorging on potato chips. It’s no fun being overweight AND broke.
Additional Reading: 6 Tests To Gauge Your Financial Fitness
- Junk Food
While we’re on the subject of fitness, you really need to lay off that junk food. Not only is junk food bad for your health, it can seriously blow a hole in your finances. Junk food is addictive. That’s a fact. And most addictions cost money. That’s a fact as well. Try walking past those burger joints and pizza palaces the next time you’re hungry and get yourself some soup and a bunch of fruits. Remember, you won’t just be better off financially, you’ll also feel better physically over time.
Additional Reading: 8 Ways Foodies Can Save Money While Eating Out
Smoking is bad for you. Period! Not only is it addictive, it has the potential to absolutely drain your wallet as well as your lungs. Think about it this way. At the time of writing this article, the cost of one cigarette is Rs. 13. If you smoke one cigarette every single day for the entire year, then you spend Rs. 13 X 365 days = Rs. 4,745. That’s almost 5 grand. And, that’s just a single cigarette a day. If you have a habit of smoking 4-5 a day, or even an entire pack, you could be saving up to Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 80,000 every year. That’s a lot of money to spend on something that practically kills you every day. The next time you get the urge to pop one between your lips, try chewing on a rag instead.
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If ever there was a classic money drainer, it has to be gambling. How many times has gambling ruined lives across different countries and cultures? If you’ve ever been caught up in the thrill that gambling brings with it, you probably also remember all the money you lost in one sitting. It’s a risky business, to say the least. A small amount slowly turns into a large sum and before you know it you’re even betting on the shirt on your back. If you really do like a little risk in your life, try your hand at the stock market. Open a DEMAT account and trade in shares and stocks. It’s legal, and you could earn some fantastic returns if you do your research well. That should certainly scratch that particular itch.
Additional Reading: Your First Steps To Investing In The Stock Market
- Unpaid Bills
You know you’ve been guilty of not paying your bills on time on more than one occasion. If you haven’t, then we give you a firm salute. But, if you’re one of those people who tend to always pay bills past their due dates, then your laziness is attracting a bunch of unnecessary late fees. These fees may seem small, but they all add up to a sizeable amount if you make procrastination a habit. You could counter your lethargy by setting up an online bill payment routine through which your bank account gets debited automatically on a specific date every month, so you won’t even have to move a muscle to make your payments on time. Just what the doctor ordered for couch potatoes such as yourself.
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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with lending money to a friend in dire need. In fact, there are times when you won’t really expect to see your money again, which may be all right depending on the circumstances and the relationship you share with the person you’re lending the money too. However, constantly lending out money to people who have no intention of paying you back, or who always seem to come up with a ready excuse to not pay you, should definitely be one of those things you need to cut back on. Putting your foot down and saying no could be the best thing that ever happened to you. Sure, you maybe lose a few friends, but anyone who takes advantage of your generosity cannot be considered a friend in the first place.
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Once again, there’s nothing wrong with taking your car out for a spin every now and then, but for heaven’s sake, you don’t need to take it with you everywhere. And you certainly don’t need it if you’re travelling a short distance, which could be easily covered on foot or by taking public transport. Spending money on gas just so you can drive up the road because you’re too lazy to walk is just ludicrous. Give your wheels a rest for a while and get out there and take in some fresh air. Not only will you save money, but you’ll get some much-needed exercise and you’ll do your bit for the environment as well. And when you do fill your car up, you should use a fuel Credit Card. That will give you some pretty awesome savings. Sounds like a win-win situation all around.
Additional Reading: 4 Essential Questions About Saving On Your New Card Answered
There. You feel a bit sheepish now don’t you? Relax. Next time you catch yourself indulging in any of these 9 money-draining ways, just slap yourself silly until you come to your senses. It might hurt, but it doesn’t cost you any money.