Saving money is often easier said than done, and specific activities and expenses seemingly exist to extract as much money as possible from our wallets. Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to discuss frugal tips, and as a result, they identified many expenses that people admit are draining their bank accounts.
1. Dining Out
Everybody knows that eating out in restaurants isn't the most financially-savvy move a person can make, but that doesn't stop Americans from eating out constantly. Chalk it up to people's need to be sociable creatures. I understand the allure of dining out, but conversely, spending hours preparing a home-cooked meal in the kitchen isn't my idea of a good time, either. There has to be a better way!
2. Expensive Hobbies
Whether you're a collector or fanatic, expensive hobbies can lead to sky-high expenses that give you little return on your investment. “My husband does that with Magic: The Gathering cards,” confesses one woman. “He was supposed to stick to a $20 maximum per week, imposed upon himself. The last two weeks have been probably around $150. Hopefully, that habit doesn't stick around; I ain't got enough patience for that.”
3. Living Expenses
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that living expenses are out of control in 2023! Thanks to sky-high rent, massive interest rates, inflation, and consumer product prices out of control, it takes a lot of work to save money. Factor in a federal minimum wage that has stayed the same for years, and you wonder how anyone can afford anything!
4. Food Delivery Apps
I'm shocked at how many people use food delivery apps regularly, especially to order food from restaurants close to their homes! “When DoorDash first came to my small town, the app offered almost free delivery, and it was amazing,” reveals one man. “As soon as that stopped and I realized I was paying $10 extra for something I could pick up myself, I deleted the app and never looked back.”
5. Streaming Services
In 2023, there are more streaming services than ever before! Netflix, MAX, Hulu, Peacock, Paramount Plus, and countless other services give consumers more options, but it comes at a cost. These services aren't free, and if you want to stay abreast of the latest TV shows and movies, you're expecting to open your wallet and pay through the moon to do so. It may be time we all went back to paying for cable television.
6. Expensive Vehicles
Americans love expensive, oversized vehicles — and they don't mind paying top dollar to own the latest and greatest! It goes without saying that this behavior is a money pit, right? Our infatuation with status symbols drives us further and further into debt. What happened to purchasing a sensible vehicle and not paying upwards of $1,000 monthly in car payments?
7. Energy Drinks
Make no mistake: millions of men and women need their caffeine fixes daily, and they aren't shy about paying for unhealthy energy drinks to get that hit. “Monster energy drinks and other caffeinated beverages are something I know really messes up my finances,” explains one man. “I need at least one daily, and that adds up quickly over time.”
8. Alcohol Consumption
Not only is drinking alcohol not the best idea for maintaining ideal long-term health, but it can also seriously strain your finances. Even if you have a casual relationship with alcoholic drinks, casually imbibing on the weekends can often cost you and your friends hundreds of dollars. It's astonishing how much money alcohol companies make at the expense of the general public.
9. Cosmetics and Beauty Products
Looking beautiful costs a lot in 2023, and specialized beauty products can be prohibitively expensive! Kudos to someone who saw that buying too much cosmetics was hurting herself financially. “I used to buy Lush occasionally as a special luxury, but they've just gotten too pricey, so I've stopped buying some of my favorite scents and products,” reports one woman.
10. Starbucks Coffee
Buying a morning coffee is a daily ritual for millions of people, and nobody benefits more from it than Starbucks and other coffee companies! Making a conscious decision to pay a premium for store-bought coffee instead of making it at home for a fraction of the price puts a massive dent in many people's wallets.
11. Collecting Physical Media
While streaming services are all the rage, some people still love collecting physical media. However, that habit is a money pit, to put it lightly! “I definitely spend too much money on physical media,” confesses one collector. “I lost count years ago, but I had about 10,000 DVDs and Blu-Rays last time I counted. I've slowed down a bit since then, but I'd venture I've added a few more thousand. I also buy lots of video games, and I've started getting into buying vinyl records.”
12. Health Insurance
Countless people are shocked they have paid such high health insurance premiums recently. Healthcare costs are so expensive that many Americans are pushing for the country to adopt a European-style healthcare system that will alleviate the sky-high prices. For healthy Americans, paying so much for health insurance seems pointless.
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