Things that zap your wallet can range from a large selection of stuff you may have never considered to be “wallet-zappers”. The truth is, many of the little, every-day things we purchase without a second thought can be things that zap your wallet without you even realizing it! And then there are a select few larger items that you may appreciate if someone brings to your attention the amount of money they have been eating from your stash. Here are my top 20 things that zap your wallet for your enlightenment!
If you are on of those people who need to buy a drink every time you stop to get gas or on your way to work every morning, may I caution you to STOP NOW! This is one of those things that zap your wallet! Spending three or four dollars every day will add up to around twenty bucks a week! Save that money by bringing a reusable bottle filled with water or a drink from home.
2. Magazine Subscriptions
I love my Glamour and Cosmo magazines right along with the next girl, but when I realized that magazine subscriptions are a thing that zaps your wallet, I decided to quit subscribing! Now I save $40-$60 per year between my other magazine subscriptions. You can go online to any magazine’s website and read most of their featured articles online anyway!
3. Movie Rentals and Music Downloads
I’m a sucker for Blockbuster flicks and Redbox rentals but renting movies and downloading music often can really take a toll on your bank account. With live streaming and Netflix available, choose the smart option and quit paying for your entertainment! Pandora is a free Internet radio that will play just about any song you want. Take advantage of what’s out there and quit spending so much!
One of the things that zap your wallet quickly is cable and DVR. Now DVR is a very handy tool, and it’s nice to have cable. But when you work all day, have classes or some other event that keeps you from being at home, you have to admit that you rarely use your cable. You can catch most shows on Hulu these days, and Netflix is a much cheaper option to cable. Give it a try, you may find that you love your savings more than you love cable!
5. Impulse Shopping
Impulse shopping can be a huge thing that zaps your wallet! Just because you have 20 minutes left on your lunch break, or just because you are bored on your day off doesn’t mean you should go out and shop. Before you know it, you may have blown $50-$100! Look for other ways to entertain yourself. Choose a new hobby or download a new free app. When you shop, know what you are planning to buy and set yourself a spending limit. Set aside that money in your budget, and then be proud of yourself knowing you are in control of your spending!
6. Water Waste
Have you ever noticed how much water you waste? Leaving the tap running while you brush your teeth, wash dishes, and do other everyday things can send gallons down the drain unused. You are paying for these gallons of wasted water, so be more conservative! Turn of the water between uses, and look for ways to be savvier with your water bill.
7. Not Eating Leftovers
Leftovers may not seem like the most appealing meal in the world, but if you don’t eat your leftovers, you are certainly throwing away money! Figure out some way to incorporate leftovers into another meal. Shred leftover chicken and use it in a salad. Or toss leftover veggies into a soup. Be creative and your wallet will thank you!
8. Buying Drinks and Appetizers
My husband and I love to eat out, but we can’t afford it often on what we make. So we discovered the “trick” to eating out the less expensive way! Don’t order drinks, appetizers, or desserts. You will be able to shave $20+ off of your dinner bill by doing this! Order water, which is free at most restaurants. And choose a restaurant that offers complimentary appetizers if you must have something to munch on while you wait.
9. Leaving on Lights
Have you ever received a power bill that was jacked up so high you wondered who was tapping into your line? Well, there’s a simple fix for cutting your power bill down to size and not letting it be one of those things that zap your wallet! Stop leaving lights on in rooms you aren’t using. And certainly don’t leave lights or the TV on all night. Always check to be sure outside lights are turned off before hitting the sack. These simple tips can help you save a bundle on your power bill!
10. Driving Everywhere
If you live within walking distance of your work, school, or even everyday conveniences like the grocery store, post office, and library, then there should never be a need for you to drive to those places, outside of adverse weather of course. Start walking instead of driving! You save gas, which is a huge thing that zaps your wallet. Also, a little exercise never hurt anyone!
11. Lending out Money
Do you have friends that constantly need to borrow money from you? $5 here and $10 there can really take a toll on your wallet if they never pay you back. I’m not saying you shouldn’t help out your pal when she’s in the hole. Just make sure you remind your buds to pay you back if they forget! And for friends who never seem to take the hint, remind yourself to stop handing out your hard-earned cash.
12. Cranking the AC
One of the things that zap your wallet is always cranking up the AC. Whether it’s in your vehicle or your home, you’re going to pay precious dollars for it! Leave the AC off if you can. Run a fan or open the windows. If you absolutely need the AC on, turn it off when you are NOT at home. This will help you save at least a little more.
13. Bottled Water
Bottled water has got to be one of the biggest things that zap your wallet yet. It’s much more energy efficient, wallet-wise, and eco-friendly to switch to drinking tap water out of a reusable water bottle. You could always purchase a water filter for your tap in order to be a little healthier. Or even buy your own water distiller! It’s pricey, but what you save in the long run will make it worth the extra money.
14. Fast Food
An area that so many people spend large amounts of money on is fast food! It can end up being one of the things that zap your wallet fast. If you bring your own lunch to work, you can avoid this pitfall. Besides, fast food isn’t great for your health in the first place. Have a salad and some fruit instead!
15. Phone Plan
Your phone plan can be sucking your wallet dry and you may not even think about it! Ask yourself if you really need unlimited text messaging or 800 minutes per month. Do the math and look at your current bills to see how many texts and minutes you actually use. If you can downgrade successfully, why not do it? And if you only use an iPhone for the games, ask yourself if you could downgrade to a different phone too. You can still play games on your phone while connected to Wi-Fi, but use a cheaper phone for texting and phone calls.
16. Laundry Methods
When doing your laundry, employ this little trick to help you save money and stop laundry from being one of the things that zap your wallet! Unless your clothes are really dirty, or need sanitizing, don’t use hot water. Hot water for the washing machine uses more electricity and costs you more money. Regular, warm or cold water will work just fine. And use the same tip when taking a shower! If you can stand cooler water, that is!
17. Cheap Shopping
We all love nice, name brand or designer items, but the truth is we almost always buy the cheaper version of whatever it is we are shopping for. While this will serve the purpose and save you a few bucks sometimes, it’s usually counter productive. When you buy cheap stuff, it will often break or wear out before you get your money’s worth. Consider the item and the purpose when shopping. Usually, buying a more expensive and better quality brand will ensure you longer use of the item and therefore keep you from needing to replace it a few months down the road, saving you money in the long run!
18. Trending Items
If you are young and love to be on trend, this tip may prove a problem for you. But it’s really a perfect way to quit spending so much cash. Trending items come and go; it’s better to invest your money in quality, staple items that will last. Choose clothing, furniture, accessories and home décor based on this thought. If you must have something on trend, then at least wait until it goes on sale.
19. Car Maintenance
Car maintenance is obviously important and not something you would want to skip. But consider this: unless you have a packaged deal or some type of free service that came with the purchase of your car, don’t let your dealership do your car maintenance. Dealerships usually overcharge by a landslide, so its much more wallet savvy to find a smaller business to do your oil change and servicing. Don’t let car maintenance be one of those things that zap your wallet!
20. Overdrafts and ATM Fees
According to bankrate.com, in 2010 Americans spent an average of $7 billion on ATM fees alone. Whoa! That’s a lot of money! Don’t let ATM fees and overdrafts or late fees be one of the things that zap your wallet! Pay attention to your account and know when your bills are due and how much money you have in your account at all times. Online banking will help make this easy for you. And avoid ATM fees by getting cash back at the store or withdrawing from your bank account.
Knowing these things that zap your wallet will help you to make better choices and hopefully save money in the process! I don’t think anyone would complain about saving a little extra moo-lah! With this list, you can be more informed about every little thing that zaps your wallets and put a stop to it! Have you been keeping an eye out for things that zap your wallet?
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