3 Surprising Ways You’re Wasting Money

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated June 14, 2019

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Money Saving Tips
June 14, 2019

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Some ways that people waste money are quite obvious, such as going to a drive-through restaurant for gourmet coffee every day, but some money-wasting habits are a bit more surprising.

Occasionally, even frugal people go out to eat, and will wisely get a to-go box for their leftovers. This is a great way to get two meals for the price of one. But what if the to-to box gets pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about? You’ll probably discover it once mold has taken over and it’s no longer safe to eat.

Many people cook a large meal simply because they want to have leftovers. Then they won’t have to cook every single night — they can just pop the leftovers in the microwave. But you may discover that once you have eaten the roast beef, chicken, or other entrée you have prepared, that you and your family just aren’t in the mood for it again in the same week. To the back of the fridge it goes, where it just winds up being thrown out eventually. This is a huge money waster!

Hint: Put your leftovers in freezer containers and freeze them for another day when you are in the mood to eat them. This keeps the food fresh and safe to eat for a few months.

Many people sign up for a free trial for a service so that they can enjoy it for 30 days or a few months before they are charged for it. Often they forget to cancel the service or even talk themselves into keeping it.

Hint: Mark the expiration date of the free trial on your phone or desk calendar reminding yourself to cancel it. Another wise idea is to not sign up for the free trial in the first place if you will be tempted to keep it once the trial is over. Ask yourself if it’s really in your budget if you’re tempted to keep it.

Often people sign up for credit cards, insurance policies, or other products or services that offer various discounts for their members. If you’re like many people you’re aware of the discount when you sign up, but forget about it. Or maybe you don’t even know all the discounts you’re eligible for! Especially if you sign up for a rewards credit card, you want to be sure you’re taking advantage of all the perks and bonuses.

Hint: Keep a list of all these discount programs on your phone or somewhere else that’s handy. You’ll know with a glance what discounts are available to you when you start to buy a product or service. These discounts can save you lots of money over time.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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