I hate the feeling of money burning a hole in my pocket. In my youth, before I worked for a living, I never understood what that saying meant. I appreciate what it means now, however. I work hard for my money. What is the harm if now and then, I spend my own hard-earned money on useless items? That’s the thing. The damage is incremental and subtle in the short term.
In the long term, you can lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars. There are a lot of things that are a waste of money and a lot of things you can live without if you think about it.
Yard Work Contractors
I get it. Owning a home is time-consuming. One thing most people don’t consider when they buy a home is how much physical maintenance it involves. Still, since it’s your home, it’s your responsibility. Some professional landscapers might charge you up to $70-an-hour to clean up your yard. Others might cost hundreds of dollars per square yard.
If you have a big yard that needs work, it isn’t fair to shortchange any local kid or handyperson to do it either. It’s your house and your responsibility. You’ll get some moderate exercise and some time outdoors anyway. And, save a lot of money.
Cell Phone Insurance
Some people buy insurance for diamond rings. Considering that diamond rings don’t have any inherent value, their strategically manipulated scarcity makes them valuable, of what use would cell phone insurance be to anyone? Granted, the average cost of a cell phone is about $360. Still, how much did you pay for yours? I sure don’t pay over $200, if that, for cell phones.
The average cell phone insurance premium is almost $20 a month. They usually feature $275, or higher, deductibles that cost more than some cell phones. You could be limited to only two claims a year and could lose coverage if you dare to make one, depending on the carrier. Also, you don’t get to decide on the model or quality of replacement. After going through all of this bureaucratic hassle, you might be given a cheap, used, and refurbished phone to replace your original.
If you suffer from perpetual butterfingers syndrome, there are many rugged, near shatter-proof cell phones you can buy for $85 to $400. That might be a better idea than trying to insure one.
As of this writing, the average price for a gallon of gas is about $2.70. In some parts of the country, it’s about $3.60. So much gasoline is burned waiting in traffic that it is obscene. Consider that the average American driver buys at least 656 gallons of gas a year and you can appreciate the expenses of car ownership. Now ask yourself, do you need to pay these expenses?
If you have children, a large family, or work in a business that demands the use of a vehicle, then it a moot question. Now, if you don’t fit into such categories, then you should really reassess your transportation expenses. Do you mainly use your car to travel to supermarkets within walking distances? Or, do you use public transportation every day and then drive sometimes in the evening or on weekends?
You can utilize P2P car rental services when necessary. Or, bike more often. The point is, you should only drive if your lifestyle and/or vocation demands it. Otherwise, you’re just wasting a lot of gas.
Listen, taking a multivitamin is no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. Unfortunately, many people seem to think that they are the key to improved health and a longer life. There are no scientific studies that prove multivitamin supplements provide any considerable health benefits. Still, Americans spend $30 billion every year on them. That comes out to about $100 a year for most people. There must be better ways to spend or invest such money.
Cool the Need to Burn Money
If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, invest it. Open new bank accounts. Do anything except throw it away needlessly.