Are you guilty of throwing money away?
I din’t think I was throwing money away until the other day when I returned some razors that I didn’t like.
The thought struck me: I could have throw the razors in the trash instead of taking the time to get a refund. However, I had paid $6 for those razors, and I certainly wouldn’t throw $6 in the trash!
A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have taken the time to get my refund, but lately, I’ve been more thoughtful about my habits.
I think of it this way. My husband works hard to provide for our family. He had to work X amount of minutes to earn $6 for those razors that I couldn’t use, and I want to use that money wisely so that he is not working in vain.
Here are some specific ways I have been guilty of throwing money away and maybe you have too.
1. Shopping Without a List
How many times have you gone shopping without a list and picked up more than you needed? Or maybe you forget something and ended up wasting time and money going back to the store.
I used to be guilty of this one ALL THE TIME! Then I started meal planning, and magically my grocery budget went down. 🙂 I plan out every thing that we eat: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, and desserts. Sometimes meals get moved around during the week, but we eat most of the food that I buy.
This is so much better than before meal planning. I used to throw out so many leftovers or produce that went bad. Now I don’t over buy, and I don’t have to throw out food that we don’t use up.
2. Not Returning Items You Don’t Need
A year ago, I bought my husband a belt that was the wrong size. However, he didn’t try it on until a week after I purchased it, and I had already thrown the receipt away. When I returned the belt, I had to settle for a sale price much lower than I had originally paid because there were no exact belts that I could exchange it with.
Do you throw your receipts away or keep them? If you are throwing your receipts away, chances are you aren’t able to return items very easily. Most store policies require a receipt for a cash refund.
I used to only keep receipts for big purchases. But in the past year, I started keeping almost every receipt for at least a month. That way I can return items that don’t work out.
As soon as I get home from the store, I slip the receipts in a folder on my desk. Every so often I go through the receipts and get rid of any that I don’t need anymore.
3. Late Fees
Late fees used to be my nemesis. I would forget to return my library books on time and have to pay fines. I would pay the bills a few days late and get charged late fees.
But I finally started the habit of writing the due dates for library books and bills in my calendar and highlighting them. I put my calendar in a convenient place that is easy to see each day. Then when I write out my to-do list each week, I refer to my calendar for any bills that need to be paid.
Do you forget to pay bills on time or return books and DVD’s by their due dates? Start writing the dates in one location and refer to it often.
4. Getting “Deals” You Don’t Need
I used to go shopping on a regular basis just for fun. I loved checking out the clearance racks to see what kind of deal I could get.
But the problem with that is no matter what kind of deal I was getting, I was still spending money on things I didn’t need. I was throwing my money away.
A few weeks ago, I shared how knowing your clothes style, home decor style, and favorite hobbies helps keep your home clutter free. But knowing these things also saves you money!
When you go to the store, have a running list of clothes that you need to purchase or home decor pieces that you are looking for. That way you won’t get side tracked by little things and throw your money away on things you don’t need.
It seems like just about everywhere we go, someone is asking for a donation. While it is great to give to those in true need, we can’t give our money to every one who asks for donations.
Here’s the problem with giving to these seemingly harmless charities. You don’t know how that money is being used.
- Is your entire donation going to be used for the cause?
- Do you really know what the charity is all about and if you really want to be supporting it?
- Is it part of your budget?
Instead of giving to any charity, pick the charities you trust and believe in and don’t feel guilty about not giving to the others.
We need to use our money wisely, and that includes who we give our money to.
6. Not Using Everything
I am notorious for using something to the last drop. The other day my husband held up the “empty” jelly jar and asked if we had anymore jars. I looked at him and said, “There’s still more in there!”
He handed me the jar and told me to work my magic! Well I did. I have a secret weapon for getting the inside of jars scraped clean.
It is my mini rubber spatula* which is perfect for getting into the little crevices of peanut butter jars and tomato sauce cans. I use it almost every single day!
How many times have you thrown out jars with contents still inside because you couldn’t get to it? You are throwing money away!
- Turn bottles upside down to get one more load of laundry detergent or another application of lotion.
- Scrape the sides and bottoms of bottles and jars before throwing them out.
- Cut open plastic containers to get the last bits out. I always snip the end off my face wash and am able to use it for 2 more weeks!
You will be amazed at how much longer something lasts when you deliberately use it all!
It is amazing how putting just a few of these ideas to work will save you all kinds of money! They take intention but are all possible. Decide today to be more intentional about your money choices!