Alright, there are definitely some essential expenses in life, some things that you absolutely can’t avoid paying for. I’m talking about your rent, the fact that you need to put food in your mouth, maybe we could even throw things like student loans and car payments in there.
But, let’s be honest, there are some expenses that we should all be avoiding completely! And I’m not saying you need to strip your life down to the bare essentials, living like a caveman and living only off the land. But with a few quick and painless lifestyle changes, you could be freeing up a ton of room in your monthly budget.
In this article, I’m going to go through the things that I will never spend money on again. And, trust me, if you cut these things out of your life too, you probably won’t even notice they’re gone. These are the 7 things I will never spend money on again. Let’s go!
#1: Bank Fees – The Fine Print
To start off this list, let’s talk about something that you will absolutely not miss once you cut it out of your life because it’s something that no one likes. I’m talking about bank fees! Alright, first of all, if you’re still using a bank that charges you fees, it’s time to get out of there!
There are so many options for banks that have zero fees these days that there’s absolutely no reason you should be sticking with that bank that’s eating away at your savings with those unnecessary fees. Some banks will charge you for not transferring enough money into your savings account each month or not having the minimum required amount in a certain account. And the list of these hidden fees can just go on and on and on with some banks.
Go online and find a new bank that doesn’t charge any fees and then move all your money over there. Plain and simple. Check out the Capital One 360 Checking Account, or maybe the Discover Cashback Debit Account if you want to get some nice rewards. Regardless, these are some great bank accounts that will never charge you any fees, so do your research and keep your money where it’s supposed to be: in your pocket.
Next up on this list is another banking-related fee you should be avoiding altogether, ATM fees!
#2: ATM Fees – Who Needs Cash Anyway?
Nowadays, there’s almost no reason whatsoever to use cash anyway. In my opinion, you should try to use your credit card as often as possible to get all those reward points. That’s just free money for swiping a piece of plastic and then paying off your balance!
But, occasionally, there may come a time when you need to have some greenbacks in your hand. So, when that time comes, don’t go to the ATM at your local convenience store or at some bank that isn’t yours. Go to an ATM that has your bank’s name on it.
ATM fees can be absurdly high. I mean, if you go to the ATM and all you need is $20, sometimes they’ll charge you almost $6 just for using the wrong ATM! And if you’re doing that over and over again, that can add up really quickly.
So, instead of just going to the nearest ATM, make that extra 5-minute drive to your bank and avoid those fees. Or just take out some cash whenever you go to your bank so you have it on hand when you need it. But, the lesson here is: if your bank’s logo isn’t on that ATM, don’t use it.
But what if you don’t have a car and your bank is just too far away to go to regularly? Should you take an Uber over there? Hell no!
#3: Uber and Lyft – Rideshare Rip-Offs
So, I’m not saying you should never spend money on an Uber or Lyft again. Sometimes it’s really the best option. But there are a whole lot of times when you pay that hefty Uber cost and you could have saved a ton of money by using a different means of transportation.
If you live in a city in the U.S., there’s no reason you shouldn’t be using public transportation to get around. Most cities have great public transport that will take you close enough to pretty much anywhere you want to go. Sure, New York City subways can be kind of gross sometimes, but bring your hand sanitizer, hop on the train, and start saving money!
Another great way to get around town for cheap? Get a bicycle! Biking is a great way to get to places that are too far to walk to, and you’ll get some good exercise while you’re at it. Plus, you can find bikes for like $100 on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, and they’ll save you so much money in the long run.
If I were to tell you that I’ll never take another Uber in my life, I’d be lying. But the more you can avoid it and use a more affordable form of transportation, the better. Let’s be honest, those Ubers can be damn expensive.
But before I go anywhere, regardless of what kind of transportation I take, there’s one thing that I absolutely must have, and that’s coffee. And if you’re buying that coffee at Starbucks every day, you’re definitely spending too much on it.
#4: Coffee – Cash Cow Cappuccinos
Don’t get me wrong, that Salted Caramel Cold Brew from Starbucks on a hot summer day is some good stuff. But when it costs like $10 a pop, you probably shouldn’t be getting one every morning. I know a lot of people that pick up a coffee from the same shop every single morning before work. And if they were to just switch to making their coffee at home, they’d probably save hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year.
Seriously, let’s say a cup of coffee costs like $1 to make at home and costs like $5 at the cafe, and you get one every day of the year. Over 365 days, that’s over $1,400 you could’ve saved just by firing up the old Mr. Coffee at home.
But what if you absolutely must have the fancy cappuccino? Well, get an espresso machine and learn how to make them yourself. It’ll be a ton of fun and you’ll still save money in the long run.
Speaking of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, I bet all of you reading this have gotten a gift card to one of those places at some point or another, and that is another thing I will never spend money on again.
#5: Gift Cards – Overpriced Plastic
Alright, a gift card is a nice gesture, sure. But I bet everyone out there has at least one unused gift card lying around that they got for a birthday like 5 years ago. A study done in 2020 showed that about 80% of gift cards get used, leaving about 20% unused. Americans alone left $3 billion dollars of gift card money unused in 2020. That just feels to me like we’re handing over free money to these big corporations.
I know, I know, regardless of whether you buy a gift card or something else as a gift, you’re probably going to be spending the same amount of money. But instead of spending money on a piece of plastic that has a 20% chance of not getting used, buy that person some merchandise or just give them cash. I’d rather have $10 in cash than $10 that I can only use at Burger King.
So a lot of gift cards end up being useless pieces of plastic, but the next thing on this list is a useless piece of paper that the government has fooled people into thinking is their ticket to the high life. I’ll never spend money on lottery tickets ever again!
#6: Lottery Tickets – Government-Sponsored Robbery
Where do our governments get off arresting people for financial fraud and theft when they’re out there selling lottery tickets? Hell, we should just start calling them “robbery tickets,” because that’s what they are! Buying lotto tickets is notoriously one of the worst ways you can spend your money, but yet so many people play the lotto every day.
I get it, we all dream of having a million dollars dumped on us one day, and then suddenly your whole life changes and you’re filthy rich. But, in reality, it just isn’t going to work out like that. The odds of winning the Powerball or the Mega Millions are both around 1 in 300 million, which means it just isn’t going to happen to you. Sorry.
Even if you end up getting some smaller winnings, the amount you spent on those tickets every day almost always adds up to more than you won. The bottom line is: the lottery is a scam and a waste of money and you should never spend your hard-earned cash on it again.
Want to hear another scam that tons of people fall for? Extended warranties!
#7: Extended Warranties – Covered For What?
I can totally understand why people fall for extended warranties on stuff like new TVs or other electronic devices. You want your new expensive purchase to be covered so if anything bad happens to it, you won’t have to pay for a whole new one! Logical, right? Well, before you sign that dotted line, you should do some serious cost-benefit analysis.
A lot of extended warranties can up the price of an item by as much as 50%, which can be a ton of money in some cases! For instance, you get a $1,000 TV, and the extended warranty costs $500! Now, $500 is a lot of cash. Do you really need that TV covered? All your kids have moved out of the house, so no one’s going to be throwing the football around the living room. So what are the odds that some freak accident is going to happen and that wall-mounted flatscreen is going to shatter? I’d say they’re pretty small.
Plus, if an accident like that happens 3 years down the line, the value of that TV itself is probably going to be less than $500 anyway because the new versions have come out and yours is obsolete. Sometimes extended warranties are worth it. They bring you peace of mind, and they actually come in handy if you have a freak accident. But do that cost-benefit analysis, and you’ll realize that a lot of the times, they’re pretty much a scam.