What Do You Waste Money On?

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What Do You Waste Money On?

This article crossed my path this week. It’s a list from Dave Ramsey of things that Americans waste money on. We often spend money on things that are truly superfluous, unneccessary, useless, or without value. I found it to be a really interesting list. The top three items?

  1. Credit card interest
  2. Deal websites
  3. Appetizers

I’m honestly not sure if these were listed in any specific order, but those are the first three mentioned. Hubs and I both went through the entire list and were pretty relieved that we were doing okay on most of the things on the list. Go ahead and browse the list and see how you measure up.

Of course, we both had freddos from Peets earlier this week — but at least we used a BOGO coupon!

If I stop to think about it, I think that I waste money on things that I buy in the hopes of putting them to good use: books I don’t get around to reading, ingredients that I don’t end up using before they go bad, craft supplies that never get crafted, school curricula that never gets used.

This was really bad when I was a seamstress (sort of) and worked in a fabric store. I would envision all kinds of beautiful garments, bought the fabric and patterns and notions and then never got around to finishing — or even starting — the project. I bought dreams and visions, that’s what I did.

I think my biggest money waster is my good intentions. They beat out reality more often than they should.

What do YOU waste money on?


This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

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  1. I used to waste money in drugstores: cosmetics, lotions, As Seen On TV gadgets, vitamins. Much of that went to waste before I used them all up. Nowadays I’m more frugal… I asked my wife what I waste money on, and she couldn’t tell me. It’s not anything on that list (I do buy deals, but I use them, and they’re for luxuries I wouldn’t pay full price for). I’d say “ice cream”… but ice cream has such a high ROI! It’s almost a necessity. 😉 I do tend to spend a lot of money overall on low-priced groceries… I like stockpiling, but I need to be careful with my lists to avoid running out of freezer space.

  2. This month the hubs and I are doing a no spend/pantry challenge month for this very reason. We were spending 400 or so a month on eating out (isn’t that ridiculous)!!!!! So now we are challenging our selves to not eat out from Sept 24- Oct 24 (our anniversary :)) . Also I was spending way too much on this and that. Things, like you said, you PLAN on being put to good use, but alas it does not happen. So we decluttered last month and nothing new is coming into this house any time soon!

  3. Wow, that list makes us look pretty good. I rarely waste money–some would say I’m a compulsive under-spender, but I have been guilty of buying dreams as well.

    Sometimes, though, it’s not a bad idea to spend a bit of money on a dream. It helps, of course, if you get more value out of it than just the dream! LOL

  4. You nailed my problem right on the head. I have a gazillion ebooks that sit on my computer that I haven’t even looked at yet, things I buy for projects and then time goes by and eventually I can’t even remember what project I bought the things for. *sigh* Yeah, your list is pretty much my list.

  5. Feeling quite good, I scored 0/10 on Dave’s list… we do get appetizers, but we always eat all of our food, or we split a meal, so I don’t feel bad about that at all. 😉

    However, I KNOW I waste money, and, like you, it’s usually on books that I never get around to reading. I have stacks of them all over the house right now, and even though I’m working my way through, I know that most of them I will probably read once and be done. I do not utilize our local library, so I know I’m wasting money there. 🙁 That’s hard for a bookworm. I like owning books.

  6. Not much these days. Ya need money to waste it. LOL

    I’d say if there was one thing it would be things for homeschooling. There are extras that I think we will use then don’t.

    Other than that I pinch my pennies til they scream!!!!!!!

  7. Nothing on Dave Ramsey’s list applies (well, except the appetizers; sometimes I order an app for a main), but I am guilty of spending on “good intentions”. I always purchase craft supplies with the intent of making a gift or books with the intent to read… I am learning to stay away from stores and trying to use my stash of fabric/read my books before making any new purchases.

  8. I got a cold at the beginning of September and mid-September I found myself throwing away LOTS of veggies in the fridge. I hated throwing away the wasted food (or actually composting it), knowing I spent good money on it. I had great intentions for the food, of course, but sometimes I get lazy and don’t use it or use it in time. We’ve got to be constant keepers of the fridge!

  9. I got 0 for 10 on his list too! What a great feeling! But we do sometimes have to throw away food and I hate that. We spend more on fast food than we should, but sometimes what you save in time is worth the money depending on the circumstances. Overall, I would just like to see us reduce our stuff even more.

  10. I am alot like you when it comes to Scrapbooking supplies. I waste my money on wishes and dreams. I’ll see something someone has made then HAVE to buy everything to make that card, layout whatever and then never get around to using it. /sigh.

  11. I really dislike the term “waste” it means that Dave Ramsey rather than I get to determine what has value and what doesn’t. Since it’s our money I think that we should be deciding where there is “waste” based on our own measures of needs and wants.

  12. I saw this list on DR’s web site yesterday. I scored a 0/10 but in the not so distant past I had a problem with #2. I would buy “deals” that I either didn’t use or would sit in my closet/cupboard until I finally got around to using it or until I gifted it to someone else or donated it, what a waste!! I have been better lately once I realized what a problem and money pit that was!

  13. 0 on his list but I’m just like you. The money I waste is on intentions. But I figured that out a while ago and now I rarely fall into that trap, fortunately. Doesn’t mean we don’t waste sometimes, but definitely less than a few years ago!

  14. I generally agree with Dave Ramsey but I find his attitude toward those of us with credit card debt more than a bit harsh. We have credit card debt. We also have family members with chronic health conditions. Our monthly prescription bill AFTER insurance runs $350 per month. Last year our out-of-pocket medical expenses totaled $15,823. 00. Last year was very typical for us. Could we do better? Yes. Do we live wildly above our means? No. We have a small 1950s era house. We have an eleven-year-old car. We eat nearly all our meals at home. We rarely vacation out of town unless it is a car trip to grandparents. His “stupid tax” comments about those of us with credit card debt are not very Christian. I’m not stupid. Sometimes our choice is bad option 1 versus bad option 2.

    1. I bet if Dave knew you and your particular situation, he wouldn’t have the same words for you. I think his attitudes are abrasive, to be sure, but some of us need that to get our rears in gear. Does that make sense?