5 Big Money Wasters That Get In the Way of Building Wealth

“Wealth is not about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.” — Chris Rock.

Wealth; everyone wants it, but very few have it, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of overspending and other negatives that lead down the abyss. Building wealth isn’t easy, so you must avoid some pitfalls to start building financial security.

So, if you’re looking for more flexibility and want to take action toward securing your financial future, here are some money wasters you should eliminate.

1. Dining Out

We’re not saying you should cut out all food and drinks, just what you don’t need. But, according to USDA, 30-40% of the food supply in the U.S. ends up as food waste and a staggering majority of that comes from the retail level.

In 2010, $161 billion worth of food was wasted in the U.S. alone, and yes, that includes that casserole you swore you’d finish. Uneaten and expired food also make up a large percentage of waste.

Drinks can quickly drain your wallet, especially with inflation and the frequency of occasions. Whether partying, celebrating, or splurging on expensive champagne, one can spend a lot of money on drinks.

Cut down on Starbucks, only buy groceries you need, make the appropriate portion of meals, and avoid hitting the pub every weekend.

2. Subscription Services

Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, and Apple Music. These make media consumption much easier and much more streamlined — everything you need at the push of a button. But you’d want Disney Plus for the kids, or ESPN plus for sports, and maybe Hello Fresh for those late-night meals. These subscriptions pile up, and before long, you could rack up several hundred dollars in bills.

U.S. families pay an estimated $200 monthly in subscriptions on average; a fair chunk of those is for barely used services. TrueBill and PocketGuard are handy apps that allow you to monitor your bank statement, cancel subscriptions, and track your finances from your computer and phone. Take back some of that cash, yeah?

3. Impulsive Shopping

We’ve all been there, scrolling through Instagram and seeing the latest fashion trends or luxury items that we don’t need but feel like we can’t live without.

Before we know it, we’re clicking that “buy now” button and throwing our hard-earned cash out the window. But do you need another pair of shoes you’ll only wear once or that designer handbag that costs a small fortune?
Probably not.

By resisting the urge to make these impulse purchases and being more intentional with your spending, you can save money and use it to build wealth rather than your closets. So, the next time you’re tempted to make an unnecessary purchase, remember that a full wallet is always in style.

4. Not Tracking Expenses

It’s like that old saying, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” If you don’t track your expenses and save money, you’ll have an empty wallet and no cake to show for it.

It’s all too easy to spend money without really thinking about it, especially in this day and age when we’re bombarded with ads for the latest gadgets, clothes, and other shiny things that we “have to have.”

But the truth is, every penny counts, and not tracking your expenses and saving can seriously mess with your plans to build wealth. So, take a minute to look at your spending habits and see where you can cut back. It could mean skipping that daily latte or bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out. And with saving, even a little can go a long way (and even buy you a slice of cake).

5. Buying Brand Names

It could be upgrading to the latest iPhone when your current model is barely a year old, or maybe it’s only using Chanel products because that’s your brand. Perhaps it’s upgrading that model Tesla because it’s an automobile made in heaven. But buying brand names can be a huge money waster, especially when paying extra for a label or logo. Those designer sneakers might look great, but are they worth the price tag? Probably not.

If you can get the same value at a price point that doesn’t break the bank, why not? It could make you look like a cheapskate, but it’s your money on the line. You’re not being stingy, you’re being practical, and that is nothing to worry about.

Building wealth is all about making intelligent choices with your money. Whether cutting back on unnecessary expenses, saving consistently, or resisting the temptation to splurge for the ultra model, every little thing helps. So, set realistic goals, and make a plan to achieve them. You can build the financial future you’ve always wanted with some discipline and good habits.