Money & Career

10 things you're wasting your money on

By: Helen Racanelli

Author: Canadian Living

Money & Career

10 things you're wasting your money on

By: Helen Racanelli
1. Lattes

That Starbucks latte or cappuccino habit can add up. Give up the expensive coffees for a regular coffee (a "plain" coffee is always under $2, even at Starbucks) and save a few dollars every day. Better yet, brew your own at home.

Read more: Recipe: Iced Cappuccino Float2. DVDs and CDs

Sure, unwrapping that great new movie or getting the latest CD from your fave artist is exciting, but buy used from places like Blockbuster or and save lots of money. Or just rent the DVDs or purchase select tunes you like from iTunes.

Read more: Stop fighting over money3. Using the washer and dryer every day

Tossing just a few things in the washing machine and then the dryer every day? You're washing water, energy and money right down the drain. Save on energy (and help the environment) by running the washing machine only when it's full. Go for a cold-water wash, and line-dry for optimal savings.

Read more: 10 ways to save energy in your home4. Restaurant or fast-food lunches

If you spend even $8 a day on a lunch because you don't brown-bag it, that's $40 a week, and $160 a month. Can't discipline yourself to make lunch every day? Cut back a few dollars by bringing your own drink, or buying a less expensive item from the menu.

Read more: Lunch ideas5. Clothes you don't need

That second pair of straight-leg dark wash jeans, that second pair of strappy silver sandals ...we've all been tempted to buy just one more item that's nearly identical to something we already have in our closets. Three words: Don't do it.

Read more: You only need these wardrobe staples6. Gas

You can do something to improve your fuel economy. Slow down a bit where possible, keep the heavy stuff out of the back of your car and open the windows instead of using the A/C.

Read more: 30 ways to cut your gas usage7. Brand-name groceries

Your beloved brand of cheese, cereal or can of soup likely does not taste exactly the same as a less expensive version. Fair enough. But there are some things you can probably scrimp on without noticing the difference, like mustard or ketchup, sugar, vinegar, flour, salt and other basics.

Read more: Save money and energy in the kitchen8. Cellphone contract

Do you use your cellphone to chat or do you use it just to touch base quickly with most calls lasting under a minute? If you're a quick talker, opt for a pay-as-you-go plan that may cost approximately $15 a month or less, as opposed to a contract with more minutes (that you won't use) for $30 and more per month.

Read more: 40 ways to put money in your back pocket9. The convenience store

Gum. Tabloid magazines. Bags of chips. Cookies. If you're dropping $20 a week at your corner store, consider cutting back on the impulse purchases and planning better through the week so that you don't need that last-minute milk jug.  

Read more: How to make healthy choices at the convenience store10. Lottery tickets

The odds of winning a multimillion-dollar jackpot are stacked against you. Really, really stacked against you. If you're not ready to give up on lotto tickets altogether, at least curb your habit.

Read more:
How to live on less money
Money myths
30 simple ways to improve your finances
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Money & Career

10 things you're wasting your money on