The 10 Best Ways to Waste Your Money

by Scott Sery on December 27, 2012

As financially savvy adults, we know that we need to maintain some insurance, save for retirement, shop smart, and overall get the best deals.  It feels great to know that you are maximizing your finances.  But sometimes we just want to blow some money.  For those times when you simply have too much and you want to waste it, here are the top ten ways to do so.


One of the best ways to get rid of that extra money in your pocket is to feed it into a slot machine.  Since most states do not allow slot machines, buy a lottery ticket.  The chances of winning the Powerball are about 1 in 150million, but just think of how much extra cash you will have to throw around when you win.

Shop Hungry

The procrastinator’s creed is to wait until the last minute.  When you do so to shop for groceries you can be sure to pick up a lot of snack foods that look appealing at the time.  Most likely you will only eat part of them and throw the rest away making this a great way to waste money.

Don’t Comparison Shop

Stores are looking out for your best interest.  They will always offer their product for rock bottom prices.  If you need something, just buy the first one you see because you are busy and do not have time to look anywhere else.

Pay Bills Late

When you owe bills, the companies are just happy to get their money.  Whenever you get around to paying your bill is fine as long as you pay it.  A little late fee of $20 or $30 (plus the added interest if it is on a loan) is not much for the convenience of paying whenever you want.

Don’t Invest In Your 401k

Social Security is sure to be around, and already takes out enough from your paycheck.  You want to have your money now (to spend on other things you probably do not need).  So instead of setting aside $25 per paycheck (and getting matched by your employer), spend the money now.

Buy the Extended Warranty

When you make a big purchase, like electronics, furniture, or a car, chances are it will break down in the first few years.  After all, that is why these warranties are offered.  They may add up to 10% of the purchase cost of the product, but the peace of mind is worth it.  If you end up not using it, oh well, it was only 10%.

Gym Memberships

This New Years make the resolution to get fit.  Go buy the most expensive gym membership you can find, since the more expensive gyms are obviously better than the cheaper ones.  You will probably use it through January and then “forget” to go.  But that contract means you will pay all year.

Smoking and Drinking

Included in this list are all the other bad habits, such as drinking soft drinks, fast food, and snacks.  If you can, purchase these items from a vending machine, they will have the highest markup.  Another benefit from spending all that money on junk is that your body will break down and you will have high hospital bills too.

Buy Name Brand

Everyone knows that name brand is simply better quality.  That is why it is name brand, right?  So rather than pay $1.50 for a box of cereal, get the exact same thing for $3.50.  You will get just as much nourishment and have the confidence that you spent a lot more.

Keep Everything Plugged In

Especially keep those cell phone chargers in the wall.  They will keep cycling and using energy, so you will be sure to have a high electric bill each month.   There is no reason to spend the extra few seconds to unplug, so just leave it plugged in.

In case you didn’t catch it, the majority of this article is a facetious look at where we waste money.  Every one of us is guilty of spending more than necessary in at least one of these aspects.  Do a simple spending analysis on yourself right now.  Are you throwing out money unnecessarily?  While there is nothing wrong with treating yourself on occasion (drinks at the bar with friends) it is a problem when you do it regularly and it becomes a major part of your budget.  Commit to one less “treat” each month next year, and invest (or pay down debt) the money you save.

By the way, gym memberships aren’t necessarily all bad.

What are you planning on cutting out of your budget in 2013?

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Scott Sery

Scott Sery is a native to Billings, Montana. Within an hour in nearly any direction he can be found fishing, hunting, backpacking, caving, and rock or ice climbing. With an extensive knowledge of the finance and insurance world, Scott loves to write personal finance articles. When not talking money, he enjoys passing on his knowledge of the back country, or how to live sustainably. You can learn more about Scott on his website Sery Content Development
  • To be completely honest, I don’t plan on cutting anything out of my budget.

  • John S @ Frugal Rules

    There’s really nothing we’ll be cutting out of our budget next year. We’ve been budgeting for about 10 years and have it pretty streamlined now.

  • Jason @ WorkSaveLive

    We just got a new Planet Fitness near my house and we’ve been going to it for a few months now. Their standard membership is $10/month and their “high-end” one is only $20 month. While it would still be a waste of money if we didn’t use it…it’s still only $10. 🙂

  • I cringe when I think of how many people throw away money like this. Sure, I have my vices, but I plan and budget for them. When I worked at the bank, I used to have people come in asking for overdraft fees to be waived after busting their accounts at a casino ATM!

    • I would probably stand there and laugh at them after seeing the fees coming from a casino 🙂

  • I’m the worst when it comes to shopping hungry. So often I will walk through the shops and want to buy every bit of food in sight.

    I get around this now by parking my car around the back and walking straight into the supermarket bypassing the food court.

  • Pingback: Do Lower Fuel Costs Justify Buying a Green Vehicle? | One Smart Dollar()

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