Read this post in 3 minutes
When we consider wasting money, we tend to picture that one friend we know who buys everything they don’t need simply because it had “Sale!” on it. But often the biggest way in which our money gets wasted (no, not that kind of wasted) is through those harmless everyday expenses. These probably seem peripheral but over time can build up and can burn a hole in one’s pockets without them realizing it. And so, these are the following 3 almost all of us are unconsciously burning a laser through our pockets.
3. Your “cheap” Uber rides on a low battery
The thing with Uber is how we all perceive it as relatively cheap. Since most people are typically using Uber on a more casual basis to go out on the weekends, or to catch a ride home after a big event, this makes it easy to overlook the effects it has on our budgets. However, because of the common time which most people are prone to use an Uber in a certain area, ride costs can escalate via surge pricing to 2x or even 10x the usual amount. And sadly, surge pricing can affect you most if you have a low phone battery. According to an article by Forbes, this is because people with a low battery fear getting stranded somewhere so they are much more willing to spend more to get home quicker. While riders with fully charged phones have the flexibility of being able to wait longer to see if the surge pricing changes after a few minutes. To add gas to the fire, according to its privacy statement, Uber can tell if you have a low battery. Uber collects certain types of data from the users phone that allows it to detect battery information in order to determine whether to go into power saving mode. Although they claim not to use this information against riders, you still would not want to be wasting money paying a few extra dollars on an Uber ride due to the misfortune of a low battery.
2. Trips to the coffee shop
We get it. You cannot wait to get your daily dose of Starbucks each morning. Not so much for the coffee and all its benefits but so you can display on social media how its staff got the spelling of your name wrong AGAIN. As harmless as your daily coffee trips me seem they may be costing you a lot. According to a survey of American workers by Accounting Principals, Americans who regularly buy coffee throughout the week spend on average, $1,092 on coffee annually. Compared to cheaper options such as making coffee from home, that’s too many cups of dollars wasted.
1. Buying Lunch vs. Bringing Lunch
I’m sure most of us can confess how tacky bringing lunch from home looks. But the savings one can get from bringing lunch instead of buying it can be staggering. According to a recent study, bringing lunch can save one $522.26 per year (if they spend about $4.00 on buying lunch per day) to up to $2722.26 per year (if they spend about $14.00 on buying lunch per day). If the benefit of looking tacky has such a sizable price tag- most of us would take it any day.
In their book The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko give illustrations on how small but incremental transactions such as these can determine the difference between the millionaire next door and his flashy and likely poorer neighbor. With all these findings his conclusions make sense. It’s interesting to see how often wasting money is not in the big things but in the minor lifestyle habits that most of us tend to overlook.