If you are an American, you are most definitely throwing your money away on something. I’m not even talking about your house, car, phone or gym membership. I’m talking about that meal you ate out last night. I’m talking about that new side table you had to have. I’m talking about all that food in the fridge you bought that’s spoiling because you ate out last night instead of eating what you already bought. I’m talking about leaving the air conditioning running all day. I’m talking about credit card interest. I have a proposal for you: instead of throwing your money away, plan the trip of your dreams!
I had so much fun making this commercial. I laughed the entire time because honestly, I was watching people walk down aisles and buy stuff I know that no one needs. Everyone is free to spend their money on whatever they want. I just think it’s ironic when people say they “can’t afford” something, and yet are throwing their money away on garbage. The thing is, you can afford to save some toward travel. Maybe you just don’t realize how wasteful you are.
I spend quite a bit of time talking about this in my book. I have a whole section about cutting wasteful spending, and using that money to plan a get-away. I walk through the ways to plan a trip using only the money you saved from cutting waste! Check it out!
I read through a report done by Hloom that surveyed 2,000 Americans on their wasteful spending habits. They even broke up the statistics by generation (baby boomers, generation Y and millennials), region, income, etc. There is so much learning in this report, but I decided to regurgitate some of the findings to you, so you can have it in bite size pieces. You’re welcome.
5 ways you’re throwing money away
Uneaten groceries. Food was the biggest culprit across all generations, income levels and regions. We waste so much money on food. We buy groceries and don’t eat them. We eat out instead of cooking. We buy prepackaged food items instead of taking the time to cut things up! This is the major way we waste. According to Hloom, on average, we throw away $280 annually per person worth of groceries. If you’re married, you are throwing away $560 a year on food! That is a waste! $280 could you a ticket to Alaska or Puerto Rico. It can pay for an entire house for a week in Cancun. You could go on a weekend away to a cabin with a hot tub and enjoy some hiking. Or, you can just buy stuff you don’t eat and then fill up your trash can once a week. I mean, what sounds better to you?
Eating out more than once a week. So one of the reasons we buy groceries and throw them away is because they go bad before we eat them. They go bad because we eat out instead of eating what we bought. According to The Simple Dollar, the average meal outside the home costs $12.75. So if you eat out at once a week, that’s $663 a year. You can buy a ticket from Columbus to Ireland for $600, by just cutting back on eating out once a week. (Plus, you might end up eating those groceries you bought.)
Credit card interest. First off, if you don’t buy things you don’t need, you won’t accrue credit card interest. But, I know you love to go to Target and stock up on all the new Magnolia Hearth & Home items. So if you’re doing that, consider transferring your credit card balance to a zero interest card and paying it off. We’ve saved a pretty penny by doing that.
Clothing and tech gadgets. According to the study, if you’re a guy, you like to buy a lot of new tech gadgets or at least you want to update your gadgets way before it’s necessary. Women admit to buying a lot of unnecessary clothing and shoes in this study. I am one of those women. That’s why I made a vow on January 1st that I would only buy clothing and household goods second-hand. I knew that I was wastefully spending, and wanted to stop that by seeing if I could get by for a year without needlessly buying fast fashion. So far, I’ve stuck to it and it’s been great. I love thrifting, and have found some incredible second hand stores around. (I even bought a pair of roller blades for $5!) In light of this, I’d like to give a shout out to my sister, who when I asked for her hand-me-down workout clothes, responded “so you made a vow to not buy new stuff, and now it’s my problem to riffle through my closet and find stuff for you?” Yes, sister. It is your problem.
Streaming services, cable and entertainment. I am not sure how many streaming services you pay for every month, but it might be way more than you need. I know that some of my favorite shows are on Netflix, but not on Amazon Prime. So, that means, if I want to see both, I have to pay for both. Additionally, people bundle their internet with cable and pay for those subscriptions. But, maybe you don’t need to be spending that much on all those things. Maybe just pick one. According to Hloom, you can save $1,200 a year by canceling a cable subscription. And did you know there are ways to save on entertainment costs? And I’m not just talking about using someone else’s Netflix subscription (because I totally do that. Thanks, again to my sister and brother-in-law who let me use theirs!) My local library offers downloadable audiobooks, music, magazines and eBooks. I have read dozens of books and listened to countless audiobooks all for free. I’ve downloaded music on my phone for free. I’ve read magazines on my tablet for free. Before you just start throwing money away, check out the free options available to you. You might be surprised!
So, these are just some ways you’re throwing your money away. I know there’s even more ways that I do, which is why I’ve tried to be more intentional. The more I save on useless stuff, the more I can spend on a plane ticket to somewhere awesome!