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Financial Tips & Guides
Apply these tips and stop wasting money

Stop Wasting Money

Updated on April 20, 2021

 Personal Finance

Stop living paycheck to paycheck. This could be your day to make a difference on the way you spend your hard earned dollars. Simple changes to your daily routine could save you thousands of dollars a year. Here are our suggestions.

Stop Paying ATM Fees

Non-network fees add up quick. Your bank could charge anywhere from 3 to 4 bucks a transaction and the ATM service provider could charge at least $1.50 for the privilege of using their machine. Credit unions and a handful of banks do not charge ATM fees or they reimburse you for those fees other banks charge. You can also avoid fees by pressing the cash back button when you make a purchase at a store.

Stop Skipping Breakfast

When you don't top off your tank in the morning, you make bad decisions. Bad eating and bad money decisions. Buying a $10 doughnut with zero nutritional value is a waste of calories and a waste of cash. Eat breakfast. It's still the most important meal since the beginning of time.

Stop Buying Brand-Name

Choosing to purchase generic will save you money. Brand-name products rarely equal higher quality. Take a blind taste test sometime. Generic drugs can also cut spending in half and the coinsurance payment is usually lower.

Stop Paying Checking Account Fees

Believe it or not, you can find a bank that offers free checking - and score a little interest. We recommend Capital One 360 and with the great tagline: 'Fees Wrecking Your Checking?' it's worth checking out. Credit unions or community banks are more likely to offer you free checking. You can search for credit unions at or find a community bank in your area at the Independent Community Bankers of America site.

Stop Visting Coffee Shops

You could save up to a $1,000 a year... Seriously, start making your own coffee at home.

Stop Using Cold Remedies

The common cold is a $3 billion business in America. Zinc, Vitamin C and Airborne still have not been proven as effective treatments. In fact, if you're using intranasal zinc, the FDA has been warning people not to put it up their noses because you could damage your sense of smell. The best action to take is washing your hands often to avoid getting a cold.

Stop Buying Expensive Gas

If your auto manufacturer says regular fuel is fine for you car, then you don't have to use the premium. A smartphone app like Gas Buddy can help locate the lowest priced gasoline in your area.

Stop Heating An Empty House

You will save 5% to 15% when you turn down your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees for at least eight hours in the winter. The lower the interior temperature of a house, the slower it loses heat. A furnace uses more energy to warm a house back up after the thermostat has been set back. The longer you keep your house at a lower temperature, the more energy you save.

Stop Driving With Low Tires

Properly inflated tires increase the life of your tire and can improve your gas mileage by 3%. Check your owner's manual to see the recommended inflation.

Stop Buying Organic Seafood

Organic seafood does not exist in the U.S.. Fish labeled 'organic' must meet certain criteria and it's difficult to control the conditions how they are raised. It gets even more confusing when you order foreign fish in a restaurant because the rules for labeling outside of the U.S. are convoluted and difficult to enforce. Save yourself the money on fish because it's really not clear if paying more is higher in quality.

Stop Paying For TV

The average cable bill is around $90 a month and the prices keep rising. Streaming services average less than $10. You can do the math and see that cancelling your cable and only paying for broadband wireless and an inexpensive streaming service will save you money. HBO and CBS are planning to offer online streaming subscriptions at competitive rates.

Stop Throwing Away Food Too Early

Sell-By dates and expiration dates are completely different. People often confuse the two. You could be wasting perfectly good food and people in the U.S. are estimated to be throwing millions of dollars away every year. Remember the Sell-By date is meant for the store to know how long to display food for freshness. There are no official federal expiration dates for food, except for baby food.

Stop Buying Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Have you seen all the DIY cleaning posts using white vinegar or baking soda? Commercial toilet bowl cleaners are stuffed with toxic chemicals, cost money and are bad for the environment. The simplest solution is to pour a cup of white vinegar in your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes, then scrub away. Now your toilet is sanitized and deordorized.

Stop Buying at the Wrong Times

Time is sometimes a luxury, but if you can plan ahead for large purchases you'll save hundreds of dollars. There are certain items that are less at certain times of year. Furniture prices drop during January and July. TVs and computers are extremely cheap on Black Friday. And, if you're flying, a trick to know is that domestic flights are cheapest 54 days in advance.

Check out our slideshare presentation.

Photograph of author Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.

With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.

When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.