5 Money Leaks That Are Draining Your Wallet

A recent article on Yahoo Finance discussed what author Farnoosh Torabi called 5 messy money mistakes that people often make without even realizing it.  It reminded me of the guest post I recently wrote for Free From Broke which listed 7 money mistakes that can keep you from achieving your goals.

Anyway, here are the 5 money mistakes from Farnoosh’s article followed by my own thoughts on each…


Groceries are a large part of every family’s budget, and the sad part is how much of that food ends up in the trash.   We buy more than we need and then end up throwing out the excess.  Torabi points out that the average American family throws out 25 percent of the food they buy.

I’m a big fan of warehouse clubs and buying in bulk to save money, but you shouldn’t buy more than you need just to justify your Costco membership fee.

Premium Gas

Most cars run perfectly fine on regular gas and if you’re spending more for premium then you’re just throwing your money away.  But don’t just assume regular is okay to use.  Check the owner’s manual that came with your car to confirm what kind of gas you should be using.

New Technology

I don’t even have a smart phone yet (but I’m planning to get an iPhone when my current contract is up!) so I’m not really wasting money here.  But I know plenty of people who run out to grab the newest gadget as soon as it is available.  There’s nothing wrong with being an early adopter but keep in mind that prices tend to drop dramatically after just a few months so you could save a lot by holding out for awhile.

Gym Membership

Gym memberships always seem like a good deal at first.  You sign up with the best of intentions, but before long you realize it has been 6 months since your last workout.  There are plenty of ways to sneak some exercise into your day without joining a gym, but there’s nothing wrong with a gym membership as long as you actually use it.

Music Downloads

I disagree with this one.  Downloading a few of your favorite songs is definitely cheaper than the old days of buying a CD and ending up with a dozen songs you could care less about.  Torabi suggests it is better to sign up for a monthly membership with a site like Napster so you can download more songs per month, but that depends on how many songs you’ll actually download.

[Yahoo Finance: 5 Messy Money Mistakes]
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Mike is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in finance and parenting topics. He is a dedicated husband and father of three who is obsessed with creating multiple streams of income and building wealth so he can achieve true financial freedom for his family. Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our free RSS feed and follow us on Twitter.

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  1. says

    So many people don’t eat their leftovers! I try and use every last bit up and if it is only a small amount I use it in something else. Things like left over pasta sauce can go into a curry, even a left over roast dinner can be chopped up with onions and some herbs and fried into bubble and squeak (a British thing if you never heard of it). Food is a big drain for most people.

    My best pal thinks he has a good food budget but he spends the same amount as my girlfriend and I combined!

    • Mike Collins says

      Hey Forest! We try to make sure we use all our leftovers and waste as little as possible. I usually take leftovers for work the next day and on Fridays we try to use up anything that was left over during the week. Sometimes things do get pushed to the back of the fridge and end up in the trash though.

  2. Jason Morgan says

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.


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