The Jerk

Why Do People Waste So Much Money?

in budgeting

You and I are creatures of habit.  If you’re struggling to pay down debt or save for the future- you’re battling some serious spending demons and most of them can be boiled down to one concept: “wasteful spending.”  What many fail to realize is that the worst wasteful spending simply comes out of bad habits and a tendency to do things because we’ve always done them- but if you’re trying to change your lifestyle for the better and get real with your money, you’re going to want to look at the little habitual tasks you take for granted.

For instance- when was the last time you looked at your phone bill to make sure you weren’t overcharged or have been going over your minutes?  Do you even pay attention to your cable bill or have automatic bill pay?  When was the last time you looked for a discount on your insurance?  How much do you spend on food simply because you insist that you don’t have the time or talent to prepare your own food?

Too often we become complacent with our spending habits- and when we are struggling to form healthier habits with our money, we fail to realize that purging some of the old ones will do the most good.

Sit down and do a quick mental run through of your day- what do you spend your money on?  Now give some thought to your monthly bills, where could you cut back or negotiate better deals?  Finally, take a moment to look at your major weaknesses with money- what gets you to overspend and do you need to unsubscribe to some email newsletters from your favorite retailers so you aren’t tempted? Are you an emotional shopper or do you have a tendency to spend way too much on gifts or fail to plan ahead for big events and end up overpaying for convenience?

Wasteful spending usually comes when we mindlessly pay bills without looking over them semi-annually and also when we get in the habit of shopping when we have a bad day.  Evaluate your harmful financial habits and do a world of good for your money!


Shannyn is the creator of a personal finance blog for 20-somethings just starting out on their quest for financial balance & simplified money management. Her goal is to reinvent frugality in a way that’s modern, functional & practical for the new generation.

Ryan Bales

About Ryan Bales

Ryan is the Founder and CEO of Bync, which he founded in 2012.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Careful Cents October 27, 2011 at 8:14 am

This is a really good idea to do on a consistent basis. I can get complacent pretty easily because I like having my routine, and just do things because “I’ve always done them”. But if I take this tip, and a couple times a year just think over my day, and see how I can change it. It could make a big difference!


Gretta April 24, 2013 at 4:19 am

I am a spartan person naturally – I prefer a small, undecorated place and simple food. I just don’t have the taste for more. This means I have leftover money – every paycheck. My mom, making far more than me, is always in debt – because she buys nick-knacks, has coffee at Starbucks, etc. I think a lot of it is just people getting used to a certain lifestyle and feeling like they “need it”. Think of all the “poor” people with cable. They basically don’t want to admit it’s their own fault, and that’s why they stay poor and in debt.


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