Make & Save Money

7 silly expenses you waste money on every month

Too much month at the end of your money? Dear South African citizen, you’re not alone. According to statistics released by the Reserve Bank, South Africa has one of the worst savings rates in the world. And it’s getting worse. Reading a headline such as ‘South Africans Among the World’s Worst Savers‘ shouldn’t come as a surprise to most of us.


We’re horrible spenders, seriously

Let’s bowl you over with this realization – We’ve got some serious spending problems – amazed? No. You know it’s true! In fact, you most probably often waste your money on extremely common but often overlooked, ways.

We don’t think much about our daily money wasters – but we need to. We waste heaps of money in our daily routine without even thinking about it! It’s comical enough to make a list over.

So we did. Here it is in short:

  1. Grocery shopping when you’re so hungry you can eat a cow.
  2. The “I’ll watch all the channels on DSTV and get my value” justification.
  3. Not actually going to the gym with your new year’s resolution gym
  4. Big appetizers before a hearty meal.
  5. ATM fees (it might only feel like At The Moment, but it adds up)
  6. Overdraft fees. Yikes.
  7. Another coffee trip with another coffee buddy. What happened to a good old-fashioned home(office)made brew?


Here it is again, explained. The list of the 7 dumbest things you waste your money on every single month:

1. Grocery shopping when you’re hungry

Or when you have all the time in the world. Avoid these two scenarios when taking a trip to your local grocery store by all means possible. If you go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, even just kind of hungry, you’ll buy stuff you don’t need or will turn into waste.

2. The D to the S to the TV

Not only do we NOT watch 90% of the channels that are on there, but TV as a concept is about as rich as a person who lives paycheck to paycheck. There are a gazillion TV and movie streaming options out there with great quality and variety. The advantage is you don’t get stuck with all the extra channels you never watch but still pay for.

3. Unused gym memberships

There are countless people that join the health club just after New Year’s Day, resolving to lose some food babies. Yet, there are many empty treadmills come February 1st. We seem to forget that, unlike the commitment, the monthly dues don’t stop. Besides, you can run around the block for free and train outside if need be.

4. Appetizers before a hearty meal

Some South African restaurants have lunch and dinner portions so big you need a doggy bag to bring home the leftovers. Why pay an extra 100 bucks to get something that will take up more room in your belly before the main meal is even brought out? Unless you’re fine dining, or you’ve got a special evening planned with the ma’am, give them a skip. No harm done.

5. ATM fees

When we use a bank that is not ours, it charges us. Then our bank charges us again. Don’t think that it’s just a few bucks here or there. It adds up. Speaking of bank fees…

6. Overdraft fees

For these, there’s just no excuse. If you keep track of your cash flow and spend less than you earn, you’ll never pay a cent of overdraft fees. Fees result from carelessness, pure and simple.

7. Daily coffee trips

Before coffee shops started popping up on every street corner, we brewed it ourselves. If you think only caffeine will get your heart beating, just take a look at how much coffee you waste your money on over a month or two. Brew your coffee at home, it’s a culture shift waiting to happen!


You can win this one

These money wasters are only the start of a deep well of broken spending habits. If you’d like to curb some of your bad spending habits, there’s no need to go buy some how-to-guide, you’ll just waste your money.

It’s simple, like this

  • Do things like shopping with a list and sticking to it.
  • Know your weaknesses and avoid them.
  • Keep track of what you own so you don’t make duplicate purchases,
  • Take only the cash you need, AND practice proper budgeting.

So, sit back and chill, you’ve got this, take charge of your spending habits!

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