Top 6 Ways We All Waste Money (And How To Stop!)

Money is the root of all problems. OK that might not be completely true, but doesn’t it feel like it sometimes? If only we didn’t have to spend every waking moment (and plenty of sleeping ones) figuring out how to get money. Think about how much easier life would be! As I realized while writing this book about collaborative consumption, money itself is meaningless, merely a representation of agreed-upon values, so a moneyless world really isn’t as crazy as it sounds…but I digress.

Until that magical day when we can thrive without money, it’s something that must be dealt with: Earned, saved, and spent on a daily basis. Unfortunately for most of us, that last part–the spending–is quite troublesome. Payday comes and goes, and after attending to all of our financial obligations, we find ourselves wondering “Where has all the money gone?”

If your cash disappears faster than donuts in the break room, it could be because you’re making one of the six most common money-related mistakes:

1. Not having a budget.
2. Not having an emergency savings fund.
3. Not managing your 401(k) properly.
4. Not contributing to retirement.
5. Not setting up the right kind of savings account.
6. Not choosing the right credit cards.

Scroll through the infographic below to zero in on the places your money is being wasted, then, use the included suggestions to stop the bleeding and keep more of your money in your pocket where it belongs.

Where Has the Money Gone?
Infographic Source:

Lead image via Thinkstock

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Samuel Essein
Samuel Esseinabout a year ago

I drive a Honda Civic from 2004. I bought it in cash in 2007 for $7000.
Other than routine oil change, I have never need to get it serviced.
I pay $27/month full coverage insurance for it (from Insurance Panda).
It costs me about $30/month to fill up at the gas tank (and I drive it to work everyday).
I think most people waste the majority of their money on their cars. Not me.

Oleg Kobetz
Oleg Kobetz1 years ago

Thank you

Sue H.
Sue H.1 years ago

And, make an effort to live within your means.

Fi T.
Fi T.1 years ago

Our environment sacrificed is much worse than money

Kamia T.
Kamia T.1 years ago

I have found that logging every single expense through Excel by category has become a great discipline. I can instantly see when I'm beginning to go a little overboard (before it's ridiculous); it reminds me when an expense I'm used to paying is going up enough it makes sense to re-shop it (like internet connection); and it helps to see when I'm doing a good job of budgeting and bill paying.

Rose Roma
Rose R.1 years ago

A. Keep a little notebook of every single penny you spend so you appreciate how much flows through your life and what categories it is expended on and so you have a pattern to budget from. B. Whatever you loan or give away TRULY cast upon the waters and release w/o strings or expectations of return. C. Every $ you spend is a vote. D. Charge what you are worth. E. Invest in yourself. F. Try to get the world back on the monetary standard of measuring worth by quality not quantity. G. Relax. H. Do not hoard.

Donna F.
Donna F.1 years ago


Sara Gustavsson
Sara Gustavsson1 years ago

thanks for sharing

Ida Gian
Ida Gian1 years ago

No, money isn't the root of all problems BUT love is!!!
Then comes money.
This is my humble opinion.

Christine Stewart

Thankfully, I am on the right path considering most of these items!