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24 products people waste too much money on that you should stop buying immediately

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 23 Feb 2020


Some items we're used to buying every day can actually be a huge waste of money.Store-bought greeting cards, physical books, cable TV, and premium gasoline are just a few examples.Bigger purchases, such as a boat or a time-share, often aren't worth the cost either.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Waste not, want not.We make so many purchases that we don't always realize what we are buyingand how we could be saving money. If we take a step back and think about all of our additional costs, we could cut a few out of our lives.These 24 products can often be a huge waste of money:Matthew Michaelscontributed to the original version of this article.SEE ALSO:15 things you should never skimp onDON'T MISS:12 clever ways to save money every day, according to financial expertsLottery ticketsMany lottery players purchase tickets each day with the hope of striking big, but games of chance are preventing you from having more money, not less. You are expected to lose money if you play the lottery and there is no guarantee you will even keep winnings.CigarettesIn New York City, someone who smokes one pack of cigarettes a day burns up over $5,000 a year. Smoking can also be a huge cost to your healthmedical bills can rack up from the dirty habit even tobacco companies are quitting.Water bottlesAs Americans became more health conscious and started drinking less soda, beverage companies needed a new plan. It worked as Americans now drink more bottled water than soda, even though it costs $1.22 per gallon for a commodity that can be accessed for next to nothing.Brand name drugsFor most products that are exactly the same, customers would usually choose the cheaper option. This does not hold true for brand name drugs, which consistently outpace sales of their generic counterparts despite having the same ingredients and effects. Save yourself some money and buy the generic ibuprofen instead of Advil.Movie theater concessionsMovie theaters don't make profits from film tickets,but instead through food sales. The over-inflated popcorn and pricey candy is a rip off considering you can buy the same products at the supermarket for much cheaper and many theaters don't care if you bring in your own snacks (as long as you clean up after yourself).Caf coffeeBefore Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts were on every street corner, people brewed their own coffee at home. This is still somewhat popularespecially with coffee podsbut coffee shops have taken a lot of the business. With expensive price tags and long waits, it's a wonder why everyone isn't turning to homebrew.BooksA library is the best way to save money on an expensive hobby. Libraries are free and come with millions of books, DVDs, and other materials for you to borrow.TimesharesTimeshares sound too good to be true. They offer low prices for a vacation home that you can use whenever you want. But they can trap you withever-increasing fees and low resale value, making timeshares an almost guaranteed loss.BoatsOne sign of wealth is cruising on a personal yacht, but that may be a better indicator of wasted wealth. Boats are expensive on their own, but as Saltwater Sportsman says, prices for storage, gas, maintenance, and electronic navigation drive up the initial cost.CDs and DVDsCDs and DVDs arebecoming obsolete, but many people still shell out cash for hard copies of albums and movies. Like books, CDs and DVDs can be rented at libraries, but most people now stream entertainment on apps like Spotify and Netflix for a monthly rate that costs less than a single disc.Cable TVLike music and movies, television is moving from more traditional modes to online streaming. Since cable packages make you pay for more than you want, a pick-and-pay model may wind up costing you less. Streaming has the added bonus of no commercials and watching on your own schedule.Greeting cardsMake your ownit's more meaningful if you gift a personalized card and you'll save the $5.Gift cardsGift cards aren't as popular a present as you may think. Almost one in three gift cards never get used at all,CBS reported in 2014, citingConsumer Reports. Andthose who do use them tend to spend 20% more than the value of the card,according toInvestopedia. Cut your losses and buy something more thoughtful next time.Gym membershipGym memberships can be expensive, so if you're not a frequent visitor, you're just wasting money.Thankfully, there are ways to be healthy and exercise outside of a gym.Premium gasolineRegular will do just fine. For most cars,there is no needto spend more at the pump for premium gasoline. The extra cost is not worth it, so save up at the tank and pick the most affordable fuel.The newest gadgetWhenever a new gadget hits market, the older version takes a plunge in price. The old and new version will probably be very similar and the most recent model may have kinks to work out. Save a lot of money by going with a slightly older product that has nearly identical capabilities.In-game purchasesThose free games you play on your smartphone have to get money from somewhere. It turns out these games are highly addictive and designed with psychological tricks so you will spend the most money to get to the next level.Express shippingOnline retailers can make a lot of money charging customers enormous fees for quick shipping. But while the standard option may take a bit longer, the savings is worth it.Full-priced clothingBuying clothing full-price can add unnecessary expenses to your monthly budget. Not only do most in-store clothing items eventually go on sale after a few weeks, but there are countless other ways to get new clothes for less. Hit up your local thrift stores, swap clothes with your friends, or check out online second-hand retailers like Poshmark or Depop to save some money.Going out to eatEveryone knows that going out to eat is expensive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends about $3,000 a year dining out. That's a huge expense. According to an article by MoneyUnder30, this number far outweighs how much it costs to prepare food at home. The average price of a meal out is $13. In contrast, the price of buying groceries and making a meal at home is around $4 per platea whopping $9 difference.Alcoholic drinks in restaurantsWhile a whole bottle of wine at your local liquor store may cost anywhere between $10 and $15, you can expect to pay at least $8 or $9 for just a glassat a restaurant. Cocktails can cost even more, despite only containing a shot or two of alcohol per serving. Save your pennies and order a soft drink the next time you go out to eat.Food deliveryFood delivery services are sweeping the nation. Companies like Postmates, Caviar, Seamless, GrubHub, and more allow you to enjoy your favorite restaurants from the comforts of homefor an added fee. Delivery charges can cost anywhere from $2.99 to $8, costing you more money for the same product if you simply went and picked up your food yourself.High-end beauty productsDrugstore makeup has come a long way in recent years, to the point where they rival higher-end brands. The actual differences between products you find in CVS and Sephora are almost slim to noneso don't pay more for the luxury brands.Off-brand tech accessories and chargersOff-brand tech accessories and chargersmeaning ones not designed by Apple, Android, Samsung, etcare usually a waste of your money. They may seem like a cheap and easy fix when you find yourself out and about with a dead device. However, according to the experts at Money, cheap cords can actually end up breaking quickly or even damaging your device. You may end up having to purchase a new phone for the sake of a $9.99 charger.Read more:I saved over $285,000 in my 20s without ever making a budget thanks to a laughably easy strategy I use insteadThe best way to save money for the future, even if you don't know what you're saving forHow much money you should save depends on 3 thingsSaving money is a good start, but where you keep those savings can matter even more
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