12 Sneaky Everyday Expenses You’re Most Likely Missing and That Are Draining Your Wallet

Saving money is easier said than done, but what if you’re trying your best and still losing money every month? You might be paying for something you forgot about. Here are some common things that can drain your wallet if you’re not careful.

1. Cell Phone Upgrades

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We won’t mention brands, but some companies release a “newer” version of their phone model yearly. The phone has a slightly faster processor, graphics, design, etc. The marketing campaigns are so good that many start feeling left out. What happens?

They impulsively purchase a new phone despite not needing a new one. Read, find a hobby, and reorganize your life so that you’re keeping more money in your pocket. If you truly want the new phone, make sure that you don’t do so out of impulse.

2. Wi-Fi

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It’s 2023, and most cafes, bookstores, and restaurants have free Wi-Fi. So instead of paying an extra monthly bill, stop by a local store and ask if they have free Wi-Fi. If the pressure of buying something chases you away from an establishment, head over to a local library. They have free Wi-Fi and computer time for members.

3. Subscriptions

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The easiest way to spend money is to forget you’re spending. With free trials and endless promotional deals, targeted ads weasel their way into curated feeds, causing you to purchase unwanted subscriptions.

Don’t fall into the free trial trap. If you indulge in free trials, cancel them before they end up on your bank statement. Set an alarm before the payment is finalized. 

4. Coffee

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A medium coffee at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks averages $4 to $5. Let’s say you drink three coffees a week at $5; that’s $15 a week, $60 a month, and $720 a year. Today, one pound of coffee beans costs shy of $2. You do the math. 

5. Low-Quality Items

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Purchasing lower-quality items costs more in the long run. For example, buying a cheap aux cord that breaks every two weeks is worse than investing in a better quality, more expensive cable. 

6. Convenience Fees

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Raise your hand if you ever ordered Uber Eats because you didn’t want to drive. I’m guilty, but calling in an order and driving to the restaurant to pick up the food would have been half the price of Uber Eats.

Delivery services operate on overcharging their food to pay their drivers, the restaurants, and the company. You will spend too much on cold food delivered two hours after you order it. 

7. Name Brands

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For those who don’t know, name-brand ingredient chips taste the same as generic chips. Some think name-brand items taste or look better than generic items, but it’s a placebo effect. 

8. Paper Towels

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Want to adopt a greener lifestyle? Stop using paper towels. One thrifter shared that they never buy paper towels; instead, they use old rags, towels, or handkerchiefs instead of single-use paper products. 

9. Cable

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Television isn’t what it used to be. While cable subscriptions and services are still in business, over-the-top subscriptions and customizable streaming services allow you to pay less for more.  

10. Vending Machines

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A business mastermind invented vending machines. They sit in convenient locations with high traffic levels, like airports, hotels, and bus stops. If pressed for time between flights, you’ll buy a quick bag of $2 chips or $3 cookies rather than seek out a restaurant and chance missing a connection.

At the time, $2 or $3 doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but it adds up. To avoid overspending at vending machines, visit a local dollar store or grocery store and purchase snacks to travel with. 

11. Food

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Living today is expensive. Sure there are methods to reduce living costs, but overall, living costs a lot of money. Food is one of the most significant unrecognized wastes of money.

Dining at restaurants is a fabulous way to experience new establishments in your area, but if you eat out every day or several times a week, you will spend more money than cooking or meal prepping. When you dine out at a restaurant, you pay for service, food, preparation, and display. That’s why Brussels sprouts with a squirt of lemon cost $14 instead of the market value of $3.

12. Self-Care

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It’s good to look fresh, but going to get a haircut each week is hurting your wallet. You don’t need to go as far as cutting your own hair, but you could wait a week or two more. This may apply more to men, but women also get their nails done frequently.

Don’t neglect self-care, but try to limit yourself if you’re doing this every week.