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They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s baffling how it magically disappears from your bank balance every month.
Are you always scraping by, unable to save, no matter how hard you try?
We’ve identified 18 money drains that silently empty your wallet.
From unnecessary subscriptions to hidden fees, these small expenses add up over time and hinder your financial goals.
We’ll break down each money drain and show you how to save by making simple changes to your spending habits.
#1. A High-Maintenance Pet
Pets are wonderful but expensive to maintain.
Vet visits, food, toys, and other accessories all add up quickly and can stretch a budget that’s already tight.
If you have more than one pet, the costs are multiplied.
To minimize expenses while having an animal companion, consider adopting less maintenance-intensive breeds such as cats and small dogs.
#2. Collecting “The Whole Set”
Whether it’s buying the entire DVD series of your favorite show or collecting expensive antiques, getting “the whole set” is a great way to spend lots of money.
It is easy to get carried away and end up spending more than you had intended once you start on this path.
If you can’t resist the temptation to get the complete set of something, then try to limit yourself in other ways.
For example, if you’re buying DVDs or Blu-Rays then look for deals and open box items.
If you’re into collecting antiques, consider looking for replicas instead of spending a fortune on originals.
#3. Taking Out Mortgages That Are Too High
Owning a home is necessary to establish security for yourself, invest in something that continues to grow in value, and develop generational wealth.
Many overcommit without understanding the financial repercussions or responsibilities that come with owning a home.
Taking on a mortgage that is too high can leave you in a precarious financial position if you find yourself without income or savings to pay your mortgage.
#4. Not Building Upon Their Financial Literacy
Continued financial education is crucial to leading a financially successful life.
Don’t ignore important lessons you need to learn as you navigate life.
Make it a priority to always be learning something new so that you can make your money work for you.
#5. Thinking They’ll Be Able to Magically Make It Through Retirement
There are, unfortunately, a lot of people in older generations right now realizing the consequences of not properly preparing for retirement.
In some cases, this was due to factors outside of their control.
In other cases, they spend money without thinking about investing and saving.
Either way, it’s important that you focus on retirement now before you reach a stage where your money isn’t going to help you get through your golden years.
#6. Going on Expensive Vacations Annually
Not every vacation has to be expensive or lavish.
It’s unaffordable and takes away from the purpose and fun of a vacation.
Alternate between big trips and little trips annually, refueling your energy bar as you take off from work without burning through your cash at the same time.
#7. Continually Investing in Hobbies They Don’t Pursue
Everyone needs a hobby that they enjoy doing when they have some much-needed time to themselves.
That said, hobbies are sometimes more fun as a concept for some people than an actual activity.
As a result, they’ll buy everything they need to do the hobby, never actually follow through with it, and then move on to the next one while their previous hobby stuff takes up space in the home.
Always follow through if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on hobbies you don’t engage in.
#8. Not Talking to Their Partner About Money
Relationships take a lot of work, but one thing you might not often hear about is the financial aspect of relationships.
Both partners have to have the same mindset regarding money, which doesn’t always happen.
Some partners may not value money as much, might lack foundational knowledge about how to spend or save, or might not care about how much they spend at any given time.
Always talk to your partner about money to make sure they’re financially compatible with you.
#9. Failing to Develop an Emergency Fund
Emergency funds are one of the most critical savings you can have.
Let’s face it; emergencies happen at the most unexpected of times.
An emergency fund gives you access to the cash you need without worrying about choosing between the emergency and other essential costs you have to cover.
#10. Waiting Too Long on Repairs
Things often break at the most inconvenient times, and repairs are expensive.
This is why many people will put getting repairs off.
While this might seem logical, it will only cost you more when the issue behind the needed repairs worsens.
Take care to deal with repairs immediately rather than hoping they’ll go away and spending more money later.
#11. Seat Belt Blanks
Even though seat belts save lives, many people refuse to wear them.
But the issue is the annoying beeping from your car.
Enter seat belt blanks.
These clip in so your car doesn’t beep any longer and you can drive belt free.
#12. Buying Flashy Things They Can’t Afford
There’s a major obsession with status throughout the U.S., and this can lead people to make purchases they don’t need.
Whether it’s luxury vehicles, designer clothing, or high-end accessories like watches, breaking the bank to create the illusion of wealth is always a bad financial decision.
#13. Eating Out Regularly Rather Than Occasionally
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself and eating out now and again.
But for some, eating out is a regular occurrence.
While eating out can seem like it’s saving you money, it can actually be more expensive than if you were to go to the store and prepare food for yourself, especially if you’re relying on restaurants and fast-food establishments for multiple meals.
Eating should be reserved for celebrations and rough patches, not for survival.
#14. Buying Excessive Amounts of Alcohol
Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with having a drink occasionally.
However, not everyone drinks in moderation.
Some people are shocked by how much others will spend on craft beers and expensive bottles of whiskey to stock their personal bars with.
Buying copious amounts of alcohol isn’t just a sign that there might be an underlying problem. It’s a significant financial disaster waiting to happen if you don’t have the funds to continue drinking the same way in the future.
#15. Too Good to Be True Products
You know them when you see them, the products that make outlandish claims, like curing cancer or washing your clothes without soap.
If it sounds too good to be believable, you need to walk the other way.
#16. Gambling Money Away
Why would you throw away hard-earned money?
To make more money, of course.
The idea of gambling can be attractive, and some people do win.
However, most people walk away with nothing, which can be a major issue if it becomes routine.
#17. Being Influenced by Online Ads and TV Ads
We live in a consumerist culture that tells us to keep buying more.
Obviously, this works on some people.
Some are easily persuaded by online and TV ads, buying anything and everything they’re told to buy.
If you don’t want to lose money and fill your home with junk, always give yourself space and time to think before you buy something.
#18. Buying Into MLM Schemes
One unfortunate side effect of a bad economy and inflation is people being more willing to do anything for cash.
A lot of people have become entangled in the webs of MLMs.
MLM schemes make it sound like you can run your own business, but they saddle you with debt to get your “business” started and give you products that you typically have little chance of reselling.
If you want to make money, you’re much better off with a side hustle.
How To Get Free Money
The idea of free money sounds like it can’t be true. But it actually is.
There are many ways you can get free money, from playing games, to watching videos, and more.
Here are the best ways you can get free money without having to work for it.
Steps To Building Wealth
We all want to have enough money that our finances are no longer a stress in our lives.
But with so much financial advice out there, building wealth seems impossible. Not any more. Here are the simple steps you need to take.
Legit Ways To Make $1,000 Fast
Are you in need of cash fast? There are many things you can do, but a lot of the ideas out there only allow for a limited income.
Here are over 25 great ways to make up to $1,000 in a short amount of time.
How To Have Stealth Wealth
When we think of the wealthy, we think of big homes and flashy cars. But many millionaires have stealth wealth.
This means you would never know they are rich by looking at them. The benefit? People leave them alone.
Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps
Using Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps is great for getting your finances back on track.
But you could do better with a few simple tweaks to his system.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.