How To Stop Wasting Money

Last updated Mar. 17, 2024 by Jessica Green

You cannot build wealth and achieve your financial goals if you keep wasting money on food, clothes, and travel. Although these expenses are inevitable, there are still ways you can cut down on them in order to leave more room for savings and investment.

The expenses you make on groceries, subscriptions, transportation, food, and more may seem insignificant, but when added up, they cost a lot. To help you prevent wasteful spending, this article goes into detail on how to save money.

It provides a breakdown of how to stop wasting money on food, clothes, travel, cars, subscriptions, utilities, gym membership, transportation, and more.

Table of Contents Show Table

General Tips On How To Stop Spending Money

1. Create a Budget

To avoid spending unnecessarily, make a budget. There are different types of budgeting plans, some of which include zero-based budgeting, 50/30/20 plan, envelope method, no-budget plan, and reverse budgeting plan.

  • Zero-based Budgeting Plan: This is when you assign a purpose, task, or plan to every dollar you earn.
  • 50/30/20 Plan: This budgeting plan states that you should assign 50% of your take-home pay to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings, investment, or debt payment.
  • Envelope Method: This method uses envelopes to categorize expenses. It involves labeling an envelope (grocery, utilities, or rent envelope) and stashing the envelope with cash.
  • No-budget Plan: This plan demands you to know your monthly income and the exact amount you spend each month. Once you know this, all you have to do is save the difference between your income and expenses.
  • Reverse Budgeting: Once you receive your monthly income, set aside money for monthly expenses, and save the rest.

If you cannot create a manual budget, use budgeting apps like YNAB, GoodBudget, PocketGuard, EveryDollar, and more.

Another Interesting Article: The #1 Key To A Successful Budget

2. Have A Goal Partner

If you want to put an end to your wasteful spending on food, clothes, and travel, then have a partner with similar goals.

A goal partner can be a friend, family member, work colleague, or anyone who shares similar interests as you.

Once you have a goal partner, you’re less likely to engage in wasteful habits. The both of you can act as each other’s guide.

3. Avoid The Use Of Credit Cards

You are bound to waste money on food, clothes, and travel if you keep using your credit cards.

Additionally, credit card incurs interest on every purchase you make. To avoid paying interest, use cash or a debit card.

4. Use A Prepaid Card

A Prepaid card is similar to a debit card. It’s a card that allows you to spend whatever money you store in it.

It is advisable to use a prepaid card as it only allows you to spend what you have – this is unlike a credit card.

Here’s how to use a prepaid card:

Once you receive your monthly income, set aside money for expenses and deposit it into a prepaid card. Save the rest of your income in a locked account to avoid falling into temptation.

Use the prepaid card for your daily expenses.

5. Set Financial Goals

A financial goal helps you stay motivated and committed to your budget and savings plan.

With a realistic goal in mind, you can make adjustments to your spending, track expenses, avoid debt traps, and know what to prioritize.

6. Pay Off Debts

Once you focus on paying off debts, you’ll become less likely to waste money on food, clothes, travel, and whatnot.

7. Track Your Finances

Keeping track of all your finances allows you to become conscious of your financial situation. And once you gain knowledge of your situation, you’ll be less likely to make unnecessary expenses.

How To Stop Wasting Money On Food

How To Stop Spending Money on Food

1. Buy In Bulk

Buying food items or groceries in bulk allows you to save money due to the lower per-unit cost of bulk items.

Some food items and groceries to buy in bulk include eggs, canned goods, butter, olive oil, rice, cereal, fish, pet food, toilet paper, batteries, laundry detergent, soap, and a lot more.

Although the price for bulk items is often expensive, it’s worth the money. Local supermarkets like Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart are well-known bulk-friendly stores to visit.

2. Avoid Eating Out

Restaurant meals are convenient but expensive. So if you’re trying to stop wasting money on food, avoid eating out.

If you do the calculations right, it is cheaper to prepare food at home than eat at restaurants.

When you make your own meals, you can take advantage of food and grocery discounts, which helps you save money.

3. Plan Your Grocery List

Do not go grocery shopping without a plan or grocery list.

Make a list of everything you want to buy. And review it strictly. Remove an item that you deem unnecessary. It is also important to know the exact prices of items to avoid being frustrated when you get to the store.

To avoid overspending during grocery shopping, drop your credit or debit card at home and go shopping with the exact amount you need for items.

Note: Do not go shopping on an empty stomach. You can be tempted to make unnecessary expenses.

4. Take Advantage Of Grocery Coupons And Discounts

With coupons and discounts, you can stop wasting money on food. Visit stores like Walmart, Costco, Aldi, and Sam’s Club to enjoy multiple discounts on groceries. With a Costco membership, you can have access to more discounts and exclusive deals.

To easily find grocery coupons, install extensions like Honey on your mobile device. This extension helps you locate discounts and coupons whenever you shop online.

You can participate in online surveys to receive coupon rewards.

5. Reduce Food Waste and Plan For Left Over

If you decide to cook at home rather than eat out, you can save more money by reducing your food waste and making plans for leftovers.

Always buy canned or frozen products to prevent spoilage. And keep leftovers refrigerated.

Another Interesting Article: How Much Should I Budget For Food?


How To Stop Wasting Money On Clothes

1. Shop the End-of-Season Sales

End-of-season sales period is a great time to shop for clothes. During this period, most clothing stores offer up to 50% discounts.

End-of-season sales are sales that occur at the end of each season. For example, winter clothes are often popular from December to February. From the start of March, the demand for winter clothes decreases. In a bid to sell off old stocks, most stores will offer discounts – this is called end-of-season sales.

2. Host a Clothing Swap

Hosting a cloth-swapping event is a good way to stop wasting money on clothes.

A cloth swapping event is a get-together where people bring their old and unwanted clothes in order to swap/trade them with another. So rather than buy new clothes, you can exchange them for another.

Meet up with your friends, family, or colleagues and suggest hosting a cloth-swapping event with them.

3. Ask for a Discount on Damaged Clothing

Most clothing stores are willing to sell damaged clothes for a way lower price. So when you get to a clothes store, make inquiries about their damaged clothes.

Once you buy a damaged cloth, you can get a tailor to amend or redesign it.

You can also check out a store’s clearance section for old stocks. The clothes in this section are often cheap but out of season,

4. Look for Coupon or Promo Codes

Many clothing brands offer coupons and promo codes. Take advantage of it.

Use a coupon extension like Honey to find online stores that offer special deals, coupons, and promo codes.

5. Wash Your Clothes and Mend Them

Rather than buy new clothes, you can mend your old clothes to save money.

Wash your clothes, iron or fold them properly, and store them – doing this will make your clothes last longer. Thus preventing you from needing more or new clothes.

6. Visit Marketplaces and Negotiate With Sellers

When you shop for clothes online or in-store, prices are likely to be fixed and non-negotiable. However, this isn’t the case in most marketplaces.

If you want to stop wasting money on clothes, visit popular marketplaces.

Online marketplaces like Craiglist and Facebook also allow you to bargain the price of items with sellers.

7. Buy Generic Brands

Avoid brand clothes if you want to save money. Do not be influenced by designer products.

Patronize local brands and unfollow influencers and celebrities to avoid temptation.

It is also recommended to remove your credit card from all online shopping stores.

8. Borrow Clothes

Regardless of what you think, borrowing clothes from a friend or family member is a good way to stop yourself from buying and wasting money on new clothes.

Another Interesting Article: Poshmark Review: Is It Worth It to Buy and Sell Used Clothes?


How To Stop Wasting Money On Travel

Traveling to new places is often exciting. You get to try out new delicacies and visit tourist attractions. If you don’t want to waste money while having fun, here are tips to help you.

1. Avoid Weekend Flights

When making travel plans, avoid weekend flights.

Airlines increase the price of flights during weekends due to increased demand. However, flights during the middle of the week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) are often cheaper.

So if you plan on using flights, avoid Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays flight tickets.

2. Find Cheap Hotels

Hotel costs can easily eat deep into your travel budgets. Patronizing luxurious hotels can make you go broke in no time. So to avoid wasting money, find cheap hotels.

Here’s a guide on how to find cheap hotels when you visit a new area:

  • Open your search browser and type the name of the city you’re in + hotels. For example, “California Cheap Hotels.”
  • Click on the “View More Hotels” tab that appears on the search results.
  • In the new section, use the search functionality and filter to narrow down your search to your price budget, and exact location.

3. Avoid Excess Baggage

Excess baggage attracts extra fees. If you don’t to waste money during your travel trips, be selective with what you carry.

Some of the important to pack in your travel packs include a passport, foreign cash, a boarding pass, a map, a few clothes, a credit card, hygiene items, and a prescription.

4. Use A Map

It is easy to get lost during a travel trip. To avoid getting lost and wasting transport money, get yourself a map of the new area.

5. Hire A Car

Make your calculations. If it saves more to use public transportation, then ditch the idea of hiring a car.

However, if hiring a car saves you more money, then make a car hire.

6. Book Local Tours

Well-known tour companies charge higher rates than local companies. Although they offer better services, it’s advisable to book with local tour guides if you want to save money.

7. Make Friends With Locals

To make the trip enjoyable, make friends with the locals. They can direct you to cheap hotels and restaurants. They can also provide you with information on how to save money during your trip.

How To Stop Wasting Money on Cars

How To Stop Spending Money On Cars

1. Buy A Used Car

When getting a car, go for a used car. brand-new cars are expensive and often require you to take auto loans.

To avoid spending money on auto loan payments, go for what you can afford. Do not waste your money on getting a brand-new car.

2. Be Consistent With Car Maintenance

Conduct regular inspections and maintenance on your car. Although the cost of maintenance is pricey, it is important to consider the future. If you check up on your car and conduct regular maintenance, it’ll prevent your car from needing major repair.

2. Do Not Go For Cheap Maintenance

In a bid to save money, most people buy cheap car parts/tools for repair or maintenance – this can cause greater damage to your car in the long run.

Do not be stingy with your money during car repairs or maintenance. If you use high-quality car parts, your car will stay in good condition for a long time.

3. Get A Skilled Mechanic

Be careful in your choice of mechanic. Do not settle for cheap and unskilled mechanics. Always rely on recommendations from friends with cars.

4. Do Not Lease A Car

A car lease allows you to rent a car for some time, usually two to four years.

Leasing a car is often expensive. If you want a car, opt for a used car.

Note: Do not make unnecessary modifications to your car and stop buying non-essential car accessories if you want to save money.

Another Interesting Article: Should I Sell My Car To Pay Off Debt?

How To Stop Wasting Money On Subscriptions

How To Stop Spending Money On Subscriptions

Cable and TV subscriptions may seem like a small amount, but they can quickly add up and take a significant portion of your income.

To stop wasting money on subscriptions, here are tips to follow:

1. Cancel Hidden Subscriptions In App Stores

If you uninstall an app from your device without canceling your subscriptions, the app will continue to automatically deduct subscription fees until you personally unsubscribe from it.

So if you download an app and use its free trial, remember to unsubscribe. Go through your app store and review your credit card statement to prevent wasting money on unnecessary subscriptions.

2. Unsubscribe From Apps And Services

One of the best ways to stop wasting money on subscriptions is by unsubscribing from all premium services.

Remove your credit card information from your app store to avoid being lured into a subscription.

Before you make a subscription, compare the pricing plan with other apps to know if you’re getting a good deal.

3. Set A Reminder

Most apps automatically deduct payment from your credit card without your knowledge. To avoid wasting money on a subscription that you no longer need, set reminders for cancellation of a subscription.

4. Look For A Cheaper Plan

Streaming services, TV apps, and cell phone services offer different pricing plans for their service. Each plan comes with a unique feature and benefits.

Before making a subscription, review all the pricing plans and decide on a convenient plan.

You can also negotiate for a cheaper plan or request a longer trial period, bundle deal, referral bonus, or an upgrade.

Note: Not all subscriptions are negotiable. Cell Phone services, car insurance, and credit card interest rates are subscriptions that can be negotiated.

5. Go For Family or Shared Plan

To stop wasting money on subscriptions, always consider shared or family pricing plans.

A shared plan is a pricing plan that allows two or more people to share in a subscription. Each member of the shared plan can enjoy personalized features.

Since shared plans are less expensive. You can agree with a trusted friend or family member to contribute to a shared subscription plan.

6. Use Free Trial

If you need a service for a one-time purpose, there’s no need to waste money. Enjoy the free trial period and cancel the subscription once the trial period is over.

7. Use Apps

Apps like Rocket Money (TrueBill),, Bobby, and Mint offer features that track all your subscriptions. They negotiate subscriptions on your behalf, provide updates on cheaper plans, and prevent automatic deductions on services that you rarely use.

How To Stop Wasting Money On Utilities

How To Stop Spending Money On Utilities

1. Reduce Your Electricity Usage

Reducing your electricity usage can decrease your utility bills by up to 20% to 30%.

Energy-efficient lightbulbs, LED lighting, or solar panels can help you save on electricity bills. Other ways to reduce electricity usage include:

  • Use energy-efficient appliances
  • Adjust and configure your thermostat
  • Ask for an electricity audit
  • Wash laundry with cold water and reduce the use of water heater
  • Switch appliances off when not in use

2. Save On Gas, A/C, and Heating

Heating and cooling can greatly impact your utility bills. To stop wasting money, always lower your thermostat, fix leaky ductwork, replace old windows with energy-efficient windows, close unused vents, and avoid overcooking.

3. Lower Water Bills

Water usage can also affect your utility bills. Use less hot water, add aerators to faucets, use WaterSense-labeled showerheads, take shorter showers, and install low-flow toilets to reduce your water usage.

Another Interesting Article: How to Save Money on Utilities This Winter

How To Stop Wasting Money On Transportation

1. Buy A Bicycle

If your workplace isn’t too far from your home, consider getting a bike. This is one of the best ways to avoid spending on transportation. You won’t need to make a budget for gasoline, repair, maintenance, or insurance.

2. Buy A Monthly Public Transport Pass

If you take transit every day, you can stop wasting money by using monthly public passes rather than daily tickets. With a transit pass, you can save up to 20% of your monthly transportation costs.

3. Share A Taxi

Before boarding a taxi, inform the driver of your intentions to share the ride – this allows the driver to pick up other passengers while on the way.

When you share a taxi, you can split the cost of transportation with fellow passengers.

4. Walk

Walking to your destination is a great way to save money on transportation. It comes with tons of health benefits, helps reduce your carbon footprint, and enables you to avoid parking fees.

5. Find A Cheap Parking Space

Parking space fees can easily add up and cause a strain on your finances. To stop wasting money on it, go for cheaper parking spaces.

How To Stop Wasting Money On Gym Membership

How To Stop Spending Money On Gym Membership

Want to achieve your dream body without wasting money? here’s how:

1. Request Trial Membership

Before paying for a membership, request a week-long trial period. During this period, you can enjoy free sessions.

Also, check out sites like Groupon and Gilt City for gym membership coupons.

2. Request A Discount

If the company you work for is registered with multiple gym centers, you can request a discount.

If you are a teacher, senior citizen, student, or in the military, you can also enjoy up to 10% discounts from certain gyms.

3. Conduct Workout Sessions At Home

To stop wasting money on gym membership, conduct your workout sessions at home. There are tons of free sessions and exercise videos on YouTube.


There you have it. This article compiles all the ways to stop wasting money on food, clothes, travel, subscriptions, cars, gym membership, and more. Follow the tips to enjoy financial freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions On Money

Why Can’t I Stop Wasting Money?

The reason you can’t stop wasting money is because you lack financial goals and a budgeting plan.

What Do You Call A Person Who Spends Money Carelessly?

A person who spends money carelessly is called a spendthrift. Other suitable words include a spender, waster, and prodigal.

What Can You Stop Spending Money On?

If you want to save money, stop spending money on subscriptions, fancy gadgets, coffee, bottled water, magazines, and restaurant meals.

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