I’m all about accumulating wealth. And I want you to have money in the bank too.
Honestly, I want you all to make good money so you don’t have to stress out about it. I know what it’s like to stress about money and it’s not fun.
If you’ve read some of the alpha posts you know I also recommend focusing on becoming financially independent and financially stable. You don’t want to be a 35 year old calling up your parents for money or still living with roommates (unless that’s your think).
I’ve lived in some really great cities – New York, Los Angeles, London, Moscow. And in each I’ve made really good money. My first year out of college I made 6 figures. And now I’m close to…I won’t even say. Let’s just say I’m comfortable.
I’ve done some foolish thing with money. And living in New York City, you see a lot of other people doing foolish things. But I guess when you have money, you just don’t care? I’m not sure if I believe that or not.
I’ve worked in “high finance” most of my professional career. In an industry like this, money defines you. How much you earn is a status symbol and a measure of success.
Bu when you make so much money (which in a city like NYC isn’t actually a lot), what do you do with it? The great thing about NYC is it is a city that teaches you lessons by observing. You can literally just people watch and learn things.
So today, I’m going to give you a list of 21 things people do to waste money. And then I’ll recap on why they do this and whether or not they are really wasting their money or not.
Ways People Waste Money
1. Drop off your laundry for wash and fold (I do this)
In some cities you don’t even have to wash your own clothes any more. You can just drop them off and pick them up all clean and folded. I’m torn between whether this is good or a waste of money. It saves you time but if you are on a budget, don’t do this.
2. Have your shoes shined by someone
This is something I admit I used to do when I was younger. But I was such a fool. You’re paying $5-10 each time you get someone to dust off your shoes. You can just buy some shoe shine wax for like $3 and do it yourself in 2-3 minutes, over and over and over again.
Definitely a waste of money. I don’t really know why anyone things this is something they should be doing. Who are you and why can’t you shine your own shoes?
3. Taking taxis (sometimes you just have to)
I take the taxi (now I take Uber) but this is such a waste of money unless you’re in a rush. I know people that are so stuck up that they take these things everywhere, just because.
4. Buying at a store instead of online (sometimes you just have to)
Amazon and online shopping have made things a lot cheaper. I know there are some things that you should buy in stores, or when you just urgently need something. But if you don’t have to buy something right away, you’re usually better off buying online. It’s usually cheaper.
5. Getting your groceries delivered (this is so convenient!)
I used to do this. Then I thought it was stupid. But now I’m doing it again. For the guys that don’t have that much time, I understand its purpose. But if you’re tight on a budget, don’t do this. Just go get your own groceries and wait in line like everyone else. Otherwise you’re paying a premium for someone to drop off fruit at your doorstep.
6. Ordering delivery (I do this – sometimes)
This is for the guys that seriously can’t walk down the street and pick up food they ordered. Who are you? Are you really that lazy?
7. Flying economy or first class
I won’t lie, these seats are way better. But honestly it’s a waste of money unless you really have extra cash to spend. Everyone gets there at the same time. Isn’t that what really matters? Save your money for something more important than a comfortable seat for 2-10 hours on a plane. There are better things in life to spend your money on.
8. Getting a personal trainer
I think personal trainers are useless (I apologize if you’re reading this and a personal trainer). Most of these guys and girls aren’t even in shape and would never go through the pain and suffering one really has to go through to get in shape. On top of that most of them are about the paycheck. They aren’t there to motivate you or get you in shape.
I see it every day. A flabby personal trainer taking someone’s hard earned money to make them do the DUMBEST exercises and text while they are doing it. On top of that there is never any advice on nutrition so the client never really gets in shape.
Save your money. Go to the fitness section on To Be Alpha or just google and get the help you need.
9. Hiring a maid (I do this)
How do you get so messy that you need a maid? I ask myself this question all the time. This honestly saves me a lot of time but really I should be cleaning my own place.
If you don’t need to, don’t hire a maid.
10. Getting bottle service at clubs
Probably a waste of money no matter who you are. I won’t even go into this one.
11. Drinking Starbucks on the daily
One of the best advice I ever got when I was younger was to stop wasting money on stuff like coffee, just drink water instead. It makes total sense. Why are you going to spend $2-5 on a cup of coffee each day? That could be over $1,800 a year if you drank a cup everyday.
There are cheaper ways to get your caffeine fix if you’re on a budget (“the best part of waking up, is folder’s in your cup”)
12. Getting manicures and pedicures (yes, guys do this)
Just like shoe shining, why can’t you guys cut your own nails? Really?
13. Buy the latest tech gadget just because
Social status and wanting to look cool. What a waste of money to impress some other geeks.
14. Playing golf (just kidding this is a fun sport)
Golf is an expensive a$$ sport. Golf balls are expensive and you lose like all of them every time you play. The driving range is expensive. Playing a round of golf is expensive. Even the clubs you use are expensive.
Did you make it down this far? Hopefully you got a few insights on how you can save money but also a few laughs. I know I do some of those 14 things and I’m not proud of them all but they save me time and I’d rather pay a little more to have someone else wash my laundry and clean my home so I can be productive doing other stuff.
Really though, this post is about being smart with your finances.
There’s a saying, “it takes money to make money.” And I really believe that is true. If you’re using your money to invest it in something, whether it be on a project, some new skills, stocks, bonds, CDs….it can provide a bigger return on investment than getting your shoes shined.
In a series of posts coming up in the career section I’m going to discuss ways you can get smart about money and really work on attracting more money into your life. We’re talking everything from hard work to making money in your sleep (yes it’s possible).
I really believe being it is necessary for you guys to prepare for your future above and beyond just the next 6 months or 2 years of your life.
Do you have any money wasting habits? Or know of any? Share them so everyone can educate themselves!