12 Ways you’re wasting money in 2017

Many South Africans are guilty of being wasteful, impulsive spenders. Even the most budget-conscious may find themselves falling into the trap of spending money mindlessly.

Are you a wasteful, impulsive spender? Do you ever get to the end of the month and wish you had a little more money in your pocket? Many of us complain about not earning enough money, but perhaps if we were more mindful of how we spend our money, we wouldn’t be living paycheck-to-paycheck, falling into debt or struggling to save.

See Debt Rescues budgeting tips.

Do any of these purchases sound familiar?

ATM fees

Most of us have to pay to withdraw cash at an ATM or over-the-counter at the bank. You can save on fees by withdrawing money from participating retailers’ till points. Popular retail stores allow customers to withdraw money at their till points for free or at a cheaper rate than you’d pay at an ATM or bank.


The average price of a take away coffee in South Africa is about R25.00, which doesn’t seem too expensive. However, if you buy takeaway coffees every work day, it adds up to over R500 per month. So, make sure you make yourself a cup of coffee before you leave home in the morning.


We always need batteries for something, whether it be console remotes, TV remotes, toys, computer mouses, etc. The cost of continuously buying disposable batteries adds up. Rather buy rechargeable batteries. Although rechargeable batteries are more expensive initially, they last for up to three years, so you will save money in the long run.

Pre-made store meals

Grabbing an already-made meal is definitely a huge time saver, but have you considered how much money you’re wasting on these meals? Pre-made meals are usually a lot more expensive than home cooked meals.

Leaking faucets

Your water bill can hike up due to leaking faucets. Rather than wasting water, make sure all your faucets are tightened properly.

Petrol station snacks

Petrol station convenience stores might be convenient, but the prices are definitely not. All items are marked up significantly, so rather plan ahead and buy snacks at your grocery store.

Low tyre pressure

This may seem like a very insignificant issue; however, low tyre pressure affects your mileage. Make sure your tyres, along with your oil and water, are checked properly and regularly.

Movie theatre food

Buying coke and popcorn at the movies has become very expensive – we usually end up spending more money on snacks than the actual movie tickets. Try limit your movie snacks by eating properly before you head out to watch a movie.

Cable television

Most people argue that they need cable television for the news and sports; however, there are alternatives to cable television. For example, you can read the news online and you can watch any sports match at a friend’s house or at a local restaurant or pub that shows televised sports.

Cellphone data

South Africans pay more for data than most other countries. Usually we find ourselves topping up our data numerous times every month. Spend less money on data by cutting down the amount of time you spend on social media and browsing online or consider buying a wifi package for your home that your whole family can use.

Not unplugging electronics

Electronics that are plugged in use electricity, even when they’re not being used. Turn the power off at the wall or unplug your electronics if they’re not in use.

Wrapping up presents

Gift bags and wrapping can cost about as much as a decent gift. Instead of wasting money on gift bags and wrapping paper, wrapping paper and gift bags.

If you’re living from paycheck-to-paycheck and struggling to pay back debt, give Debt Rescue a call.


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