Cash Strapped with Student Loans? Don’t Waste Your Money on These 10 Dumb Things!
November 26, 2013

Even if your student loan payments are affordable, there’s no reason to throw money away needlessly. But if you’re deep in debt, it makes even less sense to waste cash on stuff you don’t need, that’s bad for you or that offers no value to your life. Building good money habits now while you’re young and in debt can pay off for the rest of your life! 

Here are 10 things you shouldn’t waste your money on…

#1 Cigarettes

It seems like those that can least afford the out of pocket costs of this bad habit are the ones most likely to indulge in it. A pack a day costs $150 a month (or more). This could make a huge dent in your student loan payment. Plus it was just announced that ObamaCare premiums can be 50% higher for smokers!

#2 ATM fees

Why should you pay $3-4 a pop to gain access to your own money? Plan ahead and take out cash with your debit card when grocery shopping rather than hitting up an ATM. If you absolutely have to use a cash machine, use one offered by your bank or one that doesn’t charge. This is money down the drain!

#3 Lottery tickets & gambling

While advertising makes gambling look like so much fun, they don’t show the after-effects when gamblers can’t pay their bills, lose their homes and slide into a debt spiral. The odds are never in your favor when it comes to gambling, so why bother? Keep your cash and make better use of it!

Speeding tickets are money badly spent

Moving violations result in hefty fines.
Image source: GotSpeedingTicket.com

#4 Traffic and parking tickets

There’s really no excuse for getting ticketed for your driving. Speeding tickets cost hundreds of dollars and the expense doesn’t end there – once your tickets are reported on your DMV record, your insurance costs will skyrocket. Lighten up your lead foot and never lose a stack of cash for a ticket again!

#5 Alcohol

Boozing it up is one of the costliest habits you can have – even more so than smoking. But if you must drink, stick to doing it at home. Beer at sports events can cost $10 or more and cocktails at a bar can run $10-$20 or more. If you must go out, stick to happy hour and then head home before you’re broke!

#6 Credit card fees and interest

Credit cards are dangerous financial tools. If you run a balance that carries over each month, interest can pile up. If you max out your cards, over limit fees will add up. And if you run late on payments, late fees can push this up even higher. This is a slippery slope – just leave the plastic at home to save!

#7 Brand name food

One of the biggest money wasters is insisting on name brand items from your grocery store. Taste test the store brands and you’ll find they’re just as good for drastically less. There’s just no need to indulge when you can save enough to make a dent in your student loan payment by shopping smart.

#8 Designer clothes, bags and shoes

Sure, everyone wants to look nice, but you don’t have to go broke doing it. If you absolutely have to have high end labels in your clothes, find an upscale consignment or thrift shop to buy your duds. Clothes do not make the man (or woman) so save your scratch and stick to bargain shopping!

#9 Impulse buys

Don’t get lured in by late night infomercials promising miracle products. The same goes for the “as seen on TV” section at your store or the checkout aisle stands where they perch costly items to tempt you at the last possible moment. Make a list and stick to it – you’ll save beaucoup bucks with this strategy!

#10 Dining out

Eating out can really take a chunk out of your monthly budget. Surveys estimate $150-$250 per month is an average. Brown bagging it for lunch and skipping dinners out can save enough to make a huge dent in your monthly loan payment. Save dining out for special occasions like celebrating paying off your loans!

Instead of splashing out on costly stuff, take advantage of all the great things in life that are free like Tuition.io’s student loan management and optimization tool! Also check out our blog and Student Loan Help center for amazing tips and strategies on dealing with your debt!