Saving money is something we all know how to do however the temptation of a luxury vacation, a night out on the town or the latest gadget is sometimes hard to refuse. While refusing to supersize a meal will certainly save you a few pennies there are many ways to quickly rack up your credit line and make you deeply consider a second job when the credit card bill arrives.

Bottle Service

What young person without a trust fund can really afford to spend $500 on a bottle of grey goose? Apparently, a large portion of young people today think they can. No matter where you go – from New York to Las Vegas – the most exclusive clubs are generally not small venues which only allow entrance by membership but nightclubs which can accommodate 1,000 people or more and the only way to get a table is to buy a bottle. Sounds fair right? A bottle of grey goose can set you back up to $500 or more but thankfully the club will often have a 2 bottle minimum so you can drink past the shock of the bill.

Average night out for bottle service = $1,000 or more

Solution: Move home and ask your mom to explain what 1+1 really means.

Pay Full Fare for an Airline Ticket

Unless you are traveling with a corporate credit card (and you don’t own the company) then paying full fare for any airline ticket is generally considered membership to Loserville. From booking in advance, taking advantage of last minute discounts to using price comparison websites there is not a single reason you can’t save money on an airline fare. Even in the event an emergency you can find ways to pay less than full fare by simply taking with an agent and explaining the situation. Even if you need to get home for your grandmother’s funeral you can bet she will proud if you haggle your way into a better fare!

Extended Warranties

Ok, some extended warranties are ok but for the most part this is the single most profitable product for many companies. Why? Do you know anyone who has ever filed a claim? Not only are the odds of anybody using these low but the cost is ridiculously high. An extended warranty on a $1,000 computer can be $100 or more and the manufacturer already offers a 3 year warranty. Furthermore this extended warranty probably has enough disclaimers that you will have to pay something out of pocket no matter what happens. Always read the fine print and never just say yes at the checkout so you can justify to your spouse that you made a practical purchase.

Tip for Bad Service

Tipping should always be reserved for good service. If you have a bad experience and the waiter is not accommodating to your needs or the staff are generally ignoring you why would you tip? In America it seems that the wait staff has the upper hand and expects to be tipped no matter how bad the service is. Not True! Only tip according to the service they provide otherwise you will walk out of the restaurant with less coin in your pocket and no satisfaction.

Over-Collecting

As kids it’s cool to collect stuff. Whether its toy trains, comic books or stuffed animals but as we get older the general rule of thumb is you’re only allowed to over collect one item. That could be DVD’s, baseball hats, Coca Cola memorabilia or some other silly thing. Most of this stuff is generally a complete waste of money but we all know that being human means having flaws so maybe having 1,000 DVDS or 100 pair of shoes is a 100% complete waste of money but you will find forgiveness for this single show of no self-control regardless if it’s a good financial decision or not. Although its important to remember whatever you collect the chances are your kids will sell the entire collection on eBay when you die.

Taking the First Quote

“Salespeople are not your friends” – these are words to live by. Anybody who works on commission does not like you or want to be your friend, they like your wallet. Comparison shopping is a must for any purchase. Whether its auto insurance, a new TV, a new car, a computer or anything which involves you writing a check it’s critical to compare prices from multiple providers. Anytime you take the first quote you can bet a day will come when you say “I can’t believe I paid this much for that”. The upside is you certainly will get holiday cards from the salesperson to overspend your money again.

Mini-Bar Food

Can you imagine paying $10 for a small pack of pretzels or $6 for a Coca-Cola? Apparently people can when they stay in a hotel room. Mini bar sales make up a significant portion of income for many hotels and with margins like these would you ever expect them not to try? Talk a walk (yes, we know it’s foreign to many but all it involves is using your own 2 feet) and find a convenience or grocery store close to the hotel. Stock up on your late night desires and create your own mini bar for the duration of your stay. Some hotels will even provide you with a mini fridge!

Valet Parking

If you are on a date then by all means $20 for a valet to park your car is well worth the money to impress your date but if you are driving by yourself do you really need to feel like a rock star and pay $20 for the privilege. We will remind you that most people are not rock stars and if you have any chance of being a rock star to your children as a parent who can afford to pay for college then it’s about time you find a free parking spot around the corner and walk a block. Not only will you get 1/100th of the exercise you need for the day but also save a few bucks.

The Latest Gadget

Apple is famous for this. They have such a huge following of techies that no matter how much they spend on a new iPad odds are the same people will upgrade in 6 months when the new version comes up. Do you really need to invest in something that barely has anything new time after time? If you current computer or camera works then is it really worth $1,000 or more just to have bragging rights for a few weeks? We think it’s cooler to brag about how much money you have in the bank when you’re 65 then how much you spent in your 30’s but hey that’s just us.

Supersized Meals

Most of America is obese and every time you supersize your meal you are not just wasting money but also contributing to your body’s decline. Seriously, who needs a 32 ounce soda? Opting for the large or extra-large version of a fast food meal is the equivalent to saying “I hate my body and my wallet”!

Do you know other ways consumers waste money every day? What are your tips to saving money – let us known in the comments section below.

Alan Dunn

Written by Alan Dunn – one of our highly talented and underpaid writers. For more information on Alan follow him on Twitter or Google Plus

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