7 Things People Waste Money On, According to Frugal Living YouTuber Kate Kaden

If you want to live more comfortably on a tight budget, practicing frugality can free up cash for the things most important to you. While you might start by checking your expenses and cutting back on what you buy, you could be overlooking some less obvious ways you’re wasting money. On an episode of her Frugal Fridays series, YouTuber Kade Kaden highlighted these seven things to avoid.

Check Out: Frugal People Love the 6 to 1 Grocery Shopping Method: Here’s Why It Works
Read Next: 5 Genius Things All Wealthy People Do With Their Money

1. Wasted Energy

Kaden discussed how the country has a large energy waste problem that can contribute to higher utility bills. For example, your home might not have efficient appliances or enough insulation, or you might keep lights and other equipment on when you’re not using them. Changing your behaviors and buying efficient things for your home can help reduce waste.

2. Wasted Food

Feeding America indicated that thrown-out food costs Americans more than $444 billion annually. Kaden recommended following steps to avoid letting food go bad or unused. Examples include freezing leftover items, not buying things you won’t use in time and planning meals carefully.

3. Unused Gift Cards

GoBankingRates previously reported that unused gift cards were costing Americans $21 billion. Kaden highlighted how easy it is to forget about gift cards and sometimes not remember them until the business has shut down. Use your gift cards promptly if possible or set a reminder so they don’t go to waste.

4. Gambling Habits

Whether you play the lottery or casino games, there’s a good chance you’ll waste money rather than win a big prize. It’s also easy to get caught up in the excitement of a win and continue gambling your cash. Kaden recommended avoiding gambling or at least carefully budgeting and stopping when you’ve reached that amount.

5. Credit Card Interest

Kaden discussed how credit card interest charges wasted billions of dollars annually. The most recent Federal Reserve consumer credit data showed a high average interest rate of 22.75% for those who were charged interest in November 2023. She emphasized using cards responsibly by not charging more than you already have on hand to cover the balance.

6. Credit Card Late Fees

Although the Biden administration recently capped credit card late fees, they’re still a waste of money that is preventable with financial planning and automatic payments. If you do get charged, ask your creditor about potential relief. Kaden said, “If you have a good track record with them, more than likely they will remove it because you are not a person that is a repeat offender on this.” 

7. Store Returns

Learn More: How Much Money You Should Have in Your 401(k), According to Expert Humphrey Yang

Returning items can be inconvenient and cost you money in restocking fees or shipping charges. Kaden talked about how some people end up not completing the return and losing money on things they don’t even use. Carefully think through purchases to avoid regret and potential returns.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 7 Things People Waste Money On, According to Frugal Living YouTuber Kate Kaden

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for the TradeTalks newsletter to receive your weekly dose of trading news, trends and education. Delivered Wednesdays.