15 Wastes of Money Families Can Avoid

15 Wastes of Money Families Can Avoid

Common pitfalls families can avoid in order to stop wasting money.


By: Lorraine Allen

With winter and the holidays approaching, we’ll all be spending more than usual on food, gifts, travel, and even gas and electric bills, and saving money will become even harder. But being mindful of common money-wasting pitfalls that families often slip into can help you avoid these mistakes, so that you can spend less and save more this holiday season and every day. Here’s a list of 15 ways your family could be wasting money right now.

1. Leaving lights on, the fridge open, and using way more electricity than needed.

2. Not upgrading your windows and having doors that leak air and waste heat and A/C.

3. Leaving heat or A/C on high when you're not home. (This can triple your bill at times!)

4. Using multiple cars when you could be sharing rides.

5. Buying kids -- even LITTLE kids -- 10 pairs of shoes that they'll outgrow soon anyway. (PS: Really, designer booties for babies?!)

6. Buying beverages like water, coffee, or tea instead of bringing them from home.

7. Eating out or ordering food often.

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8. Buying lunches.

9. Buying too many treats. No one needs all of those! (I'm so guilty, BTW…)

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10. Buying cookies and baked goods instead of making your own at home (it’s fun!).

11. Buying loads of accessories for your family like purses, hair clips, belts, watches, costumes, ties, and jewelry -- you only need a few!

12. Buying your kids and yourselves new winter coats, hats, and other outerwear each winter. Those things are durable and should last a while, even for growing kids.

13. Buying kids many cute, fancy clothes they will only wear once or twice before outgrowing. (And they might look great, but you know they’ll stain them instantly anyway.)

14. Spending money on new decorations for each holiday. Make some with your kids, and hang onto them -- they make wonderful family mementos and can last for generations.

15. Shopping in a rush. With all the activity of the holiday season approaching, sure, we’ll be frazzled, drink more caffeine, and have even more to do and buy. But rushed purchases often waste money, so slow down, mamas!

How do you try to avoid wasting money?



Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/TammyFullum



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