If You Buy These 5 Common Items, You're Basically Throwing Away Money

Updated 01/31/18
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If you find yourself wondering where your paycheck went at the end of every month, the following eight purchases may be the culprit. As Business Insider reports, "we make so many purchases that we don't always realize what we are buying. If we take a step back and think about all of our additional costs, we could cut a few out of our lives." While some items on this list have slowly become obsolete and therefore aren't worth your money, others manage to grab customers' attention (and wallets) through a combination of slick marketing and engrained cultural norms.

Consider swearing off the following mindless and unnecessary purchases if you want to save some money:

1. Lottery tickets. The odds are stacked against you—you're actually expected to lose money if you play the lottery. 

2. Cigarettes. Not only are they expensive, but cigarettes can also lead to a host of expensive health issues over time. Your body and your bank account will thank you for breaking this bad habit.

3. DVDs and CDs. Between our phones, computers, and the internet in general, you don't need to spend your money on DVDs, CDs, and books.

4. Cable TV. Netflix, HBOGO, Hulu, and the like have basically made cable TV obsolete—save your $50 a month.

5. Water bottles. Plastic water bottles are bad for your wallet and the environment. Invest in a stylish water bottle you'll actually want to carry around with you and save hundreds of dollars per year.

6. Brand-name drugs. This is smart marketing at work—the generic brands contain the exact same ingredients and are always a few dollars cheaper. Don't succumb to familiar logos. 

7. Cafe coffee. This is especially true if you already own a coffee maker. Buying a bag of coffee beans every few months is undoubtedly cheaper than picking up a $5 Starbucks every day.

8. Greeting cards. While always a thoughtful touch, making your own birthday card is even more personal (and you'll save at least $5). 

Head over to Business Insider for the full list. 

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