“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting,” said Benjamin Franklin.
Being successful is not about having too much money to splurge – it is about knowing how to manage your money well. You might measure success by the number of fancy cars and branded clothes people have, but truly successful people know what not to waste money on as well as they know what really to spend on.
Of course, we aren’t implying that every single successful and rich person lives on this diktat, but if you did follow it, we guarantee that you’d not only become successful but also remain there.
Here are 10 things you shouldn’t waste money on:
Be it cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, you will not find a person who is addicted to a substance and stayed successful. If the number of Hollywood celebrities who’ve died of an overdose isn’t indication enough, we don’t know what else is. Also, you can also save a lot of money when you’re not addicted to anything!
2. Gambling, lottery, and get-rich-quick schemes
Successful people do not rely on luck. They know that hard and focused work can give you better results. Not to mention how much you can save by staying away from these ventures. Plus, you can avoid unnecessary disappointments when your gamble doesn’t pay off.
3. Credit card interest
Credit cards in Singapore charge an interest of between 23% and 29%. Instead of wasting your money paying that interest, you should be spending as much as you can pay back at the end of the month. Save on interest charges (which you’re practically donating to the bank) and clear credit card bills every month. Don’t make paying the minimum monthly dues a habit and you’ve taken that first step towards financial success.
4. Bank fees
Bank fees such as fall-below fees and maintenance charges can be avoided if you know the conditions under which they are not charged. For example, if your bank charges S$5 as fall-below fees for your savings or current account, you can avoid that by ensuring that the account always has the minimum required amount. Credit card annual fees can be avoided if your annual spends go over a certain amount. If not, always make sure that you call up the bank to get the amount waived, unless there is a good reason to pay the fee.
5. Investments with low returns
Successful people don’t just work hard themselves, they make their money work hard as well. When you invest your money, research and find out which options will give you the best returns. Putting large amounts of money on low-return products such as savings accounts and fixed deposits are not really worth it – unless your risk appetite is really low.
But at the same time, always keep a moderate amount in a low-risk investment product, because after all, you don’t want to take a gamble on all your hard-earned money.
6. Hiring investment and insurance experts
Money can buy you anything, you say? But we beg to differ. Successful people don’t engage experts and consultants to do their job for them – they actually make the effort to learn about where their money is being put to work. Before making an investment in something, truly successful people study the product or market, and become experts themselves. Warren Buffett is the finest example of this.
Related: 7 Habits of Successful Investors
7. Costly things vs. useful things
Sure, you can buy the costliest watch on the planet, but how different is it from a simple Casio watch when the purpose of both is to show the time? Successful people try to buy high-quality products that will last them long and serve their purpose, rather than buy branded products that can be shown off at parties. Because value is more important than the price tag at the end of the day.
8. Extended warranties
Manufacturer warranties are sufficient, more often than not, to cover a product. You’ll probably be able to buy the same item again after using it for a few years rather than adding to your cost with an extended warranty.
Quite often, these warranties have a lot of conditions attached that might prevent you from claiming their benefits. So, the next time a salesman tries to coax you into buying an extended warranty for an electronic gadget, think again.
9. Shopping sprees
If you’re one of those who enters a store and buys anything that catches your fancy on the display, you’re doing nobody a favour. Instead, carry a list of the items you need and buy only those things. Because you don’t really NEED the other things. Learn to differentiate between want and need, and you’ll be taking your next steps to being successful!
10. Luxury transport
You might be equating being rich with owning a Rolls Royce, Maserati or BMW, but some of the most famous people don’t believe in luxury transport at all. Jennifer Lawrence is content with a Volkswagen Eos and Daniel Radcliffe has a humble Fiat Punto. In fact, there are many celebrities who regularly take the public transport as well, such as Fantastic Beasts actor Eddie Redmayne and ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron.
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