When I look back at the years and look at where the money went and how it was spent, I decided to compile a top list of the crap I blew away my hard-earned stacks. Hopefully, other cats who are coming up can learn from my mistakes and that’s why I’m creating this list.
Now, I do have to let cats know that overall, I have been smart with my money and you are not going to see the same kind of waste other people did. For example, cats went out and got a $1.3 million McMansion on interest-only loan and were only paying interest and the market collapse making those homes go under $450K – that’s the biggest waste of money many cats, including a lot of Atlanta Black folks and California cornballs wasted their money on. Then you had other cats who spent money going to get a Master’s degree and they still making less than $175K/year when they should have studied software development by going to a few web sites, reading a couple of books at Barnes and Noble and learning Mule ESB.
Second, I don’t consider things we enjoy doing a waste of money. If you spent money on a motorcycle and you enjoy looking at it in your garage and rarely take it out for a ride, then that is not a waste of money because it provided you satisfaction. What I consider a waste of money is when you blew out a lot of money but didn’t really see any major benefit and in some cases, things turned out worst!
Here are my top 5 things that I believe I wasted my money on and learning from my mistakes.
Number 1: Moving out to and Living in the Suburbs
Living in the suburbs 30+ miles from the city center is hands down the biggest money waster I made in my life. The cost of gas, the maintenance of my car going all those miles, no alternative transportation like a bus line, making these runs to the Super Wal-Mart and all that curb appeal to keep up with the Jones was some straight worthless waste of hard-earned dough at best!
Then these suburban cops are trying to find anything and everything to get you a $250 ticket talking about your tag expired or you were going 52mph in a 45mph zone and your car was going downhill and picking up speed. Then the kids schooling is extremely overrated and feel like a prison industrial complex for kids than a place of learning.
When I grew up and lived in the inner city, I saw with my own eyes everybody and everything that wasn’t sh*t. You don’t need to tell my inner city behind about what not to do and not get caught up because I saw that ish out of my window, from my porch, on the way to school or the corner store. But in these suburbs, all these cats in the suburbs are doing their dirt behind closed doors and the kids don’t see it and that’s why the kids in these suburbs are doing dumb ish and getting caught up. That’s why there is this epidemic of young Black female teenagers getting arrested for shoplifting in the suburbs.
Now that I’m closer in the city and just minutes from all of the business and entertainment and can take the bus or train if I need to. I’m saving so much money and time that I strongly regret being out in those boring ass suburbs in the first place. That is my biggest money waster of all time in my life was being out in those suburbs at $4.00/gallon gas.
Number 2: Smart Phone or Mobile Phone Plan
When I got rid of my so-called smart phone that was costing me $100 or more a month and got a $40 a month MetroPCS phone with unlimited texts and phone calls, that is when I realize how much money I was blowing away on some worthless ass smart phone. In fact, I’m texting and calling more people on my cheaper plan than I was on that smartphone plan because I was afraid of the smartphone bill getting higher.
I do not need an Internet 4G plan because it’s plenty of wi-fi spots out there and I can hang out among other people socializing when I’m at a wi-fi spot. Besides, cats rarely call me anyway and be on Facebook all of the time or texting me every five seconds. The truth is, they are hyping up these mobile phones on these tech magazines, these idiots all lined up to get the latest iPhone and in the rat race to pay $100/month or more and the communication is no difference than any cheap phone or prepaid plan.
Number 3: Eating Out for Lunch
So it’s lunchtime when I was at work and what everybody do? They go to the food court and spend $6-$7 on some meal and those buffets where they fill a Styrofoam container with orange chicken and fried rice. Then when you get back to work, you all sleepy then you got to take a sh*t around 2:13pm and wondered if you wiped your booty all the way and thinking your booty still smell as you sit in your cubicle the remainder of the day. Then when you add up the numbers, $7 a day times 5 is $35/week and that’s $140/month eating crap that is high in sodium content.
I actually focused on eating right and didn’t realize how cheap food is. One banana or an apple or orange is around .25-.35 cents and two of those can be used for your 10am and 2:30pm snacking. For lunch, I’m using those Green Giant microwave steam packages that are .99 and I’m eating vegetables where I don’t feel sleepy but feel full. I bring my own salad dressing and just go to the salad bar and load up on the cheap knowing it’s the salad dressing that cost the extra $2 when they weigh it.
I’m spending around $2-$3 on a healthier lunch and feeling a lot better as a result. So don’t expect to see me at the food court at the mall anytime soon during lunch hour.
Number 4: Cable Television
If there is anything considered a waste of money especially among African-Americans, cable television is the most absolute worthless waste of money overall. What really gets me is they show all this negative news against Blacks, show self-degrading and cornball Black sitcoms and reality shows and these African-Americans out here sending the cable and satellite company a $75 to $125 check every month for that garbage!
I go over cats house and crib and they got cable running on their flat screen and I just stay quiet and smirk to myself on that. Who in the hell pay money to be distracted for an hour or four hours out of their lives each day? Like I said, you got Black people paying for cable and these shows and channels are doing nothing but talking negative about Black people and degrading Black people and portraying Blacks as subservient and supporting actors.
I get my media from Netflix Instant Streaming and online through Hulu and other sources and have no need for a cable bill. In fact, I have a budget of $12/month to go to a movie every other weekend and get out of the house. That is my source of entertainment and I have no need to pay to watch some self-important pundit act like they have talking points I should give a damn about. The sad part is not only I’m saving money but just watching other people actually try to defend having cable or satellite and paying that $100/month.
Number 5: Grocery Shopping
When I lived in the inner city, I would go get my bag of groceries after work every day from the corner store or the neighborhood market. The fridge would really have only the food I’m about to eat and that’s about it. But then when I moved out to that suburbs and crap, it was Sam’s Club and Costco and deep freezer and double door refrigerator filled with food and pantry filled with food and $200 grocery bill every two weeks.
I didn’t need all that damn food and seasoning and crap and most of it either went bad or just sat there because I got tired of eating it. Then the fruit got spoiled and the bread got hard and the milk was spoiled because I didn’t use all of it and it sat in that refrigerator. Then you can taste the freezer burn on some of the meat you are cooking and this cost me $400/month. Potatoes and onions are growing branches and leaves and that’s when you know you simply buying too much food.
When I ran the Liquiditi kiosk last year and learned about inventory management to keep the business operation lean and not tie my money in inventory, that is when I woke up about my at home grocery shopping habits. I realize that there is absolutely no need for a “full refrigerator” and should only buy food on demand and consume only what I need. As a result, my grocery bills has been reduced to around $60 every two weeks and I can buy what I want and what I need and what’s good for me. In fact, I’m eating a lot better because now I can be creative on the spot and still eat well.
Some people will say what if an emergency happen where the store close down? Well, I still can buy a can of beans or a canned fruits and bottled water and stash it in the pantry. In fact, I don’t even go hungry because worst case scenario is I can whip up some rice and beans from the dry storage real quick out of the food reserves so ain’t no going hungry scenarios going on here anymore. I buy my groceries on demand and only get what I need and learn how to rotate meals around what I already have and as a result, serious money has been saved.
If you looking to save money, look at how you living right now and recognize the biggest expenses. In most cases, you should not look at saving money as living below your means but instead of living smarter. Real talk, check all that communication and media crap like the smart phone plan, the cable television and look at cheaper ways to entertain yourselves and communicate with others. Hell, I just created a playlist on YouTube/Vevo and listen to the music videos instead of buying music on iTunes anymore.
Second, change your quality of life because it is most likely you are paying for things as a programmed consumer instead of buying out of your own best interest. Learn to eat right and eating right and good do not have to be expensive. But most important, learn to spend on demand and not buy things in bulk in advance and consume over time. And last, keep in mind that not only money was wasted, I wasted a lot of time being in crazy traffic going back and forth to work and even was bored being out in those suburbs and that is worth more than any money that I cannot get back.
This is just my top 5 list of money wasters, what is yours?