Adulting Behaviors That Waste Your Hard Earned Money

We all want to seem like we have it all together.  If we could look like we know what we are doing most days, dressed, hair just so, organized and on time, we might just portray the image that we are killing it.

Because, adulting is hard, right?  But specific adult behaviors waste money.

Just because you want to look and seem like you’re an adult, doesn’t mean that you have to be careless with your money.

Let’s face it; there are going to be things we encounter as an adult that will cost money and then there are things that we can negotiate our way into spending less.

money printables

I was watching this great Youtube video about things that may make you look like an adult but are just foolish wastes of money.  Here are the six points made and my take on them.


1. Drinking fancy alcohol at restaurants

I am all for having a glass or two of wine, a couple of beers or even a fancy frozen drink while out on date night or with friends.  These are one of the joys of being an adult.

But there is no reason to spend $300 on a bottle of wine or chose a vodka way above the top shelf.

Alcohol out in bars and restaurants is VERY expensive. If you enjoy the higher-end adult beverages, you are better off purchasing them at a store and possessing them at home.

INSTEAD: You can get a box of wine for really cheap. It also may or may not taste the same way.

Consider not going out at all. I wrote a bunch of tips to stop going out to eat and save money.



2. Getting more space than you need – Too much house

Americans continue to supersize everything they are buying.  Including their homes.  Do you need 4500 square feet with four bedrooms and six bathrooms for two people?

Why not buy 2,000 square feet today and then re-evaluate your needs in a couple of years?

Society tells us that we need to place value on the things we own.  And most adults will tell you that renting is just throwing money away.

A home is an investment in your future.  That is all fine but not if you aren’t making enough to pay for that investment.

Don’t be house poor.

You have time.

Save money and learn to budget first.  Read about my take on creating a budget.

INSTEAD: Rent inexpensively.  Get a roommate.  Try a slightly less boujee neighborhood.


A Car For That Garage

Yeah, I know.  It’s leased.  Do you realize that is not a good argument?  You are basically renting a car because you want a fancier one than you can afford.

So, you lease it to look fancier because the payments are less.

That way you can impress the people that you don’t know or the friends that aren’t really your friends.

Sure. Makes perfect sense.

Are you insecure about who you are so you need the approval of others?

INSTEAD:  Buy a used and reliable car or work a little harder to pay off that loan you have.  And don’t buy so expensive anymore.  And for heaven’s sake – please don’t lease.

There are some excellent used cars out there that work just the same, look pretty great, and will get you back and forth safely.

Work on mastering your money mindset. I am a huge fan of mindset.  You can read all my tips to master a money mindset.

save money printables

3. Separate weeks into depressing weekdays and party weekends – The “treat yourself” mentality

Blowing all your money on the weekends because you work this terrible job with these awful people in this dreadful office and you deserve to have a good time on the weekends.

So, you go out and have these fantastic dinners and these fabulous excursions just to reward yourself for getting through another week.

Before you know it, your entire paycheck is gone, and you throw yourself back into the terrible week come Monday.  What you do deserve is to make yourself a budget and give up that entitled mentality.

Be smart.

INSTEAD:  Have fun but be smart.  Weekends don’t have to be one of those adult behaviors that waste money.  If you are doing this, stop it.

After all, Monday still comes.

Probably not a habit of someone who is highly successful.  You can read more about the habits of successful people in this blog post.



4. Having different wardrobe for different things

I have heard this many times from friends.  They have a work wardrobe, a going out wardrobe,  and a weekend wardrobe.  Why so many?  Is it possible to have a work wardrobe and a going out wardrobe be the same with the addition of a few accessories?

INSTEAD: Pick a style that is all yours and that works for you and wear it.  Wear it for everything if you can.  I understand if you have a uniform like a nurse or a waiter.

That is different and really won’t work for date night, but if you work in an office, you can still make those pieces work.

I have an excellent article on the minimalist wardrobe to help with clothes.

Impulse Shop Much?

I understand this all too well.  You need a new pair of camel brown boots to go with those skinny jeans because nothing else works.

So you head off to Macy’s, and while you are there, you find the PERFECT pair of brown boots…then pick them up in black, too.

The new spring line is out, and that fabulous pink jacket has your name all over it.  Before you know it, you are walking out of the store, arms full of bags on a shoppers high.

And you are sure that you just charged $800 on your credit card (just guessing because you never even saw the total)!

Stop shopping for recreation.  It’s selfish and the opposite of adulting!

Carrying A Credit Card Balance

Speaking of that credit card.  Stop using that.  If you keep up with these adult behaviors that waste money, you will wake up one morning and be $40,000 in credit card debt.

Then you will be calling a Financial Coach like myself to help you find a way to dig out of this massive hole.


5. Taking initial offers without haggling or negotiating

There is always room to negotiate for many things.  Especially f you are speaking to the owner.

Saying things like “If I pay in cash, would you give me a discount?”  I have written a post on the benefits of using cash and how to create your own Cash Envelope Wallet with your favorite designer wallet.

I have done this many times from renting a porta potty for an event to my son’s tux rental for a wedding.  I have even done this with hotel rooms.  It works better at a privately owned establishment rather than a chain store, but even then, it sure is worth a try.

INSTEAD:  Never pay full price.

If you aren’t in the right mindset, just save it for another day.  One of my favorite things to talk about is the mindset; written in the post about when NOT to go shopping.


6. Overspending while traveling

It is easy to get so caught up in the experience of your travels but remember, that battery-operated hula dancer with Maui written on it might be a waste of money.

How long will that bring you (or the person you are buying it for) joy?  Would any “souvenirs” really be worth the money?

And then there is the airport!  Magazines, snacks, alcohol, those items are always so much more expensive than getting them beforehand.  Make sure to pick up your snacks, books, and magazines before you get to the airport for your trip.

Also, remember to check with discount travel sites like Expedia and Price Line for better deals.

INSTEAD:  There are ways to have a great time without overspending! I write about finding ways to vacation frugally in Cheap Vacations.

Printables and words


Bonus Tips:

Stop spending so much money at the grocery store.  

Do not purchase items that you know you won’t eat to impress the cashier.  Make a plan, so foods do not go to waste and be frugal.

If you know you won’t eat all those fresh vegetables and they will just end up in the garbage, consider choosing to purchase frozen or just skip the ones that go bad fast.

Just because you reach a certain age, does not mean that you need to spend over your means.  There is no reason to try to keep up with anyone whether they are making more money than you or just act like it.

Come up with some goals for your money and a plan.  Then make the plan work for you and make sure that the idea will not only benefit you right now but will also benefit you in the future.  This applies to people of all ages!

I have a Facebook group just for chatting about money saving ideas.  I invite you to check out the group for more money-saving inspiration!

Here is the link to the FB Group Frozen Pennies Coaching Community!

See ya there!!







8 thoughts on “Adulting Behaviors That Waste Your Hard Earned Money”

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    Love this as I know many who do these things. I don’t drink so that is not a problem and I do have a summer and winter wardrobe but the 105 summers to the negative winters require that. I never could understand the weekend mentality. Weren’t weekends for catching up around the house and getting ready for a new week? I love the one about traveling. I refuse to buy souvenirs. Gifts have to be useful is any are purchased at all. I so love the airport thing. We are going to pack snacks the next time we fly for sure.

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    Always looking for ways to save! I am in the same boat with the two seasonal wardrobes. However, I have managed to keep all short sleeve shirts in my wardrobe year round and just throw on a sweater when it is cold!

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    These are great…. and so true! Not to mention those super expensive Starbucks coffees that I don’t even like. I ‘ll keep my kitchen coffee at home. :-))

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    Ah, I should have added that one! Although, Starbucks Grande Soy Latte, hot no foam is a wonderful treat about once a week for me 🙂

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    This is a great article with awesome tips! It is nice to know there are other people out there with similar viewpoints. One thing we do a little differently in my family is occasionally purchase the fancy alcohol at restaurants. While I don’t drink, mu husband does and he is always interested in buying really high quality alcohol. When at a restaurant he can try a really nice (and usually expensive) glass to try before he goes and spends even more buying an entire bottle. This has actually saved us some money since there have been several he was sure he would love and then decided they were not worth buying the full bottle once he tried them.

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    Living “rural” there is no Starbucks for at least 40 miles so I’m glad you didn’t add that old song. I make my trips to the city count, making multiple stops once a week. I do use my charge card when there is a discount for using it, then make a payment while I am still at the register- conveniently the same amount as the purchase I just made so I rack up points for purchasing on my card, but don’t carry a balance. Travel souvenirs are often tee shirts that will be worn again. I have multiple wardrobes depending on the job of the day, two fancy dresses, but the rest is mix or match. I seldom purchase any clothing that won’t pair with at least 2-3 other items already in my closet. I would have to admit to buying multiple shoes in different colors when I finally find some that fit my funny feet.
    Another suggestion often found in saving money ideas is to stop magazine subscriptions. Most of my subscriptions cost very little, usually under $10 for the year. The tips in them, and the enjoyment of reading them offsets the minimal price. I recycle them to friends or leave them in the local laundromat when I am done. Win-Win!

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    Thanks for stopping by the blog, Bonnie! I also live about 30 minutes from “civilization” and from a Starbucks! It sounds like you have your priorities on point. I think you are doing great!!

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