Money Monday: 40 Mindless Ways You're Burning Through Your Paycheck

Happy Money Monday. A penny saved is a penny earned, according to Ben Franklin. So if you want to save some green, check out The Huffington Post’s 40 Mindless Ways You’re Burning Through Your Paycheck. Here are a few of our favorites:

burning through paycheck

4. Buying Movie Theater Popcorn

Movie theaters don’t actually make the bulk of their profits from movie ticket sales — concession sales are the real moneymakers, reports Yahoo Movies. Eat before you head to a show. Or if you’re a little more daring, sneak in your own snacks.

5. Not Planning Meals Ahead of Time

Keep your grocery budget under control by planning out your meals and shopping accordingly. One of my favorite meal-planning apps comes from It combines meal planning and money saving all in one app.

6. Grocery Shopping Without a List

Maintain a running list of what you need to pick up at the grocery store to avoid making any unnecessary purchases. You’ll know exactly what needs replacing, and you won’t have to do any guesswork.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Next Grocery Run

7. Buying Coffee

America’s love affair with coffee shows no signs of slowing down. A 2012 survey found that the average American worker spends about $1,100 a year on coffee. Break this habit, learn how to make your favorite coffee drink at home and watch your savings soar.

10. Buying Brand-Name Products

Consumers find comfort in using brands they know and love, but oftentimes generic brands work just as well as their brand-name counterparts. Step away from brand names, and try a few generics. For example, you can save money by buying store-brand medications and Kroger breakfast cereal.

Read: 10 Generic Items That Are Exactly Like the Brand Name

15. Smoking Cigarettes

This little habit can cost you big bucks. Quitting smoking can save you more than $8,200 a year — just think of what you can do with all that extra cash.

16. Buying Lunch at Work

You’ve heard it before, but buying lunch at work is a huge waste of money. Buddy up with your co-workers, and try “brown bagging” it at work. You can end up saving a good chunk of cash.

17. Eating Out for Dinner

Having dinner at a restaurant is a great luxury, but it can wreak havoc on your finances. Be mindful about how often you eat out. Even something as simple as eating dinner earlier in the evening can help you eat less and save more.

18. Ordering Appetizers

Restaurant portions are huge, so why order an appetizer when the entrée is already going to be more than enough? Eat a light snack about an hour before you eat out, which can help you resist the urge to order a starter.

24. Spending More Money on Snacks

Nielsen data showed Americans spend more on snacks such as protein bars, chips and beef jerky than they do on real food. If you plan your meals and shop with a grocery list, then you won’t need to fill up on unhealthy and expensive snack foods.

25. Signing Up for a Gym Membership

Once January hits, many of the treadmills at the gym are usually occupied, and the Zumba classes are bumping. But just a few months later, the place looks like a ghost town — what a waste of money. Skip the pricey gym membership, and try joining an exercise club. Or, download a cheap fitness app to get in shape.

31. Skipping Breakfast

Eating breakfast gets your day started on the right foot and can keep you from buying a huge, expensive lunch. Try cheap breakfast foods, like oatmeal or eggs, which will likely keep your stomach (and wallet!) full.

32. Paying Multiple Student Loans

Interest rates are still relatively low, so it could be a good time to consolidate your student loans. By consolidating, you might even be able to lower your monthly payments and extend your repayment period.

38. Throwing Out Leftovers

In 2012, Americans threw out 35 million tons of food, which was nearly three times more than what they discarded in 1960, reports The Washington Post. Keep your food waste to a minimum by learning to use your leftovers. Or better yet, bring them to work for lunch the next day.

39. Buying Basic Items at the Grocery Store

Many warehouse clubs will give you the best bang for your buck on staples such as toilet paper, trash bags, laundry detergent and diapers. Bulk items usually offer better prices per unit — you’ll just have to figure where to store 140 rolls of paper towels.

To read every item on the list, go to the original article at 40 Mindless Ways You’re Burning Through Your Paycheck