5 Ways I Wasted Money Last Month!


With my huge goals for getting financially fit in 2016, I’m trying to save (and earn) money in every possible way. I’m doing pretty well so far! But nobody is perfect (especially not me!) and mistakes are already being made on my financial journey. Mistakes in the form of wasted money! Here are 5 (dumb) ways I wasted money last month, and a special treat at the end of the post!

ways I wasted money

1 & 2: Not Being the “Pocket Police”

If you’re in charge of laundry in your household, you’re going to see where this one is going real fast! As a stay at home mom to two boys under three and the wife of a husband who works out 5-6 days per week, I am constantly doing laundry. To keep things manageable, I do a load a day, at least 6 days a week. I try to start a load in the morning, even if I don’t get it completely put away by the end of the day. Most of the time I am hyper-aware of which clothing needs a little extra attention (stain removal, etc), and I check all pockets. Some days are more hectic than others and I just toss everything in the machine!

In January I wasted money by not checking pockets and washing a Chapstick.

Not only is this annoying because now I’m down one Chapstick, but can also wreak havoc if the melted Chapstick leaks out of the container (will leave a grease stain on clothes). Luckily, I didn’t ruin any clothes this time around.

Money Wasted: $3

But then I left something MUCH pricier than lip balm in a sweatshirt pocket one day. My wireless, bluetooth-enabled, Beats headphones! I absolutely loved these headphones and used them for listening to podcasts at home and while working out at the gym. They sadly did not survive their journey in the washing machine. These count as a “luxury item” and will not be replaced any time soon! 🙁 *moment of silence for my headphones*

Wasted Money: $100+ Ouch! That one hurts!

3 & 4: Blizzard Brain

Jonas, the big Blizzard of 2016, paid a visit to our part of Virginia in January. We got over 2 feet at our house! In anticipation of the storm, I lost my mind a little. Did I stock up on water, de-icing salt, flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable foods like a responsible person?  Um, no.

I love a good snow day and apparently use them as an excuse to stock up on junk food! If we were going to be snowed in, I wanted everyone to have “treats!” I purchased frozen pizzas, mac n cheese for my husband, pancake mix for breakfast, and special juices for my toddler. I treated myself to a package of “snow cookies” that were eaten before the first snowflake even fell! Whoops! 😉 (I’ll write more about my cookie problem later this month). I totally disregarded my price book and didn’t pay attention at all to prices for these fun food purchases! Snowflakes clouded my judgement, but luckily we still stayed within our overall January grocery budget.

Wasted Money: approximately $20

I was also very excited to play in the snow with my toddler, and ran out at the last minute to buy snow gloves. The only pair left in town 2 days before the blizzard hit was at least 7 sizes too big for my little guy, but I bought them anyways! They were hilariously big, and there was no way he could have made a snowball without serious help.

Wasted Money: $5

5: One Word: Babies.

My baby and toddler are not following my plan to get financially fit in 2016. If they were on board, they wouldn’t want to waste any food right? Cheerios, a food they both claim to love, are being chucked from highchairs, sprinkled in my car, and shoved between couch cushions. I think about my grocery budget every time I sweep handfuls of Cheerios up in the kitchen at the end of the day. I have even found Cheerios being hauled by Thomas the Tank Engine. I’m not even going to add up all of the half eaten apples or bananas that were thrown away because they ‘looked funny.’

Money Wasted: At least $2.50 (1/2 a box of Cheerios). 

Let’s assess the damage for the entire month…

Total Money Wasted in January : over $130.50!  

Yikes! $130.50 is a big deal when your budget is tight and you have a heavy load of debt. Please try not to repeat my silly money mistakes!

Want Money Saving Ideas?

This was meant to be a lighthearted post, and I hope you took it that way. Joking aside, I do know a lot of people out there (myself included) need to be really careful not to waste any money. If you’re more interested in ways to SAVE money, instead of wasting it like me, you should check out my friend Jamie’s blog Medium Sized Family. Jamie is a mom of 5 kids, so she’s basically a superhero. Like me, she has also set some big financial goals for 2016.

5 Ways We've Saved Money Series

She has an awesome series called “5 Ways We’ve Saved” that has been running for over 20 weeks now! That’s over 100 ways to save money, so if you’re looking for creative tips she’s definitely got you covered! Her series inspired this post, and I hope you find some great ideas on her blog.

(Stay at home yogi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com)

Feautured on Frugal Friday!

Anyone else suffer from Blizzard Brain? Or wash anything expensive? Tell me I’m not alone in the comments below! 🙂

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  1. I loved this post, and may even borrow the concept for my blog – with credit, of course. (Sadly, I shouldn’t have any problem coming up with a monthly list…) I’m so sorry about your headphones – OUCH!

  2. Ouch about the headphones!! Hope you can earn a little extra to replace them. I’ve washed a $20 bill before. That sucked. I usually end up washing tissues or some kind of folded up piece of paper or receipt, but those aren’t usually too painful. Well, the tissues in the wash do cause it to snow inside my machine lol.
    Julie S recently posted…Fine Motor Skills Activity: Straws in a CupMy Profile

    • Love the “snow” Julie, lol! Usually when it snows in my washing machine it’s because of business cards in my husband’s pockets. I will not be replacing my headphones any time soon, but I am stealing my husband’s since we rarely go to the gym together! I just better not ruin his!

  3. This is awesome! Every time I sit down to write a 5 Ways We’ve Saved post, I mentally go through like 20 ways we wasted money. Just keep swimming, right? 🙂
    Jamie @ Medium Sized Family recently posted…2 Week Meal Plan for Late FebruaryMy Profile

  4. Ahh yes, the evil chapstick, villain el numero uno of all laundry-doing people everywhere. Honest mistake, we are all due for our chapstick miss once a year! 😉 Funny post – the cereal I find embedded everywhere is Crispix! Keep on savin’ lady! 🙂
    Katie recently posted…Happiness Is Homemade Link Party #108My Profile

  5. Oh man, the headphones.

  6. Oh the heartbreak over the headphones! But you’re taking away the important part of all this, learning from it for next month, and moving on. And the cheerios -it’s ridiculous how many weird places I find lost cheerios!
    Samantha recently posted…Why Moms Need WineMy Profile

  7. The headphones made me sad! I’ve done this plenty of time. Except I always wash my husbands pins and they get all over his uniform! Ahh! I loved this post it made me smile. I wasted too much money in Feb. I’m going to do better in March.
    Healing Mama recently posted…What I Know About LoveMy Profile

  8. When I was in high school we had paper punch cards for lunches. I frequently forgot to remove my lunch card from my pocket before dropping my jeans off in the laundry. Usually my mom would catch it before it went through, but other times she would just find little pieces of confetti in the wash. I’m sure she washed over $100 worth of lunch cards before I graduated. Oops!

  9. it’s so easy to waste money in dribs and drabs and then notice how it’s all added up. I tended to cut fruit up for my kids and only gave it to them a bit at a time so it wasn’t left or thrown around. I figured if they couldn’t eat it then they shouldn’t have it. We never wasted food and treats were pretty rare (a bit like your snow day – you’re allowed the occasional splurge!) thanks for sharing on our #OTM link up ~ Leanne 🙂
    Leanne@crestingthehill recently posted…the heart values resonanceMy Profile

  10. I’m the worst at wasting money. Mostly I like shopping and can’t help myself. And even though I try and make sandwiches when we go out, the boys always want to buy soda or sausage rolls or Mickey D’s and I guess sometimes I can’t say no.
    Lana recently posted…Weekly Doodle ChallengeMy Profile

  11. I have never thought about these little money wastes before, but, man, did you put it into perspective. I am wasting a bunch of money. Good heavens! Thank you for sharing this (so sorry about the headphones and chapstick)!

  12. Haha, I don’t know why your kids aren’t on board with the goal of being financially fit — it’s such a logical goal! 🙂

    So sorry about your headphones. 🙁
    Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless recently posted…Chicken-CountingMy Profile

  13. Ugh. I definitely feel you on not policing the laundry. I only do my own and I still have a bad habit of finding stuff that shouldn’t’ve been washed in the pockets!
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #130My Profile

  14. I can relate to Blizzard Brain here in MN! Just feeling safer and wanting that peace of mind. Getting together a basic kit has really helped.

  15. I’ve never washed my headphones (ouch. glad I like bigger ones that don’t fit in pockets) but at least every few months I find a tube of Bert’s Bees has gone through the wash. Like last week. I’m trying really hard not to put the lip balm in my pockets anymore, because I’m definitely the culprit.
    There’s no telling about kids and their food, though. My daughter will swear up and down she wants some treat and then turn up her nose after one taste. Or eat something for a week, and then the next week decide it’s the worst. It’s better than it used to be now that she’s 5, but it still happens.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…“Watching Toy Videos Just Makes Me Want Stuff.”My Profile

    • My toddler has started doing that too Emily! It’ll drive you insane! “I don’t like mac n cheese” WHAT? That was your favorite food ever yesterday!!

  16. Are the floor decorations Cheerios or generic cereal?
    RAnn recently posted…My Peer Lending Accounts: February 2016My Profile

    • I go back and forth. Usually generic, but I buy Cheerios when I get money back for the from my favorite rebate app! I love “floor decoration”, I’ll have to start using that! 😉

  17. This post really made me giggle! RIP headphones 🙁 I feel your pain on that one. My favourite pair are just about done. I washed my one and only beauty essential in the wash: Burt’s Bees Peppermint lip balm. It’s the only thing that works on my dry lips.
    lolobunny recently posted…Foundations U: Simple and Useful Budgeting Tools That Are FreeMy Profile

  18. For someone who also tends to waste money, I feel you. lol

  19. Ack! That’s a lot of wasted money! It almost physically hurts when you see numbers add up like that.
    Jenn Peters recently posted…Fudgy Cake Mix Brownies RecipeMy Profile

    • You’re right Jenn, it hurts! Which is why I haven’t ever added up things like how much credit card or student loan interest I’ve paid! That would be a BIG ouchie!

  20. We waste loads of money as well! My hubby is the worst because every day before and during work he buys coffees, snacks and lunches which definitely adds up over time! something to be mindful about for sure.
    Tori recently posted…Must-Have Baby Items I Wished I Had With My First ChildMy Profile

  21. Girl I hate it when I leave something in my pockets! Ug or when my daughter leaves a kleenex in hers. It’s the worst! And I’m always losing my chapsticks, I hate that! LOL There are some serious time wasters and money wasters, rewashing all the laundry.

    And I was doing fine on junk food, then I read this, I made a blueberry cobbler, topped with vanilla ice cream for good measure! LOL And I had 2 helpings! So there! But I’m not sure I’d consider this a waste, I ate it instead of dinner, so I’m pretty sure it was a gain, especially to my hips!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…Choose light. Choose Love. Lots of Love.My Profile

  22. Oh my, please don’t get me started on money wasted this month. Mostly on home office equipment and stationary that I already have!!
    Home Office Geeks recently posted…10 Coolest Home Office Setups You Will Want In Your HomeMy Profile

  23. Oh man, this is a great list! Thank you for sharing! It makes me more aware of the places where I’m wasting money each month. I really need to write it out like this (although I probably won’t like the results!). 🙂
    Bree recently posted…4 Tips for Breaking Free from a Negativity RutMy Profile

  24. I’ve washed more Chapsticks than I can count. And serious bummer about the headphones! 🙁

    I thought Cheerios where expensive here. $5 for a box is a good $1.20 more that the big box here. During first trimester with this pregnancy there were days I came home from the grocery store and half of what I spent was cravings. Totally get you on the “too much on treats” thing. (visiting from Thrifty Thursday)

  25. With you on the Cheerios! My daughter is the same, I switched her to own brand cereal and told her the Cheerios are her ‘special cereal’ – in other words she only gets it when it’s on special offer! She seemed to take it better than I expected, haha! x
    Mummy’s Blog recently posted…Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Fun n Fold Bouncer ReviewMy Profile

  26. We are currently doing an overhaul on our spending and I cringe sometimes at the silly things I waste money on!

  27. This is a great way to learn how to save money on what you are wasting money on. Hmmm

  28. Oh Erin! Isn’t it funny how we think of these detailed things when we start taking control of our money? It feels good, but also silly sometimes how my mind works now.
    Angela @ Setting My Intention recently posted…10 Helpful Tips for the New BloggerMy Profile

  29. Oh no, I feel so sorry for your poor headphones. I’ve left mine in my gym trouser pocket a few times and washed my gym kit. Amazingly enough they have survived the wash and still work (and they look less grubby too!) Shame the same didn’t happen for you.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    Life Loving recently posted…The Dubai FountainMy Profile

  30. Oh my gosh, I had to laugh at your Cheerios problem! I have the same problem and my youngest is four! I had to reach down into the couch while searching for the lost remote and I think I found two boxes worth!!!
    I will join you in your moment of silence for your Beats Headphones…that really stinks! 🙁
    Lisa @ Fun Money Mom recently posted…Shrimp, Bacon & Cream Cheese Phyllo PursesMy Profile

  31. Catching up on the #FridayFrivolity posts I missed…. I SO RELATE to washing things!! Your poor headphones, sniff sniff. I’ve washed so many chapsticks, resulting grease marks and all. *shakes head*

    Pinning and tweeting!
    Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom recently posted…READ or DON’T Read – A Book Review in Miniature of The Happiness Project by Gretchen RubinMy Profile

  32. Chapstick is 0.15 of an ounce for $3.00 or $320.00 a pound and contains cancer causing carcinogens. I use shea butter which is $8.00 a pound off Amazon, Shea butter contains no carcinogens and works way better than chap stick and I save $312.00 a pound. before that my kids used to waste my chap stick. I haven’t stopped the waste but at least now I am not paying $320.00 a pound.

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