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Money Expert - Diana Clement - Financial Planning, Career, Investing, Economy, Property - MSN NZ

Even more money wasters

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Some months back, I blogged about the 10 biggest money wasters of all time. Even though I'm a pet owner, I do occasionally view my lovely feline "four-legged money-eater", Buttons, as a huge financial drain.

Just recently, I was frog-marched into the local Animates shop to buy my kids a pet fish and the paraphernalia to go with it. That trip did serious damage to my wallet — even though I'd already bought the tank and filter at a garage sale.

Needless to say, some of my personal choice of money wasters, such as pets and mag wheels, outraged more than a few readers. Nevertheless, here are some more money wasters, which readers pointed out in replies to the original blog post.

Ten more money wasters

1. Cigarettes. Plenty of readers pointed out that they knew of people whose cigarette habits came before feeding the kids or paying other bills. Kiwi Girl of Auckland, says, "Why do we spend our hard-earned money on killing ourselves?"

Rob of Auckland adds, "After all, pets bring companionship and cigarettes, cancer. Often people will spend $30 or more per week to increase their chances of cancer while $10 per week seems quite reasonable for companionship." Sopranodebs of Brisbane concludes, "Vices are vices, they are not necessities."

2. Beauty treatments are a waste of money, says Mike of Taupo. Check out this blog post to learn how to do beauty treatments on the cheap: "DIY for the ladies".

3. Alcohol. Dee from Wellington comments her single parent spends at least $100 a week on alcohol, but barely $20 a week on the family pet. For more, visit: "Quit booze: get rich".

4. Sky TV. I cancelled my subscription a couple of years ago and replaced it with a weekly visit to Civic Video's $1 hire night on Tuesdays. Katie05, a teacher from Palmerston North, is struck by how many families have Sky satellite dishes on their roofs but send their kids to school with no lunch and no shoes.

5. Eating out. My line on this is to enjoy dining out, but do it in moderation and not for convenience.

6. Private-school fees. Cookie of Auckland points out that private schools cost thousands a month and New Zealand has one of the best public-school systems in the world.

7. Designer, imported shoes and "European" goods. When I lived in the UK, I viewed Zanussi products as "cheap crap", yet here, the fact that they come from Italy carries some sort of bizarre caché which makes us spend over the odds on them.

8. Vitamin pills and supplements. Now here's an issue bound to offend. Some people are convinced their lives would be much worse without their daily vitamin supplement, acai berry juice or other magic potion. I'm personally in the poppycock camp on this one. A good healthy diet and regular exercise is what you need. For more on this one, check out my blog post: "Is multi-level marketing a scam?"

9. Lotto tickets are a waste of money, says Souleagle of Dunedin. The amount people spend on a one-off chance to be rich is crazy, says another reader. I know I'm onto a loser this week, with Big Wednesday up for a $30million jackpot. But at least consider ways to reduce what you spend. The cheapest Powerball ticket is $4.40 a week. You don't need to buy a Powerball Lucky Dip at $11.

10. Children. Finally, says reader Lakota of Wellington: "Mate, you should have put children at the top of your list 'cos you just keep paying and paying for them." Well said, Lakota!

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User comments
To Lakota of Wellington who started this crap...children are not a waste of money, are you saying that as a parent yourself or as a child? Cause if you are a parent then I think you should give your kids up for adoption so they will experience what it's like to have a BETTER parent! You're so stupid to even say that, YES children cost a lot of money but NO it's not a waste of money considering how many parents out there would rather their kids go to school with no shoes and no lunch just so they can buy cigarettes or alcohol...now that's a waste of money! To parents out there who think kids are a waste of money why did you decide to have them in the first place you ungrateful losers! Don't complain about it now you selfish ***, get over yourself and provide for your kids, no kid out there wants to know that they're "a waste of money"...you're the waste of space Lakota...
Children are the biggest waste if money. EVER! They cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Feeding them, clothing them, paying school fees, and on and on and on! Its just disgusting. I thank you for finally putting it out there. P.S. I sit on you, Denedin. CALM DOWN I MEAN WOW P.P.S I'm a 'kid' myself so I know how much money we waste.
Well looking at these comments made me think what do i want in life... well i spend most of my money buying nappies, clothes, going to the gym weekly, food, my car redro and wof and gas... ummm basically per week im putting $40 into my savings account, $25 into kiwisaver and $50 into Noahs Arc which people by the way if your looking to save for a house should i refer Noahs Arc to ya. Well there I have no budget what so ever but still loving my life as a mother, daughter, friend, cousin and work colleague!! Budgets i may say are a waste of lifestyle because people die from stressfull lifestyles and keeping a budget is a stress build up but placing as little as $5, $10 or $20 pw or frtnytly then when you urgently need a deposit or need to buy you something nice you have money saved up.
How DARE YOU SAY children are money-wasters!! I hope you never reproduce!
ok so according to you i should quit smoking like that HA HA HA ! Do you know how hard it is to quit, lets "Face the facts" smoking is like a car, heaps pf kiwis do it and it has become a part of peoples every day life. when you feel like a smoke it is like when you are driving and you speed, you know you shouldn't speed right, but you do it any way, well most people do. the point is, some people are naturally prone to speeding and do you know why? It is because every now and then they see someone els do it, and get away with it, and that observation invokes the green eyed monster and they start to do it to. In Hollywood, smoking has become something of a status symbol, you can see in movies and in tv that when someone is free or about to die, or just want to look tough, they usually pull out a smoke and light up and exhale their smoke toward the harvest moon, it is so captivating what choice do we have?
of interest !
Always make a budget list every pay week.etc. Make list for weekly shopping,paying bills insurance ,car registration etc.Spend where necessary ,cut down dinning out or less often.Set a target that you need to save for from every pay at least something. there is a saying every drop collected fills a bucket.Am sure you'll save a lot can use your money where you most need so no need for credit card small bank loans,no interest to pay. no regrets.
Come on guy's, you only live once... live your life to the fullest, with or without pets, with or without children, smoking non smoking, drinking coffee, alcohol whatever just be happy with what you have and haven't got, there is always someone more or less fortunate than you, enjoy your life, you have only one on this earth, who cares as long as your happy.....
IslandBoy, Wisdom can be taught without a religious base in education just so you know. It's called the parents having their children as actual commitments in their lives. Atheistic educations are not without wisdom. The teachers and parents who are just doing things stupidly by the book in front of them are the ones without wisdom...and that is what makes our education system horrible. The lack of wisdom in our education is the fact that we continue to dumb things down for future generations...rather than teach them what works and provide optional, simple ways to execute old methods. These days apart from the required basics in education our children are barely being taught properly. If any are not learning its because they are not able to teach their selves...but instead are just being splashed some pre-defined babble from a bunch of books provided to the teachers. Then again its convenient that new generations are dumber I guess. That way greedy older generations make money.
We are suffering because our vitals are becoming unaffordable! My husband and I went to South East Asia for two months - when we came back food was about 40% more than it was before we left! We buy simple ingredients and we are vegetarian. Example NZ company InfoTech are offering S-E W995 for $770, the SAME company in Australia are offering it for $630 (incl. exchange rate), Singapore $550. Power in NZ is four times that of Australia. Now a fancy phone isn't vital (my phone, camera and mp3 player have all broken - technology is now built to break - so I'm replacing them), but communication is, so what is with line rental? Utilities companies profits are growing exponentially and they tell us its because of natural causes, economic problems and weather! When you go overseas and come back to such injustice it really makes you feel sick that we are all being ripped off and can't do a thing about it. Shame on NZ - we can't wait to leave.

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