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25 Things Rich People Avoid Spending Even One Dollar On

Trista May 25, 2021

Saving money and becoming financially successful can take some work, but it can become easier. People who are successful with their finances have found ways to save money and build their savings. If you could become rich by doing simple things, why not give it a try?

In this article, you’ll see how rich, successful people save their money and remain rich. You don’t have to change your entire life, but by making intelligent decisions, you can become rich and successful too. Continue reading to find out how others save their money and stay rich without wasting money. Here are 25 things rich people never spend their money on.


25. Bank Fees

People who are rich and know better than to waste money by paying bank fees when it can be avoided. For example, many banks require a monthly maintenance fee for certain accounts they have to offer. According to a CNNMoney analysis, America’s three biggest banks, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, earned more than $6.4 billion in 2016 from ATM and overdraft fees alone.

An easy way to avoid fees such as those is to play by the banks’ rules. For instance, Bank of America’s Core Checking account charges a $12 monthly fee to those who use its services, but you can get the fee waived if you meet one of several requirements such as maintaining a specific average daily or arranging at least one direct deposit that exceeds a set minimum. These are things to take into account when using a bank.


24. Credit Card Interest

A credit card can come in handy in many instances, but sometimes it’s a little too convenient. It’s easy to swipe and get what you want, but you won’t catch rich people racking up high credit card interest. They know it’s a waste of money and avoid it. A way to avoid accruing interest on your credit card is to transfer or consolidate your debt to a credit card with a 0% introductory APR. Just make sure to pay off your balance before the promotional period has ended.

Henderson said another option is to “consolidate any non-deductible debt into a second mortgage or home equity line of credit, which may be deductible depending on your particular situation.” Live on less than you earn once you’re out of the red. Henderson also states that “if you can train yourself to regularly and systematically put away money for your future, you can build wealth steadily and not need to rely on credit cards or other non-deductible debt.”


23. Lottery Tickets

If you want to become rich, don’t play the lottery as it’s a sure way to burn your money fast. You have about a one in 292 million chance of winning the Powerball grand prize, which means the odds are not looking to be in your favor. So don’t bother wasting your money on a Powerball ticket. By doing the math, it adds up quickly. If you were to play twice a week for a year and bought two tickets each time, you’d have put more than $400 in the hole.

According to Henderson, rich people usually make a more logical choice and invest their money into other things, which is something you may want to consider. “Many studies have shown that people who might be considered low income play the lottery much more regularly than higher-income people, who typically only play when jackpots get very large, and there is more media attention,” Henderson states. People who invest money into more logical things seem to have better outcomes regarding financial stability, too.


22. Late Fees

People who are successful with money don’t get saddled with late fees that can chip away at their bank account balances and credit scores. Credit card companies raked in $12 million in penalty payments including late fees in 2016, according to The Motley Fool. Even paying late can cost people who pay off their balances every month, and over time that adds up even if it doesn’t seem like it initially.

Think about it. Nearly every other monthly bill carries its own procrastination penalty as well. With that in mind, think about how much you could be saving if you didn’t have late fees to pay off. Savvy spenders have found a way to avoid late fees by automating everything. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “How can I get rich?” look into automating your payments so that you don’t get hit with fees and penalty rates.


21. Inflated Interest Rates

As of April 2017, Americans’ average FICO score hit 700, its highest mark since Fair Isaac Corporation, which created the credit risk scoring system and started tracking it. Credit scores play a leading role in determining your interest rate for mortgages, auto loans, and more. Just having a higher credit score can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest over the life of a loan. However, those with substandard scores may not be able to land a loan at all. Rich and successful people keep their credit reports pristine by paying their bills on time, fixing mistakes on their credit reports, and keeping debt levels low.

If you already have a decent credit history but carry a balance on some credit card accounts, maybe consider calling card issuers to request a higher credit limit. With a higher limit, it can help to reduce your credit utilization rate, which is the percentage of available credit you are using and could help boost your score. If you have the chance while speaking with a card issuer, ask for a rate reduction. The lower your interest rate is, the faster you can blast your balances.


20. Extended Warranties

If you’ve ever made a big purchase on something such as a flat-screen TV, then you were probably asked if you would like to purchase an extended warranty. Well, according to Dave Ramsey and other experts, someone who is financially successful would answer “no” to that. Moreover, although people want the most value from products, extended warranties generally don’t give you more bang for your buck. Often, they just put more money into the pockets of large companies, according to Ramsey in an interview on his website.

In fact, according to Consumer Reports, retailers keep about 50 percent or more of what they charge you for an extended warranty. So extended warranties are usually something that rich people tend to avoid. What do they do instead? They do their own research on products before making big purchases, something everyone should do. When buying something expensive from the store, check your manufacturer’s warranty before saying yes to an extended warranty because you might have more coverage than you thought. Also, compare the cost of any potential repairs versus the extended warranty on your product.


19. They Have Lower Interest Savings Accounts

Suppose you like stashing cash into a savings account because it’s secure, and you can pull money out on a whim and would like to see more than pennies on your interest. In that case, you should consider changing your strategy to emulate a financial mogul truly. Regular savings accounts don’t earn you much interest. The national savings account rate is a meager 0.06 percent, which is a big difference from what you can expect from a high yield savings account. By looking beyond traditional brick-and-mortar banks, you can find high-yield savings accounts.

For example, online banks frequently offer higher return rates because they have no or lower overhead costs. Credit Unions provide more attractive rates as well. A recent GOBankingRates survey found the best savings account rates in the country tend to be at credit unions, with some rates topping 7% APR. Explore online savings account options if you are looking to boost your wealth by making more wise decisions with your money.


18. Bad Real Estate

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett still lives in the house he bought for $31,500 in 1958, in Omaha, Nebraska. He paid significantly more for his vacation home in Laguna Beach, California, purchasing the 3,588-square foot home in 1971 for $150,000. In 2017, however, he put that property on the market for $11 million, meaning he could turn a $10.85 million profit if he gets his asking price. Author and entrepreneur Tony Robbins advised millennials to look at property as an income engine rather than as a place to put down their roots.

The truth is, however, few homeowners will be as lucky as Warren Buffett or hang on to homes for as long as he has, and there is never a guarantee a home’s value will go up at all. When it comes to his Fiji resort, Robbins takes his own advice. Not only is the Namale Resort and Spa one of the millionaire’s favorite places to go to for a vacation, but it also has the bank account-building bonus of commanding between $1,244 and $2,500 per night for all-inclusive accommodations for two.


17. High-End Clothes Brands

Although you may see many designer labels on the red carpet, many rich people don’t choose designer labels for every purchase they make. Even though they have the funds to splurge on luxury retailers, they understand that it doesn’t always mean they should. “Financially successful people comparison shop and understand the importance of both quality and cost,” said Tayne. “They may go for a cheaper item or buy a higher quality item from a cheaper store to make the wisest financial purchase.”

So what do people with lots of money buy? It really can just depend on the day. For example, former first lady Michelle Obama donned her share of designer duds. However, she was also seen boarding Air Force One and making press appearances while wearing dresses from Target during her husband’s presidential tenure. If you want to emulate the habits of rich people, you should ask yourself if that $200 pair of designer jeans is actually worth the investment, or will a $30 discount pair do the trick? Shop wisely to keep your budget and financial goals in mind.


16. Extravagant Inheritances

Rich, successful families are often able to give the younger generation a helping hand when it comes to housing and tuition for school. According to a recent survey from Personal Capital, 18 percent of affluent parents come from households with investable assets of $500,000 or more planned to cover their children’s rent completely. In comparison, 14 percent planned to pay for their kids’ homes. For the most part, however, supporting their kids for life is not one thing that rich people tend to do.

Many millionaires and even billionaires have publicly announced plans to leave a big bundle to charitable causes rather than keeping all that money in the family. Bill Gates, for example, has said he plans to donate the bulk of his billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation rather than leaving it to his three children. Another example would be Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. They have two daughters but have pledged to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charitable causes during their lifetimes.


15. Video Games and Televisions

Financially successful people tend to spend significantly less time glued to screens of all kinds than their lower-income peers. That’s especially true when it comes to video games and TV, according to 2015 data from Nielsen. Adults in households with annual incomes below $25,000 spent 42.22 minutes monthly using video game consoles, compared to adults in homes with annual incomes over $75,000 who spent 17.58 minutes in front of a screen playing video games.

Adults in the lowest income households spend on average 211.14 minutes monthly watching live or recorded television, compared with 113.42 minutes for adults from the highest income group. That’s more than three episodes of a normal 30-minute show including commercial breaks, for example, that wealthier people spent doing something different (ie: more productively) with their time. So maybe try turning off the TV if you want to see how highly effective people tend to spend their weekends.


14. Impulse Purchases

We’ve all been there; we walk into a store to purchase only one of two things but come out with a cart full of stuff we don’t need. Maybe there was a sale so you grabbed a few extra items. Whatever the reason behind your impulse spending, this isn’t a shopping practice the rich. Successful people tend to be planners, and impulse buys don’t mesh with this.

If you’d like to copy the behavior of those who are rich and successful, be more cautious with your money, says Leslie Tayne, author of “Life and Debt.” Tayne suggested switching to cash-only to curb your spending. “Use the envelope system, bring with you only a predetermined amount of money to spend at each store,” she said. “This approach will help you stay on budget and curb any habits you might ordinarily have in impulse buying and overspending. Warren Buffet has his approach to avoiding impulse buying. He was once quoted as saying, “I insist on much time being spent, almost every day, to sit and think. I do more reading and thinking and make fewer impulse decisions than more people in business.”


13. Autopay Services

Although autopay makes banking easier, sometimes it makes it too easy for money to flow in and out of your account without you registering it. Intentionally paying your bills makes your brain note the expenditure when writing out a physical check or even filling out a form online. Autopay may seem helpful because you never have to worry about the fees because you can set it and forget it. But not seeing what is going on with your account can become a dillema if more money is coming out than going in.

By checking your transactions at least once a month, you get a good sense of what you are spending. People who are financially successful and good at saving write all their transactions down in their budget, which everyone should make monthly to help control how much money they spend. If you are spending more than your budget allows, there’s going to be an issue.


12. Retirement Rip-Offs

Even a seemingly nominal fee that adds up to 1 percent can cost big when funding a Qualified Plan like a 401(k). “Such a small fee can reduce your retirement balance by 28 percent,” says Garrett Gunderson, the founder, and chief wealth architect at the Wealth Factory. It’s important to realize that retirement plan fees include administration charges, legal fees (set up fees and admin fees), and fund marketing charges known as 12-b-1 fees (marketing fees). There are also expense ratios like paying for the manager even if it doesn’t beat a low or no cost index fund.

By reading the fee disclosure statement that lists out investment options for your 401(k), you’re helping yourself to avoid paying these fees that may be unnecessary. That will help you figure out if it’s worth looking into a plan that is at a lower cost for you, meaning you will be helping yourself out with saving money in the end. One of the most common retirement savings mistakes is forgetting about the unanticipated costs of it.


11. Cable Costs

While they say they are holding down their prices in general, cable TV providers are adding fees to cover their costs. The costs come from carrying and providing specific broadcast networks such as CBS or regional sports channels. “In any event, cable companies will almost always renegotiate or lower the costs of Internet service, cable packages, etc., if you call to cancel. For example, I got mine down from $270 a month to $100 by negotiation,” says Gunderson. So negotiating with your cable company is something to do if you are paying an outrageous amount every month for your TV and internet.

Look at your cable bill, see what channels you watch, what channels you don’t, and what you may get overcharged for. Negotiating a package that gives you just the media that you follow most is a great way to help save money, too. Look at the fees on your bill. Are you paying for any extra boxes or modems? You may be able to replace the model you are renting from your cable company with one that you can own yourself, which will pay for itself in months.


10. PayPal Options

“If you use PayPal to shop online, then there’s a good chance that at some point, you’re going to incur some monthly fee that is automatically charged to your PayPal account. This is usually the case when you sign up for some online membership or subscription”, says Steve Wang, a certified financial planner who runs a career blog. Because it’s not your regular bank account, you may not see the number in your account as often, not realizing money is being taken out monthly without you even noticing. Businesses use this system to take advantage of those who forget to cancel something or never knew they were signing up for a recurring charge anyhow.

These fees will run for an indefinite amount of time until you take the initiative to cancel them. Before doing so, they can slowly eat away at your finances. As for strategy, Steve Wang says, “Always check your PayPal payment history. Chances are if something is being charged on a weekly or monthly basis that you don’t immediately recognize, it’s a recurring payment. If you wish to cancel a recurring payment, there’s a user page within your PayPal account setting where you can manage all the recurring payments currently active on that account.” So when trying to save, watch out for your PayPal account if you have one and use it to make purchases.


9. Prepaid Cash Cards

Even though they can be a good choice for kids leaving home for the first time, prepaid cash cards can be dangerous. “Almost all prepaid cards come with some activation fee, swipe fee, or monthly maintenance fee. While they may seem inconsequential at first, these fees can often pile up,” says Steve Wang. So beware of wasting money on extra fees charged by using prepaid cards.

Be wary of what prepaid cards come with no fees. Most do. Wang also stated, “Only use prepaid cards when you have to, and be sure to read the fine print or do some research online regarding what fees may be potentially involved.” You won’t see rich people using prepaid cards to make purchases in the store, and for good reason. If you must use a prepaid card, do adequate research first.


8. Overdraft Fees

Not only do you have to watch out for hidden fees when making purchases, but you also need to watch out for overdraft fees to your bank account. “Overdraft fees are also adding up to more than $30 each time you overdraft. This is another fee that can be completely avoidable by setting up alerts with your bank that will warn you when you are getting low on funds,” says Drake. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your account balances anyway.

You can also make an option for your card, where you can opt out of overdraft protection, and your debit card will be denied if you don’t have enough in your account when making a purchase. Most banks do usually offer one grace overdraft, as well. “If you get hit with a fee, call and ask if you can have it waived. Many banks will do that once a year,” said Drake. So if you do use a debit card, watch out for those overdraft fees, too.


7. Rich People Use Cash or Checks

Those who are good money savers often tend to use physical types of money versus credit cards. Research has shown that people can spend way more money using a credit card versus paying with cash for obvious reasons. Statistics have also shown that the average cash transaction is $22, whereas the average non-cash payment is $112. That’s a vast difference between the two. So using a credit card when you are trying to save some money is probably a no-go.

If you’re trying to save yourself some money, handing someone a wad of cash or writing out a check helps provide you with enough of a mental speed bump to slow down many impulse buys. To help with setting a budget, figure out how much you spend weekly or monthly on bills, and put that money aside to pay for those. Give yourself a budget of what you can spend on fun things that aren’t bill-related, and put that money into an envelope or your wallet. Once that money is gone, that’s the end of your budget for the week or month.


6. Saving Over Spending

It sounds simple enough, right? It’s one of the best money-saving tips to make saving a priority that rich people do. Andrea Woroch, a consumer finance expert, says, “Before spending, they pay themselves first by putting savings into a retirement account or other self-directed savings account.” At the time, it may not seem like you are getting anything out of it since you don’t see the money, but when you look at your account later on, you’ll be glad that you put savings into them.

When saving, you can use those savings towards anything you desire, but be sure it’s not something that you will regret spending money on after it’s gone. Saving for retirement is one of the biggest things financially successful people save their money for. Make sure that you put enough away to be able to live comfortably after you’re done working, make sure that all your bills will get paid monthly still, and you will be able to afford groceries and gas.


5. Rich People Do Use Coupons

Those who are good at saving still look for ways to save money. Being frugal is a big part of keeping your money, and good savers aren’t too proud to use those coupons they find, hunt down the best deal, or research all options before making purchases. Just like it was stated above, rich people don’t make impulse decisions. You shouldn’t either.

“Good savers think through each purchase and research alternatives like used options, compare competitor prices, look for coupons, and read reviews in detail to make the best buying decision,” Woroch says. Download a coupon app on your phone and search for coupons to see if anything may be helpful.


4. Learn How to Reduce Bill Costs

There are many ways to help reduce the costs of bills in your home. For example, turning off lights when you leave a room to unplugging things that aren’t in use. Another good way to help save money is to cut back on resources. That might include taking shorter showers and turning off the kitchen faucet while loading dishes are simple steps. However, they have a big result. In turn, these actions will help reduce water waste. By keeping a water bottle or pitcher in the refrigerator, you won’t have to worry about running the tap until you get water that’s cold enough to drink.

Go around your home and inspect appliances such as faucets, dishwashers, and toilets for any drips and leaks regularly. You can also add aerators to your faucets to help be more frugal and save on money. These attachments help reduce the amount of water that comes through the tap. You not only increase water performance, but you save money. By changing up little things around your house, you can save. Another example would be to switch out your regular light bulbs over to LED. They’re brighter and don’t use up nearly as much energy, which saves money too.


3. Avoiding Putting Money Away

Here’s a stat that may sound crazy or even scary, about 56 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. It means that millions of us are just a layoff away from being in financial ruins. Good savers save, and as obvious as that may sound, it’s accurate and helpful to them. How much money you need to keep depends entirely on your lifestyle, of course, as everyone is different. However, it is recommended to have enough money to cover at least three to six months of basic expenses like utilities, food, insurance, and mortgage.

If something were to happen to you or your family, make sure you are prepared. Living paycheck to paycheck can cause stress and anxiety for many people, and it’s something that should be avoided if at all possible. If you cannot save money and live paycheck to paycheck, reevaluating your situation may be a good idea; figure out what you need and what you don’t need and go from there. It’s not easy, but over time will get easier.


2. Splurging

Wasting money seems like a self-evident thing that people who are good with money tend not to do. People who are good with money and are rich and successful don’t waste their money on things like the latest digital gadgets or expensive, lavish vacations. Instead, they prefer to be comfortable by staying at a cozy, comfortable hotel and stick to using the phone they already have. These people understand how significant the value of money is and spend it on things that last a long time.

With that being said, it’s advisable to spend a certain amount of money on things that will matter in the long run versus wasting money on something that will break down within a few years. Again, research things before making purchases, and don’t make purchases on things that don’t matter and aren’t necessary.


1. Rich People Evaluate Wants vs. Needs

Rich people write down a list of their basic needs, their wants, and their big wishes. There is a big difference between want and need. Furthermore, knowing the difference will surely help save money and purchase things that may not be necessary. Treating yourself once in a while is okay as your mental health is essential too. However, if your money is stretched thin, you’re just going to become stressed. In turn, this is not suitable for your mental health.

So when it comes to making decisions about what you are about to buy, stop and think about the necessity of said thing first. Do you need it, or do you want it to have it? Can it be used for anything else, or is it limited to just one thing, and how often will you use it? Wasting money is not something wealthy people like to do. They didn’t become rich by purchasing items that weren’t necessarily needed. It’s important always to put your needs before your wants.