These bad habits can definitely prevent you from having more money

Did you read through your contract, before signing on the dotted line? (

Wondering where all your money goes? We have some ideas... check out this list of things you need to stop wasting money on.

One of the toughest lessons South Africans need to learn is how to spend money wisely. We live in a culture where being seen, heard and in-the-know, is a must. Yet, overspending can have devastating effects on our finances.

Here are 7 things to think twice about before blowing your hard-earned cash:

Cappuccinos are a delicious treat now and again. But if your mornings are incomplete without your daily caffeine dose, run a quick calculation of the amount you spend over 365 days, and you might never be able to get out of bed again. Assuming coffee costs you R20 per day, you’re approximately spending R7300 in a year! Rather stick to making your own coffee for that morning kick.

Unused gym memberships are costing you a fortune. Remember vowing to making 2015 your year of fitness and health? How many times have you actually visited the gym since signing up at that trendy gym? Gym fees don’t come cheap and not taking full advantage of your membership is costing you. If you can’t get out of your gym contract, maybe it’s time you started using it.

Annual credit card fees can cause serious debt problems when you aren’t vigilant about your spending habits. We love spoiling ourselves and although retail therapy seems like a great way to treat ourselves, in the long-term it can break our budget. Reading your bank statement will ensure you know how much interest you’re paying for every swipe you make. Also consider pay back plans, and next time you’re out shopping, ask yourself if you really need that item.

Read: Are you being paid enough?

Cell phone bills add up quickly. Before signing on the dotted line, did you read through your contract to check all the extras you’re paying for? Do you even need all of them? In comparison to international standards, data charges in South Africa are quite steep. So instead of wasting your data perusing through what your followers are up to on Instagram and Twitter, make use of Wifi hotspots. Alternatively, buy data bundles – it’ll cost you much less than paying out-of-bundle rates.

Petrol costs are never steady, and if you’re not cautious, they can weigh heavily on your pocket. Unpredictable weather patterns, train jams and unreliable bus timetables probably leave you feeling like your car is the only option, so to save on hefty petrol costs, consider joining a car pool to travel to and from work.

Takeout lunches always seem convenient when you think you don’t know what to pack for lunch. But have you thought about how much you’re paying per day for your quinoa salad? Putting a little effort in preparing your lunch for work will turn out to be a huge money-saver in the long-run.

Not reading the Ts&Cs, especially when you’re going to be paying off a large purchase for a long period of time, is never a good idea. The small monthly instalment may at first seem like a bargain, but do you have any idea what the balloon payment is? Sometimes it’s wise to go with your gut feeling whenever a purchase seems too good to be true. Otherwise, ask someone more experienced to help you in your decision-making.

The bottom line?

Buy only what you need, right now. Part of what makes shopping so alluring is the mental vacation that comes with imagining how a product can be used, such as, “I’ll turn heads in this outfit”. Don’t let your imagination divert attention from the cost and practicality of an object, nor from reality. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you’ll be using the item in the very near future. If the answer is no, pass the urge.

Alternatively, spend your money wisely on a course to improve your skills. Then visit Careers24to find your next phat paycheck to finance your spending habits.