10 Everyday Ways Warren Buffett Says You’re Wasting Money

Warren Buffett
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Warren Buffett is known for his frugality almost as much as he’s known for his investing advice. Throughout the years, he has given insight into everyday habits that might be draining your wallet.

Identifying and eliminating these habits can pave the way to a healthier financial future. Here are some ways, according to Buffett, you might be wasting money without even realizing it.

1. Failing to Invest in Yourself

Buffett emphasizes the importance of investing in yourself. By not dedicating resources to enhancing skills, knowledge, and personal development, you could miss opportunities for advancement and higher earning potential.

“By far the best investment you can make is in yourself,” said Buffett during an interview with Yahoo. “For example, communication skills. I tell students if they just learn to communicate better, both in writing and in person, they increase their value at least 50%. You have to be able to get forth your ideas, and that’s relatively easy. I did it myself.”

Buffett invested in himself by taking a Dale Carnegie course. He went on to say that if you invest in yourself, no one can take that away from you.

2. Paying High Fees for Investments

Buffett advises against investing in funds with high fees. High-cost funds typically don’t outperform low-cost index funds in the long run, and the fees can significantly eat into your returns.

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3. Carrying Credit Card Balances

Buffett warns against credit card debt. Carrying a balance accrues high interest, leading to a cycle of debt that can be challenging to escape. Paying off credit card balances monthly avoids unnecessary interest and safeguards financial health.

The Oracle of Omaha says he mostly pays for items with cash. “I’ve got an American Express Card, which I got in 1964, but I pay cash 98% of the time,” Buffett told Yahoo. “If I’m in a restaurant, I always pay cash. It’s just easier.”

4. Buying Expensive Cars

Buffett prefers inexpensive cars. He also drives the same car for years. He believes in spending wisely rather than shelling out cash on extravagant assets that don’t appreciate. Although Buffett is a wealthy man, he doesn’t believe it’s necessary to live lavishly.   

5. Buying an Expensive Home

“I do not think that standard of living equates with the cost of living beyond a certain point,” said Buffett during a Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. “There’s a point where you start getting inverse correlation.”

Buffett doesn’t believe his life would improve if he had an expensive car and house. He’s content with the home he has owned since 1958.

“My life would not be happier; it would be worse if I had six or eight houses or a whole bunch of different things I could have,” Buffett continued. “It just doesn’t correlate. It doesn’t make any possible difference.”

6. Impulse Buying

Buffett advises self-control when it comes to making purchases. Impulse buying, driven by momentary desires, often leads to unnecessary accumulation and financial strain. Thoughtful spending ensures that every purchase adds value.

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7. Neglecting Health

Buffett underscores the importance of maintaining good health. Neglecting health can result in hefty medical bills down the line. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine check-ups are investments in long-term well-being.

“You get exactly one mind and one body in this world,” said Buffett during his Yahoo interview. “You can’t start taking care of it when you turn 50. By that time, you will have rusted out if you haven’t done anything. You should remember that you’ve just got one mind and one body to get through life with, and you should do the most with it.”

8. Ignoring Small Expenses

Buffett stresses that small expenses can add up over time. Regularly reviewing and trimming subscriptions, memberships, and other recurring charges can lead to significant savings in the long run.

9. Chasing Short-Term Gains

Buffett’s investment philosophy revolves around long-term value. Chasing short-term gains can be risky and may result in losses. Patience and a long-term perspective are the keys to building wealth.

10. Failing to Budget

According to Buffett, failing to budget is akin to navigating uncharted waters without a compass. A well-planned budget provides direction, curbs overspending, and allocates resources to savings and investments.

The Bottom Line

By following Buffett’s advice, you can identify and rectify everyday ways money might be slipping through the cracks. Cultivating mindful spending, investing wisely, and prioritizing health and personal development are cornerstones to achieving financial well-being and building lasting wealth. Adopting these everyday practices can set the foundation for a future of financial prosperity and security.

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Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.

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