top of page

101 Ways To Lose Money

The complete list of how to lose your money!

Jim Johnston ¦ Dec 29th '22 - 16:16
Blog Page Image Link.png

Legal + Disclosure Any financial strategy discussed is at risk of the potential loss. No past performance of any opportunity should be considered an indication of confirmed future benefit. Any financial strategy discussed should not be considered financial advice and is subject to your assessment/s before deciding to proceed. I am not a registered accountant or tax/financial advisor. Please also note that I may benefit from my advice through affiliate systems, however, I only share what I believe to be the best companies, and the commission made is second to that fact.

So I put this list together as a form of reverse advice. This is a list of as many ways as I could think of that I have either lost money or know of someone that has. The beauty of this list is that every single item is controllable by your own choice and decision.

I hope you enjoy it!

1. Bad friends

Bad friends will make you pay for them at every turn. Still help friends out when they need it, just be careful with those that still need it after five years.

2. Naivete

Don't let your not knowing of a subject be a reason for you losing money.

3. Being taken advantage of

Some salesmen will take advantage of a kind and friendly person. Partners can also do the same thing...come to think of it, so can your kids, friends and work colleagues.

4. Unable to say no

Letting someone pressure you? Avoiding confrontation? Don't! Be friendly but firm.

5. Not knowing when to quit

Something no-one talks about but is so important. Business still in the doldrums after several years? Maybe it's time to call it. Flogging a dead horse will not make it move any faster.

6. Having low energy

If you're not on form energy wise there's a strong chance you are missing good opportunities, your best decisions, and even best negotiations.

7. Listening to an overly fearful spouse

Faithfulness to a spouse is important, but it's also important to speak up when they maybe wrong. Speak the truth in love!

8. Allowing fear to dictate your choices

A cliché? Sure. Normally this involves making decisions based on money first. Weigh the facts and base your decision on facts, gut instinct and counsel. Never fear.

9. Choosing a business idea that nobody critiqued

It can be nerve wracking sharing an idea, but it's necessary. Especially for market research. You need to hear the floors in your ideas to know where you stand.

10. Borrowing beyond your means

If the cost to repay your debt monthly is above 50% of your income monthly, you have too much credit - cut it back and get free.

11. Investing in poorly made clothing

Sounds small, but cheap clothing means buying clothing more often. Invest in quality clothes and they'll last longer.

12. Investing in cheap furniture

Same as above but with furniture. Instead of chip board, buy solid wood. It lasts and is therefore resalable years later.

13. Being unwilling to receive

It's better to give than receive. But being unwilling to receive is a sign of pride. Don't be that guy. Say thank you, write a note and pay it forward once you're back on your feet. 

14. Taking the first quote on something, not three

Never buy when you get just one quote, always get at least three. Make sure they are like-for-like and take the one you feel is best.

15. Throwing things away that you could sell

We do stupid things sometimes for convenience or out of laziness. If you can't sell and item give it away if it's good. Throw away as a last result.

16. Not being a giver

Generous people have more friends. Have more friends, you'll have a stronger network. People look after generous people.

17. Selfish

Ties into the above. Never share, never give, never offer help. Lose out financially.

18. Blame shifting

The first ever sin. Blaming everyone else for where you are financially. Take ownership today and never let it go again.

19. Fearful of looking into the details

Ever been misold or misled but were scared to look into it for the hassle it might cause. Don't leave easy money on the table - go and collect. 

20. Allowing your credit to get worse

Credit is important, even though I'm not a fan of it. It can help you invest easier and earlier than you could if you had to save alone.

21. Holding on to things that cost too much

A car, a property, a loan? What do you have in your life that is costing you big but you're reluctant to let go of?

22. Unwilling to plan for the future

Fail to plan and you plan to fail. You will 100% miss the targets you do not set.

23. Listening to a salesman without doing your own research

Some salesmen have a way of bending reality to fit the narrative. Note important benefits and features from an appointment and research them alone separately.

24. Know how to conduct due diligence on an opportunity

You get wind of the deal of a lifetime, how do you check if it stacks up? Learn to do your own due diligence. It's one of the most important items on this list.

25. Wake up too late

The early bird catches the worm. Be ready to go from 5:30-5:45 and you will add months to your life.

26. Stop working too early

The second mouse eats the cheese. People are always in a rush to stop working. Go the extra mile whilst balancing your family time. Based on the above, I would be ready to sleep at 10:30.

27. Leaving things that are bad become urgent

Ever have a car or house repair that you didn't prioritise and it became worse. Deal with the bad before it becomes urgent and save yourself a lot of money.

28. Becoming accustomed to living in survival mode

If you've ever lived in poverty for a few years or more, you can get stuck in survival mode. Survival 'moders' can't contemplate a better life for disbelief it could happen, so they stay in a permanent state of surviving.

29. Holes in your pockets

Literally and metaphorically speaking, what do you have that is losing you money daily, weekly, monthly or more?

30. Getting sucked in to 'Point-Of-Sale' products

Eyes on the exit only. 'Point of sale is named as such to capture you're attention in a final grasp attempt to make you spend more before you leave the store.

31. Keeping up with the Jones’

Spending money on things we don't need, to impress people we don't like. This is a race to the bottom and plus it makes you seem desperate. Have your own style and don't take the bait of trying to compete with someone for the best toys to show everyone you're better. That's poverty at it's truest.

32. Fear of the unknown (not applying for free money)

Whether it's benefits, grants or free money available through projects, systems or government schemes, don't leave it on the table. Fear of the unknown is strong. Be brave and do not rest until every penny of available support is captured.

33. Gambling on sure wins

Amazes me still today the people that will come and tell me about 'sure-fire wins'. There aren't any in gambling, unless it's a scam. I'm no gambler, for the simple reason that the house will always win in the end.

34. Investing in areas you have little to no knowledge

There's nothing wrong with venturing into new territory, but go deep into the due diligence before you start planning how you'll spend your returns.

35. Lending money to friends (better to give it)

I've been on both ends of this and they both end ugly. If you have a friend in need just given them help if you can - not even money necessarily. Better still do it anonymously where possible. You'll save the friendship and also help someone you care about out.

36. Paying for the upkeep of those who should be working

Got any free-loaders in your life? People should be contributing to the home when they are over 18 and in good health. Don't be a sap for a sad story when they should be taking some of the load off your back.

37. Do a grocery shop when you are hungry

You know it's true. Doing a grocery shop when hungry will mean you'll buy additional food (often snack foods) and add a chunk to your bill. 

38. Make financial decisions too quickly

Touched on this in different ways on the list, but always take 24hours or more for a major financial decision. That's typically something that will cost over £/$1,000 overall. It will still be there! Don't buy the salesman's talk of deadlines - there will ALWAYS be a deal to be made. Even if you have to go elsewhere.

39. Take financial advice from poor people

I've been both in my life, but when I've been poor I've made more desperate financial decisions. If someone asked me for financial advice when I was poorer then I will be simply sharing those desperate thoughts, decisions and mindsets.

40. Never pay for help or support

If you think you can do it all then you will most likely try. Your time is your most precious commodity. Let others do things to help and be willing to pay them. Mowing the lawn might take 60 mins. If you value your time at more than £/$10 per hour then have a teen do it and save money.

41. Use credit to pay for monthly costs

Now this is OK if you're the sort of person who clears their credit card monthly. If not, then I urge you, don't turn to credit to cover bills - it will come back and bite later.

42. Use ready meals always instead of batch cooking

Nothing too wrong with a ready meal as such but it will cost you more than batch cooking. If you're trying to get back on your feet then batch cook for at least a season. It's healthier, more filling and will save you money weekly.

43. Leave a small repair to become a big repair

I once had a small leak in a downstairs room. I didn't prioritise it and aver a month later the ceiling collapsed! What would have cost a £/$100 to fix ended up costing thousands. Don't leave the small repairs to become big ones.

44. Never ask for a raise

Ladies this means you especially, but men too. Women are not good statistically at asking for raises. You could increase your pay by 5-10% a month with a simple request. We say 'because you're worth it' but we should live like it too.

45. Never start work on time

There's two things that come from starting work late. Losing your job or/and losing any potential for promotion or recognition. Even better that starting on time, start early.

46. Finish work early often

Same as above. The difference with this one is that it stinks of hating your job. I've heard CEO's talk about the people that leave early in this context.

47. Do not read any books on wealth

As Maya Angelou, the famous author, once said "they don't know what you know". Unless you learn what the wealthy are doing how can you replicate it?

48. Do not watch videos on wealth

Same as the above, literally no excuse. Watch 1-2 hours a week of wealth education instead of Netflix.

49. Do not go beyond basics of your job tasks

There is a technique called 'Silent Quitting', where someone does the absolute minimum required to keep their job. It'll never make you wealthy, and you'll never be happy.

50. Do not set up financial security correctly

Financial security doesn't sound as fun as financial freedom, but it's necessary in order to create lasting and sustainable wealth. Diversify, create an emergency fund and get the best insurance you can afford.

51. Do not have a Will if you have kids

Dying without a Will can seriously affect what your spouse and your kids will get, let alone who your kids could end up living with if they're young. Get a Will if you have kids or assets.

52. Do not have a trust if you have kids

Want to avoid using your home to cover the cost of your care? How about reducing inheritance tax? Use a trust and leave a better legacy for your family.

53. Avoid being self employed

Being self employed is great for tax. You can be self employed and employed as well. As a self employed person you'll be able to claim back the costs on so many purchases and bills as well. Get an accountant that will advise you.

54. Avoid claiming funds you are entitled to

There are grants, benefits, funding out there that you are entitled to. Some people leave it because of pride, others let the confusion of not knowing how to apply for it put them off. Don't leave money on the table - it can be used for investments of every kind.

55. Pay too much tax

Whether you are on an emergency tax code or not benefitting from being self employed you are probably paying too much tax.

56. Not claim tax back you have paid

It's not too late if you have been paying too much tax, claim it back.

57. Ask someone to hold your money for you

Family, friends or enemies, best to keep your money secure without putting the responsibility on others. Under pressure they may end up using it  with the intention of 

58. Hide your money and forget where you put it

I once lost about £/$2k for an hour and almost had a heart attack! Keep track or prepare for tears.

59. Lose the keys to your crypto wallet

A man once lost his bitcoin stored on a USB stick. The value at the time of the article it was valued at $250,000,000. Despite many attempts (including using AI) it has never been found.

60. Don't reuse carrier bags

I know I know, this is a minor one. Still at around £/$0.25 a week, over a lifetime it could be as much as a £/$1,000. 

61. Throw out extra food before it goes bad

Buy only the food you need and don't throw food out. These two disciplines will see you save thousands annually.

62. Pay bills late without telling the company

Companies are more patient than they used to be. Still, if you're going to be late tell the companies in advanced and generally the companies will show some grace.

63. Don't open mail regularly

I went through this phase when I was facing a period of depression. The bills didn't disappear and the companies added charges and fees anyway. Face the music before the track finishes - you will feel a lot better.

64. Don't own assets

Simple but true. If you don't own assets then your money may not working full time for you. Whether it's property, precious metals, collectables, crypto or something else - start small and build regularly.

65. Use the car for local chores under a 1 mile

The first 5 miles of a diesel or petrol engine is the most thirsty. Walk or jog it instead. Get healthy and save money.

66. Don't repair quality clothing

Quality clothing lasts for a long time generally. Get it repaired and keep the best items and save money.

67. Live beyond your means

The oldest cliché of them all. This one area will prevent you from living a miserable life.

68. Never negotiate

Negotiation is an art and one that we should all spend some time learning. It could save you thousands each year. 

69. Never confront anyone when you are overcharged

Some people never contest at being overcharged. It's far easier for some to just let it go. Be bold go and get yours. Check your receipts and invoices and keep on top of it. 

70. Miss your direct debits

Some firms will charge you fees for missing these payments. On top of that your credit will be affected as will simply falling behind on payments.

71. Use money on extravagances before necessities

Jim Rohn the famous coach once said, don't buy your second car before you've bought your second house. Keep your living standards humble until your income surpasses your requirements.

72. Smoke/Vape

Avoid following the herds into meaningless activities. 

73. Take recreational drugs

Same as above. Plus the risk of jail could lose you the ability to earn.

74. Drink alcohol regularly

Nothing wrong with a drink now and again, however avoid drinking 'now' and then 'again'. Learn to be persistent with avoiding do what others do. Otherwise you'll end up where they end up.

75. Buy on credit

Credit is not ideal but it can be a help. Remember though, you are spending your wages before you have physically worked for them when you take credit to buy things you want now. Search the best deals when there is no choice.

76. Never transfer your debt to cheaper or free debt

Keeping expensive debts and not refinancing is like the scene in Breaking Bad when Jesse is driving through a neighborhood at night and throwing wads of cash onto people's lawns. OWN IT! Get the better deals where you can - otherwise pay off the most expensive one as fast as possible.

77. Never compile your spare change

Leaving loose change in sofas, drawers, pockets, and pots or jars is a waste. Compile it and put it into something where it can work for you or your family in someway.

78. Never buy the cheaper alternative

Our minds are programmed to buy the big brands. This happens over a long period of time and as such we are convinced that they work or taste better. That may be the case in some instances however, buy cheap until your incomes surpass your requirements.

79. Never be prepared for the worst outcomes

Get a starter emergency fund of £/$1,000. This will cover basic emergencies. Build up a bigger pot on the side to the value of 6 months' salary.

80. Never take risks

The word Entrepreneur is a French word that combines 'opportunity' and 'risk'. To take hold of an opportunity you will inevitably need to take a risk. You can determine the level of risk. 

81. Don't look after your possessions

Leaving a car, oven or evensive piece of furniture to be used without being cleaned will mean that the quality of it will deteriorate and become a representation of you. They will also lose value when it comes to sell it.

82. Never clean up after yourself

Similar to the above. Cleaning up after yourself represents you and your character. I once was fostered by a family. The father, Geoff, was a friendly guy that would clean up old items to a high level and he was always able to resell them for great value.

83. Stop learning new things

You are not as smart as you think you are. There is always new strategies, techniques and knowledge that can help you do your job or run a business better. Learn them.

84. Do not save money

Jim Rohn once said that "if you cannot save money, then the seeds of greatness are not in you". Harsh but true. Not spending everything you have monthly will allow you to grow beyond where you are and start to make money work for you.

85. Teach your children to rely on you for money

Even Bill Gates is only giving his kids an inheritance of $10m each, despite having billions in the bank. Avoid giving money to your kids, try and always teach them to earn it and pay fairly for the work. You will raise money-wise kids that will become independent from the bank of Mum and Dad.

86. Have too many pets

Pets are great and provide wealth intrinsically to your family. Too many pets though is treading into crazy town. Not crazy in the traditional sense, but crazy because of what it will cost you. Keep your pet costs below 5% of your income to stay sane.

87. Overfeed your pets

People and pets can both eat too much. Feed your pet the correct amount of food and you will keep them healthier and leaner, plus it will keep money in your pocket.

88. Overfeed your children

Same as the above but way bigger savings. The consequences are also bigger if you overfeed your kids. From healthy bodies to healthly minds, find your kids the right amounts. There will also be less waste.

89. Spoil your children

Similar to 85. Spoiling your children will turn them into brats and teach them to rely on you. Don't cover your guilt of not spending time with your kids by buying them stuff. You'll end up with a child who is like Veruca Salt from 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory'.

90. Spoil your pets

You can buy some pet's full wardrobes and accessories, along with toys, houses, and even armchairs. Pets, like your children, want your time, not your money.

91. Don't buy house insurance

I tried to save money by not buying home insurance for years, or by buying the cheapest policy. Spend well on home insurance and one with the lowest excess, i.e. one where you dont pay too much towards any costs of repairs.

92. Don't buy car insurance

This is illegal so don't do it! It will cost you dearly. Again, buy the policy with all the benefits for the best price and make sure the excess is as low as you can make it.

93. Don't buy life insurance if you have kids

Imagine for a moment you are a child and one of your parents passes away suddenly and leaves the other to carry load alone. Would you want that parent to do so with £/$250k+ in the bank or without it? Don't leave your family without a legacy. Put something in place.

94. Don't take your kids food shopping if you can help it

Your kids are the best negotiators in the world! They will convince you to buy (more like nag you into surrendering) at least one purchase for them. It's nice to bless your kids - but not everytime you go to a shop. Leave them at home if you can help it.

95. Take long showers

Energy bills have gone up everywhere. The cost of a single 10min shower in the UK is currently £0.49. Multiply that by how many '10 minutes' are used, then by the number of people, then by the number of days.  Try and encourage kids and teens to be out in ten and save a bundle through the year.

96. When boiling food, don't lower to simmer

A certain cook in my home does this occasionally 🤐 When a pot boils, turn it to simmer. It's still bubbling. Water boils at 100 degrees. Keeping the energy on high doesn't make it cook quicker - turn to simmer and save money and energy.

97. Don't invest at least 10% of your income

Similar to 84, except here you are putting your income to work. Find something you trust and invest. It beats being poor, and that is the only other option besides winning the lottery which will not happen to everybody but one.

98. Never shop around annually to reduce bills

There are so many comparison websites to save money with today, there really is no excuse. Whatever is delaying you, set a date and time in your diary and change everything over that hasn't been changed in the last 12 months. You can thank me later.

99. Visit the store multiple times a week

The more you visit a real store or even an online store the more you will spend. Try and limit your visits and this will help you plan. Going to the store for milk will cost you in fuel, and in the extra 'goodies' you'll also pick up when you're there.

100. Don't tithe or give 10% of your income to charity

Whether you go to Church or not, giving 10% of your income has been a staple of the wealthiest for hundreds of years. Why is that? It takes faith to do this but faith that covers you from the big guy upstairs.

101. Lose your wallet

Get a tracker if you can or better yet avoid having a wallet and keep everything with your phone. Maybe this last one should have been called 'Don't lose your phone'. Most of us have done it at least once but ensure you have it covered on your house insurance and you'll be able to lose it peacefully.


I hope you've taken something away from this list and if it helps you in any positive way I would be over the moon.

Stay wealthy, in more ways than money!

Jim Johnston

Jim Johnston is an award-winning entrepreneur. With a business banking background in London originally, he went on to create a national B2B start-up in the UK, for on-demand property services. A blogger, copywriter, and all-round creative, his vision is simple - to see people experience wealth in every key area of their lives. True wealth!

bottom of page