Recover Wasted Money

We are all guilty of leaving money on the table; just wasting it. Maybe it’s that forgotten free trial you gave your credit card number to. Maybe you buy things you don’t need and they sit collecting dust for months or years in their original packaging. Whatever your money-wasting habits are, you can change them.

Here’s a list of ways you can recover wasted money. I know I don’t cover every scenario but maybe reading these gives you ideas or motivation to tackle your own bad habits.

Spending because you got a sale email

We’ve all done it. The worst is when you go into your email to conduct important personal business and you get distracted by sale emails. Some people shop during work because they got an email about a hot sale while working. Heck! That’s the whole premise of cyber Monday/ cyber weeks.

What you can do:

Create an email address just for stores ads and online shopping. If a store asks for your email address, don’t give your primary, personal email address or work email; give this one.

  • If you don’t have money, don’t look at the store email account.
  • If you have money to spend, check your emails for deals first.

Stores and restaurants usually have members only or app only deals. Often, the employees are told not to tell customers about these and to let customers pay higher prices!

  • Use your advertisements only email address to sign up for those apps and start saving!
  • Always download the app for any stores and restaurants you go to more than twice per year BEFORE YOU GO. In fact, take a moment to do that asap. If you go to a store or restaurant and realize you don’t have the app, sit or stand there and download it before you shop.

This is also a great way to limit spam on your other email accounts!

It will take awhile to de-junk your other accounts but you’ll get there!

Keeping unopened, unused purchases

Always make note of the return policies of the stores and websites you use AND USE THE ABILITY TO RETURN. Some stores have up to a year no questions asked. Also, know your managers; some are more linient than the company policy, some are more strict. Along those lines, always be kind to store employees even when they tell you no. I have a story about getting a return after it was too late on my Patreon.

  • If you buy an item and you don’t like it or do not use it, RETURN IT.
  • This may require you to keep receipts. Keep them in an organized fashion. You’ll be a happier shopper.
  • I hate keeping up with paper receipts so I love that many apps will keep electronic copies of my receipts.

If a store has an e-receipt option, I give them my advertisement email address. Two reasons, they will probably add you to a mailing list, and you will rarely need that receipt.

  • Also, return policies come in handy for sales. If you see something you bought more than $1 lower, get a price adjustment. (I have a story about saving a significant amount of money like this on Patreon)
  • If the store will give you store credit for being outside the return window or not having the receipt, take it,

I’ve been told the generations after gen x hate returning items. I honestly hate it too! But I like not wasting money more than I hate it. Because I hate doing returns, I don’t return an item necessarily every time I go to the store. I have a place where I organize unwanted items and when I accumulate a few, I do a return trip to the store.

You don’t need every tv subscription available

If you get a tv app because its free or at a reduced price, IMMEDIATELY put a notification on your phone or computer calendar reminding you to cancel ONE DAY before the trial period expires. When the notification comes up, CANCEL!

Speaking of tv apps, place a habit tracker by the tv or your computer if you watch tv on the computer. Write all your tv apps on it. Mark each time you watch each app. Set a threshold for how many times is too little. cancel unused or under used apps


You can make money for things you aren’t using. Right now they’re sitting around collecting dust. SELL THEM!

One note about unused items- whether they are unused with tags or used, you will rarely sell things you aren’t using for more than you bought them. So make sure you keep that in mind from here forward if you elect to not take my advice about returning items to the store. You lose money when you sell unused items; you’re only minimizing your loss by sell.

Think outside the box when getting rid of unused stuff. I don’t like those apps that promise to help you sell but take a big chunk. I prefer to list large items like washers and dryers on apps like Offer Up. Smaller items like shirts and blenders on Facebook.

We have even sold cars online instead of trading them in because we get more money that way.

*A note about safety- if at all possible, DO NOT meet people at your home to do the sell. If you must have multiple people present acting casual like 700 people live at your house. This may scare them but it’s better they’re scared than you get hurt or worse. Take down information of anyone you invite to your home for sales- they might be back. I’m not trying to scare you; this stuff happens.

Along those lines, try not to meet people at public places alone. And always meet at a police station or a Walmart or Home Depot. Why Walmart or Home Depot? Because they have the best parking lot cameras. If you get robbed, all you have to do is file a police report and they’ll give the police the footage.

Ready? Start looking for ways to recoup wasted money!

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