12 Big Mistakes Warren Buffett Says Poor People Always Waste Money On

Warren Buffett, known as the Oracle of Omaha, has gained fame not only for his investment success but also for his practical financial advice. With a down-to-earth approach to investing and spending, Buffet has always emphasized the importance of wise money management skills. His insights benefit aspiring billionaires worldwide and everyday individuals looking to improve their financial expenses.

Over the years, Buffet has pointed out several common spending mistakes that can keep people from achieving their desired financial goals. In this list, we will delve into some of the big mistakes Warren Buffett believes can hinder progress for poor people struggling to make ends meet.

Not Saving Enough Money

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Warren Buffett believes that not saving money through daily expenses is a very common mistake most average people make in their lifetime. According to him, it’s disappointing that average people don’t understand the advantages of saving money. For example, if you just save 20 dollars a week, by the end of the year, you will have saved over $1000. This habit will help you in tough times and allow you to invest in good opportunities.

Using High-Interest Credit Cards

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Warren Buffett believes that using credit cards is one of the biggest financial traps for an average person struggling to make a decent living. According to Buffett, “If you’re smart, you’re going to make a lot of money without borrowing.” He suggests people should avoid using credit to buy things they can’t afford. Buffet explains that although credit cards give easy access to money, they always have a high interest rate. For example, a $1,000 item on a credit card with a 20% annual interest rate, paid over one year through minimum payments, could cost nearly $1,200.

Wasting Money On Eating Junk Food

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The fast food culture of the U.S. is one of the significant examples of American Consumerism. Buffet says that most of the below-poverty-line population in America spends too much money on eating junk, which is a total waste. In total, 92.7% of US children and 86.0% of US adults are reported to consume junk food on a daily basis according to the NCBI. The reason for this mass consumption is that it’s easily accessible anywhere across the country, and most importantly, it’s cheap everywhere. Eating at a restaurant or ordering takeout can drain one’s wallet within a matter of time.

Paying Too Much For Housing

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Spending too much money on housing spaces is another common mistake Buffet points out. Putting too much investment on housing loans to improve living conditions is a huge misstep for average people. Buffet recommends that housing costs should not exceed 30% of one’s personal income. For many people, reducing housing expenses might mean moving to a less expensive area or choosing a smaller home.

Spending Too Much on Fancy Clothes

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Most low-income households in the US deal with peer pressure to follow the new trends in fashion and clothing. This gives them a feeling of self-entitlement and living the great American Dream. However, Buffett believes that spending too much of your hard-earned money on expensive clothes is a grave mistake for an individual. Buying new clothes in hard economic times is like hammering a nail to your own coffin.

Frequent Shopping For Non-Essentials

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Going to the supermarket every day to buy unnecessary stuff is not just a big waste of money but also a waste of valuable time. Buying things you don’t need can quickly use up money that could be used for saving or investing. Buffett advises thinking twice before making any such non-essential purchase. Asking yourself if you really need an item can help you avoid unnecessary spending. Always remember, “the things that you own, end up owning you”.

Obsession For New Technology

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This is the era of the tech boom. Hence, the temptation for new gadgets and fancy devices is a common thing among the masses. But for the lower income households, investing in these expensive gadgets is a big no from Warren Buffett. New tech products, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, are released every year, and they often carry high price tags. For example, the newest model of a popular smartphone can cost over $1,000.

Not Learning About Money

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Buffett believes that a lack of financial education is a significant drawback. Many schools do not teach kids about managing money, so learning independently is important. In today’s day and age, there are multiple platforms to study and gain insights about finance to help someone grow better.

Reading books about personal finance or taking online courses can help you make better financial decisions. Books like The Intelligent Investor, Poor Charlie’s Almanac, The Outsiders, Security Analysis are some of the most recommended books by Warren Buffett himself.

Ignoring Health Insurance

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As the saying goes, “Health is the Biggest Wealth.” Warren Buffett advises that lower-income households should give more priority to health insurance. The absence of it can lead to huge medical bills that can wipe out savings. Buffett suggests that having a basic health insurance policy is better than having none. Even a simple emergency room visit can be expensive (thousands of dollars) without insurance.

Cutting Costs On Subscription Services

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One frequent mistake that drains budgets, as highlighted by Warren Buffett, is paying for unnecessary subscription services. Many people sign up for multiple streaming services, magazines, or gym memberships and forget about them over time. Even small subscriptions add up. For instance, if you spend $30 monthly on unused subscriptions, that’s $360 a year wasted—money that could instead go towards an emergency fund or debt repayment.

Overlooking the Value of Quality Over Quantity

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Buffett often discusses the false economy of buying cheaper, lower-quality items that need frequent replacing. People trying to stretch their dollars might opt for the less expensive option, but this can cost more in the long run. Investing in higher-quality goods might require a higher upfront cost but tends to save money over time because these products last longer. For example, a good pair of shoes might cost more initially but won’t need to be replaced as often as cheaper alternatives of those shoes.

Failing to Plan for Unexpected Expenses

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One of Buffett’s key advice is to always have a financial buffer for unexpected events. Many individuals find themselves in a difficult situation because they haven’t set aside funds for emergencies, like car repairs or medical bills. Without an emergency fund, these unplanned expenses often lead to high-interest debt. Buffett suggests regularly saving a portion of your income to build this emergency fund.

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