Money

Expert: Stop 'wasting your money' on things that make your life easier

Don't want to cook dinner tonight? Order in. Don't feel like taking the bus? Hop in a Lyft. Too tired to stop by the grocery store? There's an app for that.

Today, innumerable services exist to make the minute details of our lives — from driving to cooking to cleaning — easier. But while convenience is, well, convenient, it's usually a budget-buster.

When asked about the cost of things like Starbucks lattes and avocado toast during CNBC's Power Lunch, financial expert and former CNBC television host Suze Orman recently said, "It adds up big time."

She went on: "Stop leasing cars, stop eating out, stop doing the things that's wasting your money and makes your life easier, because in the long run it's going to make it harder."

While giving up avocado toast won't necessarily allow you to buy a house, the little splurges and conveniences that seem minor in the moment do end up having a significant impact.

As CNBC reported in February, data from Lux Research shows that, on average, consumers are willing to pay 11 percent more for each added layer of convenience in their food chain, from online grocery shopping to having dinner delivered.

But that 11 percent could go toward paying off debt, saving up to buy a house or into an emergency fund. If you're not careful with your budget, shortcuts now could land you in the red later.

Suze Orman speaking at the eMerge Americas conference in Miami on June 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Suze Orman speaking at the eMerge Americas conference in Miami on June 12, 2017.

Orman also highlights the importance of avoiding lifestyle creep: "Stop buying things and spending money you don't have to impress people you don't know or like."

Don't blow your savings trying to keep up with the Joneses. That money will go a lot farther in a retirement fund or as a down payment on a home.

This is a lesson Orman herself learned the hard way.

"There was a time that I was in a relationship with a very, very wealthy person and I wanted to impress this person and I didn't have money yet, so I went out and I leased a car," Orman tells CNBC Make It. "I leased a 750iL BMW, and my lease payments were like eight hundred dollars a month."

Orman calls it "the most stupid thing I've ever done with money" because "the truth of the matter is, later on, I didn't even like this person. And I'm spending all of this money."

So take a page from Orman's book and consider the daily decisions that are hindering your long-term financial goals. For you, is it dining out every day? Leasing a car you can't afford? Buying expensive clothing to impress a friend or colleague?

While some splurges are certainly worth the price, take stock of where you're spending out of convenience. What's truly making your life better and which expenses can be reallocated for the future?

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