Numbers have a powerful way of providing shock-value, and that's what M.P. Dunleavey for Good Housekeeping was going for when she told readers how much it takes to waste $10,000 a year — just $27.40 a day. Little purchases here and there can add up to a much bigger amount, so the best way to get a grip on what you're spending is to hold a magnifying glass up to the big picture.
Dunleavey tested free money management sites Mint.com and Geezeo.com and preferred Mint for its customer-friendly system. After you've plugged in your account information, the site allows you to view recent transactions and breaks them into spending categories. You're even able to set spending limits for yourself — following a budget really has never been so easy, and getting a reality check on what you're spending should help limit the amount of money you waste overall.