Another day, another dollar — and for millions of us, one more failed attempt to budget. Here are some small expenses that might be the culprit — and some ideas for cutting down those costs:
- Lunch Meals
Food is among our biggest expenditures. Of course, we all have to eat. But we also waste money on meals. Spending $10 at lunch each weekday adds up to a whopping $50 per week or $200+ per month. It may not seem like much when you’re swiping the magic plastic, but this expense can sap your savings in no time.
We all have indulgences. Perhaps you prefer a cup of coffee each morning or a spam musubi. You don’t have to abandon these tasty items, but indulging in moderation for your budget’s sake is worth a shot. Try to limit such treats to once a week or even once a month.
- Lapsed Promotional Offers
How many times have you signed up for a free subscription or premium channel, only to notice charges on your bank statement because you forgot to cancel before the promotional period ended? Steer clear of promotional offers unless you have a reminder in your smartphone or planner to cancel services before charges are applied to your account.
Gas is a major expense for many Americans. Reduce your monthly gas costs by combining errands, carpooling, taking public transportation, or using some fuel-efficient driving habits.
You’ve waited several months for a particular item to go on sale, and it’s finally 50% off. But one problem remains: You have to put it on your credit card. If you bow to the temptation, it will only be a matter of time before your spending plan lets you know you’ve done wrong. So instead, start setting aside funds now for the next time the item goes on sale.
Some of us need to visit the barber or indulge in a day at the spa here and now. There’s nothing wrong with unwinding on your downtime, but you should engage in pricey activities only if your budget allows it.
- Banking Fees
Over the past few years, numerous bank fees have materialized out of thin air. There is a good chance you now pay for account maintenance and paper statements, to name two. Non-Sufficient Fees for overdrafts and ATM use also have increased. However, it would help if you did not have to pay these costs. Be careful to spend within your limits or consider getting a line of credit.
- Cellphone Use
Unless you have an all-inclusive, unlimited cellphone plan and data usage, if you go over, you’ll pay extra plus; there are charges you might not be aware of until they appear on your bill. If your cellphone bill fluctuates each month, take a moment to give the provider a call and inquire about more cost-effective options that may be available to you.
- All the random extras
Life happens and so do expenses, so it’s best to be safe and have a solid emergency fund. However, you can also hedge against the risk of running out of funds each month by incorporating some extra money into your spending plan. Even the most frugal and financially savvy people are faced with unexpected expenses, so you’re not alone.
- Lunch Meals