How much money do you spend on everyday expenses? Do you make it a habit of keeping track? Are you the type of person who spends money day after day, never really realizing what type of impact it has on your finances?
Here’s something you need to remember: those small purchases can add up as the days go by. While you may only be spending a few dollars at JUUL online for a vape accessory or new flavor, doing so too often can take a serious toll over the long term.
Overspending on everyday expenses doesn’t get everyone into trouble, but you may find that it’s harming your ability to reach your financial goals. For example, when you waste money a little bit at a time, you may not have what you need when it comes time to pay to go back to school.
Since some people don’t realize they’re overspending on everyday expenses, here are five money pits that you should keep a close eye on:
- Dining Out
This isn’t an everyday expense for every American, but some people find it hard to go an extended period of time without dining out. According to an article by Fox Business, the average American household spends nearly $3,100 per year on takeout and dining out.
If you find yourself spending too much money dining out, it’s time to visit your local grocery store more often and employ some food prep strategies to make it easier to eat at home.
- Gasoline for Your Car
According to AAA, the national average for regular gas is $2.48/gallon. While there’s nothing you can really do if you need to drive for your morning commute, there are steps you can take to save on the amount of fuel you use.
For example, see if one of your coworkers wants to carpool; taking this approach could cut your fuel consumption in half. You should also consider the possibility of changing your route, as this may allow you to save on gas, thus reducing your monthly fuel cost. Be sure to take advantage of fuel perks at local grocery and convenience stores, too; many stations have reward programs to help discount your price at the pump.
If you’re not going to dine out as much, you’ll need to spend more money at the grocery store. The problem with this is that your spending can quickly spiral out of control.
USA Today notes that Americans, on average, spend approximately six percent of their budget on food.
If you find yourself spending entirely too much at the grocery store, you can save money in a number of ways. In addition to using coupons, spend more time shopping at warehouse clubs and discount grocers.
Like many, you may enjoy stopping on your way to work to buy a cup of coffee. Even though you need this fuel to get up and running in the morning, it’s a must to realize the impact it’s having on your budget.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Americans pay an average of $2.70 for a cup of coffee (this doesn’t include a tip, which is typically 20 percent). That means a daily cup of coffee over the course of an entire year of working could easily be costing you $500 or more.
If your coffee habit is killing your budget, brew a fresh cup at home before you leave for work. Pro-Tip: Get a coffee maker with a programmable timer function so you can never use the excuse that “you didn’t have time” to make a fresh pot in the morning. Your coffee will be waiting for you when you wake up! It may take some getting used to, but once you realize the savings you’ll come to find that it was a good decision.
- Cell Phone
As the years have gone by, it has become more and more expensive to own a cell phone. According to Consumer Reports, this has pushed many people to consider the benefits of a no-contract plan.
While it’s possible to live without a cell phone, it’s not something most people are willing to do. For this reason, you need to have a clear idea of how much you’re paying for service, if you need all the features you’re paying for, and if there are any steps you can take to save money on your monthly bill.
If you continue to overspend on these everyday purchases, there may come a point in the near future when you find yourself searching for credit repair. That’s not a place you want to end up, especially if all you have to show for it is hundreds of cups of consumed coffee.
While you may not be able to eliminate all of these expenses, you can probably shave a few dollars off each. By doing so, your budget will be in a better place.
How much money do you spend on these everyday expenses? Is there anything you try to do to save money on these things? Share your personal approach to spending and saving in the comment section below.