No matter what you do, it always seems like there isn’t enough money to get ahead. By the time you pay the monthly bills such as the mortgage, car lease, utilities, not to mention having a grocery and gas budget, while trying to save for your future at the same time. After that it leaves spending money, and that’s where things can get tricky. First, you never know when an emergency might happen, so it’s good to have at least three months’ worth of expenses saved up in an account in case something unexpected comes up, so you don’t have to put on a credit card and fall into debt, or deeper in debt if you are already. What’s left of your spending money, probably goes to one of many ways.
Stopping for Coffee
While sure, it doesn’t seem like spending a few dollars on a cup of coffee on the way to work is a big deal, but let’s say you stop all five days a week, twenty business days a month. You’re looking at $60 a month. Throw in multiple trips a day, on the weekend, or throw in breakfast and you could easily be over $100 a month. By getting a $25 programmable coffee pot and your favorite coffee in bulk, you can easily cut the coffee expense from your account statements and have a little leftover each month.
Not Carrying Any Cash
These days we hardly see any transactions that involve handing money to the cashier and seeing it go into the register and is all done via a debit or credit card. At least with cash you could second guess yourself with every purchase, trying your best to hang onto the cash before it runs out. With a debit card I guess at least it comes out of your bank account so you have to be somewhat mindful of what you are spending, but when it comes to a credit card, you really have no way of stopping yourself, unless you hit the limit.
Going Out to Eat
It’s easy to pack up the family, meet some friends, or grab takeout on the way home from work, but by going out to eat instead of going grocery shopping and preparing your meals at home, you could watch the savings add up, probably hundreds of dollars a month if you can avoid going out altogether. While that may be impossible to cut out so much that every single meal is from home, but even if you limit going out to once a week or on special occasions, you can easily have money left over to fund your emergency account or start to pay down debt.
Credit Card Rewards Add Up
Credit cards used to get a bad reputation, but really it can actually make sense to use your credit card for not only purchases you make, but every single one just based on the rewards alone. By using the card, you can earn cashback miles, points, or even dollars by making the purchases that you would be making anyways. While the cashback may add up quickly, so could your credit card account balance if you are not careful with your purchase. It’s important to pay off the full statement balance by the due date otherwise you will start paying interest, and that will probably outweigh what you’ll make back in rewards.
Watch the Service Fees
When it comes to spending money, we all have our hobbies, and one of the most popular ways to have fun would be to attend concerts, shows, or sporting events. While the face value of the ticket is expensive enough, throw in the service charges, which seem to be upwards of 40% on top of the ticket price, if you can avoid service charges by driving to the box office and buying direct, that may be worth it depending on how close you live and how many shows you attend a year.
There are so many websites that you can visit in a matter of seconds. While that is great when it comes to price comparing, not having to drive around town to see who has the better deal, wasting time and money in gas driving around, with online shopping you can get a great deal, but that’s the problem. It’s so easy to shop, there are no store hours, or closing, and you can shop virtually 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which could cause your spending budget to go out of whack pretty quickly.