Five Ways to Wreck Your Budget


Paychecks never seem to go as far as you think they should and your piggy bank is looking pretty empty these days. Some of the choices you make every day could be hurting you financially. By identifying the extraneous items you’re spending money on and eliminating those purchases, you can make a significant difference to your finances over the course of a few months or a year. Here are five common spending habits that could be wrecking your budget:

Fast Food– This is a convenience that  you pay a premium for. It is not quality. It is not healthy. A little foresight in planning snacks and meals for the day will make cutting this unnecessary convenience out of your life for good.

Gambling- It’s the thrill of a shot at winning it big, but whether it’s the lotto, casinos, or a work pool, you can waste a lot of money gambling. A few dollars here and there on scratch-off tickets when you fill up with gas start to add up quickly. Quit cold turkey, avoid situations where you might be tempted to gamble, or seek help if you think you might have an addiction. Think of it this way: you’re likely to make more money by investing than gambling it away.

Smoking- Many people consider certain parts of their lifestyle a normal expense rather than a luxury, but cigarettes are expensive and costly to your overall health. Sit down and add up the amount you spend on cigarettes over the course of a week, month, and year. Many people will be shocked at the actual figure. Like gambling, there are ways to kick this habit. Stop on your own by trying the product of which is designed for smokers to quit smoking or seek a doctor’s assistance, or join a program. However you decide to eliminate this expense from your life, your body and wallet will thank you for it.

Extraneous Spending on Beverages-Like most people, you probably look forward to a caffeinated pick-me-up at some point in the day, but consider how much you’re spending on extra beverages each month. From coffees in the morning to soft drinks when you’re out at dinner (which are usually the same price as a whole two-liter bottle at the store!), the cost of buying drinks at restaurants and convenience stores adds up fast. Find money-saving alternatives like refilling a sports bottle with water throughout the day or making your own coffee at home. However, you work it out, if you stop buying beverages, you’ll save money at every meal.

Paying for Unnecessary Services- We often pay a lot for convenience, but how much of it is really necessary? Do you truly not have the time for some things, or do you simply not want to do them? If you make the effort to limit the services you pay for that you could actually do yourself, you’ll be shocked at how much you will save. Mow your own lawn. Clean your own pool and house. Change the oil in your vehicle yourself. Give yourself a pedicure. It may not be as convenient, but the money you save will really add up.

Going On the Attack: Planning Your Future

Once you’ve identified and eliminated your bad spending habits, re-examine all of your monthly expenses and create a budget; the next time you go to the store, don’t allow yourself to spend money on things that will exceed that budget. Audit yourself and evaluate the true value of what you’re spending money on to find even more ways to cut back, whether it’s your cable package, your cell phone plan, or the magazines you subscribe to.

6 thoughts on “Five Ways to Wreck Your Budget

  1. Good stuff Christopher! Making a list of items helped me not wreck my food budget. It allowed me to stay focused on what I really needed and not be swayed by sudden cravings when I saw something yummy.

  2. The health risks of smoking far outweigh the short term financial losses incurred from the habit. There are some great federal programs to help quit.

  3. Beverages are definitely a budget buster. I stick with drinking water and bringing refillable water bottle whenever I can.

    1. Yeah they are man. I love it frugal…creative spelling.

Comments are closed.