It takes a lot of work to stick to your budget and reach your financial goals. If you feel like you are just treading water instead of making progress with your finances, it might be time to look at your spending habits. Here are some habits that will kill your budget that you probably haven’t even thought about.
No Grocery Plan
Everyone shops for groceries differently, and many people go to the store several times a week for smaller shopping trips instead of one big store run. They feel like since they aren’t spending a lot of money at one time that they are probably saving money. Usually, the more trips you make, the more you spend. If you make a meal plan and do one big shopping trip for everything on your list (and only items on your list), you will undoubtedly spend less money on groceries as a whole, therefore making your budget easier to stick to.
Eating Out Too Often
As we all know, if you eat out too much, it can be bad for your wallet. However, many people don’t realize how much they are getting food out. Eating out doesn’t just happen at restaurants, it happens at coffee shops, convenience stores and sometimes even grocery stores. If you are serious about sticking to your budget, make every single meal or drink you consume at home. Then, plan your meals out according to your budget. You will save more money doing this than you might think.
Reading Retail Newsletters
If you are someone who likes to do most of their shopping online, you are probably no stranger to the lovely email newsletters that companies send out frequently. Some stores send at least one a day. They are eye catching and almost always have news about a sale or have a coupon attached. Before you know it, you are on their website clicking away and filling your cart so you can take advantage of the coupon or sales. It’s a bad habit that can easily derail your budgeting efforts. To combat this problem, simply don’t read the newsletters. Either delete them before reading or unsubscribe from them entirely. If online shopping is your kryptonite, you don’t need to be tempted by reading about their products everyday in your inbox.
Spending More to Get Free Shipping
Speaking of online shopping, do you ever fall into the “free shipping trap?” You know the one where you only want a $12 item, but shipping is $5 unless you spend $35, so to save the shipping cost of $5, you spend an extra $23. That kind of math doesn’t really add up. It’s better to spend the $5 in shipping than to spend extra money on something you really don’t want just to reach the minimum. Don’t fall into this trap–instead stop and think about what you are purchasing and whether or not just paying the shipping cost will benefit you more in the long run.
There are many spending habits that we get into when we aren’t paying attention. It’s good to be mindful of all of our purchasing habits. If you find yourself falling into any of these bad ones, try to renew your thinking and change your spending ways. Your wallet will thank you.