If you’re trying to keep your budget tight, you know that there are always budget killers in your life. Take a good look at the things you spend money on and the practices you keep to figure out the weak points in your budget plan. Knowing what you’re doing to bust your budget will help you get a handle on it and fix the problems.
Eating Too Much Fast Food
Sure, it’s fast, it’s convenient, it’s easy — but it’s also not cheap. Fast food is quick, but it’s also a quick way to blow a budget. Take a good look at how often you are running through the drive-thru (even just for drinks – your morning coffee can be a serious budget killer!) and add up how much that is costing. You might not be able to cut out the fast food completely, but cut it down so that it is just an occasional treat rather than a staple.
It takes a little extra time to cook from scratch, but it is much healthier and cheaper. Instead of those boxed, processed, and preserved convenience foods, try to substitute one or more homemade recipe each week while you cut out the expensive, ready-made meals.
Better yet, spend a little time each week creating some meals that can be frozen then dropped into a crockpot when you need them. This option gives you some delicious meals that offer the convenience of those expensive items from the grocery store.
Not Having an Emergency Fund
When you don’t have an emergency fund, you may end up using credit cards to pay unexpected bills. This can lead to a downward spiral of increasing credit card payments, which take up more money from your budget. Work on putting extra cash back into an emergency fund that will allow you to not rely upon credit cards. Remember, just a few bucks each week can start to add up!
Spending Money on Perishables You Will Waste
We all have the good intentions to eat healthier so we buy fresh fruits and veggies for those good intentions. What happens? How many times have you discovered those fresh goodies rotten and molded in the fridge because you forgot about them? How about instead of loading up on those fresh foods that end up going bad, choose one then use it immediately. You might like to stock up when you go shopping or cut back on your trips, but when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, you are better off buying what you need, when you need it.
Even better, create a menu plan and STICK TO IT each week so that you don’t end up just grabbing a bunch in the produce aisle and then wondering what to do with it and end up throwing it in the garbage (or the compost pile).
Spending Money on Cheaply Made Clothing
You definitely don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on clothing and even underwear that is cheaply made. Cheap is different from cheaply made — the stuff that is made poorly with loose seams, buttons, fabric that is not durable and the like won’t last very long.
Nobody likes holey underwear and clothing that is constantly needing to be repaired. You will have to replace these items more frequently and the initial savings will be null and void.
Take a look at your spending habits and practices to see if you do any of these budget killers, then work to change your habits!