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Little Habits Can Cost Big Money

Mar 27, 2008
Saving money every month is harder than most people realize when they finally decide that they want to optimize their budget. There are lots of things that you can do to shave dollars off of your monthly expenses, but do you really have the strength to cut out that $4 coffee shop or $2 snack food habit every day?

If you think about how much money you are throwing away every day by little habits like these, it can really open your eyes. Four dollars a day for the coffee shop? Two dollars a day at the gas station on the way to work for a snack or a drink? Those habits add up to around $120 and $60 per month, respectively. In many cases, that $2 snack food habit could pay for your internet connection or even your cell phone bill! And let's not even talk about that coffee shop habit.

Unless you're able to put at least that much money in the bank every month for savings, that's one habit that you could definitely get rid of. We all have little habits like this and they really do a number on our finances every month. Track your expenses and find out just what you are spending all this extra money on, since most people don't realize that these little purchases add up the way that they do. If you smoke, think about how much you're spending on cigarettes!

Also consider how much eating processed foods is costing you on groceries. Dinners that you get in the freezer section are, ounce for ounce, the most expensive items in the grocery store you will purchase. Most people already know this, but when you purchase these, you are paying for the convenience of only having to put them in the microwave. There are three bad things about this: these items are expensive, unhealthy, and generally taste like microwaved cardboard.

If you learn how to do a little cooking (or a lot, preferably), you can save quite a bit every month on groceries. Learn how to make your own snack food and your own "TV dinners" and you'd be surprised how far you can make your pantry go and what you can do with just a few staples.

You should also think about how much money you spend on entertainment every month. Depending on your lifestyle, your definition may be different. Do you go to bars or clubs? Rent movies? Go to sports events, like football or basketball games? Consider how much time you invest in these activities. Bar or club hopping by itself can be an expensive habit and the cover charges alone can cost you some serious money every night, not to mention the drinking that you may do once inside.

Drinking is an expensive habit, no matter where you do it. If you find yourself spending a significant amount of money each month on alcohol, you might want to step back from it a bit, not only for the sake of your wallet, but your health, as well.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer in the field of finances and is currently assisting those in need of cash advances and payday loans, particularly in the state of Kansas
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