Every year, I set up a budget and without fail, every year I fail to meet it and the biggest culprit is shopping. Until I really looked at it, I didn’t realize where all that extra money that should have gone into the savings had gone. A little detective work paid off and now that I am aware, I am doing much better controlling my spending and building up a nest egg for the first time in years.
Sales are great unless you end up over budget. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. If you do without adjusting the rest of your food budget for the period, you will go over budget. Either buy just the amount you need or stock up if it is a really terrific bargain but then do without something else to make up for the cash outlay.
We’ve all heard about the dangers of shopping while hungry and I can attest to the fact that they are true. Shopping after work, when you’re rushed and starving can lead to impulse buying and indulging in all manner of convenience of comfort foods. That translates into wasted money and a busted budget.
Some folks can afford new clothing items every month; some simply want them. Whatever your situation is, there is money to be saved on clothing. Coordinate outfits so that the same pair of slacks or skirt can be matched with numerous tops. Stick to the colors you look best in and create a mix-and-match wardrobe. You’ll need fewer pieces this way.
Thrift and second-hand shops often have excellent selections including designer items and new items still bearing their original tags. Get over the notion that second hand means second class. Take it home, wash it and hang it up. Put the saved money in the bank.
This is a big one for many families. Even if you don’t go to fancy restaurants, you might be surprised to find out just how much you spend eating away from home. Tally that mocha latte you stop off for every morning, the soda from the vending machine at work, and the Slim Jim and expensive energy drink you grab at the gas station after you pump gas and you’ll begin to get a glimpse of where your money goes. Then add in the pizza delivery every Friday including the tip for the delivery boy, the lunch you ate at the fast food place between appointments and the drinks you had with the boss after work. If your spouse behaves similarly, then double the damage. Each item by itself isn’t much but together they can wreck the budget completely