Yesterday, I shared my Top 3 Money Savers and I wanted to share today things I can do that waste my money. We all have these pitfalls and it’s helpful to identify them to know what to avoid when money is tight.
1. Eating Out - When Dee and I sit down to examine our spending, usually at the end of a month, one of the biggest areas where we can go over budget is eating out. I really enjoy being out with my family or friends and eating good food and being served in a nice clean restaurant. I enjoy the food, the atmosphere, just being out of the house and it’s a great remedy to my cabin fever. However, it can be a detriment to our budget. It’s not just that we spend outside of that category, but that the money we use eating out takes away from money that we need for another area and we have to figure out how to pay for that.
Answer? Sticking to our menu plan and planning in times to go out once a week.
2. My Little Addicitions -
When I am planning our menu and shopping list, I really try not to spend money on unnecessary treats that cost a lot like soda (namely, Cheerwine) or chocolate. I usually have ingredients to make a sweet treat if I want to, but I try not to stock those things in the house. I just indulge more if they are readily available. So, the pitfall comes in when I turn to these things on a stressful day and I just want it. I find myself going through a drive-thru for a drink or picking up some chocolate at the grocery store. I don’t think these things are bad, but in our efforts to live frugal and get out of debt, these little expenses can add up.
Answer? Give them up completely (probably not going to happen in this season of my life) or find good deals on the items I love and enjoy them in moderation.
3. Not Having a Plan - I am a big planner and it’s part of my personality. But the size and season of family requires me to be diligent at having a plan for our time, meals, and money. When I don’t have a plan or choose to veer away from it, I find myself buying a gift at the last minute for more than I intended, ordering take out or going out to eat, or evaluating our finances at the end of them month wondering why I made that purchase. I don’t want to feel boxed in all the time, but I do want to live faithfully and responsibly inside of the bounds of time and money I’ve been given. I just don’t have endless resources and I don’t want to spend all the resources I have on our little family. I want to be able to give more to others as people have given to us.
What are your money wasters?