When it comes to money, we always like to think that we’re smart, and we only spend what we need to. However, when was the last time you took a look at your expenses? No, not just a cursory glance, but an actual, honest-to-goodness, detailed look at each dollar that comes out of your account every month.
If you’re like most people, chances are your answer is “I don’t remember”. And, if you’re like most people again, “I don’t remember” is really a euphemism for “Never”. We’re here to tell you that it’s okay! Nobody is perfect, and everyone has made poor choices. We’re only human.
Financial education has to start somewhere, and learning about the ins-and-outs of your own money is a great place to start. As you start going through your credit card and bank statements, you’ll find that you may have several expensive habits that have slipped under your radar. They may very well be the culprit that’s holding you back from savings and investing the most you can for your down payment, your next vacation, or even your retirement.
Let’s take a look at some expensive habits that might affect you.
For some of you, this might even be multiple daily coffees. Let’s do some math here. A single cup of coffee can be anywhere from 3 to 7 dollars on average, depending on the size and fanciness of the coffee. Let’s take the average at $5 per cup of coffee. If you buy a coffee every day, that comes out to nearly $2000 dollars a year! That one cup of coffee a day doesn’t really seem to cheap now. A simple solution? Make and bring your own coffee with you!
Have you looked at what a night out can cost? A dinner and a few drinks can easily add up to $70, $80, even $100. Even if we take the low end of a night out at $50, if you do that once a week, that’s around $2500 a year. We all love to see our friends, but maybe there’s a less costly way to do so?
This is a tough one to track, but we’ve all made impulse buys before. Sometimes it works out, but many times, we simply regret the purchase. Worse yet, sometimes we don’t even bother returning it. Whether you’re randomly buying a new pair of shoes, or a snack at the grocery store, it all adds up. The fact is, we’re all doing it! The solution is to know what you’re planning to buy, rather than to shop and browse.
This should go without saying. Even a relatively cheap lunch these days in a dine-in restaurant goes up to about $15. Add in a working lunch every weekday, that’s $300 a month, $3600 a year. Perhaps packing a lunch would be a better idea!
This depends heavily on usage amount. Not only is this a bad habit for your health, it’s a bad habit for your wallet too. Even a light smoker, at 10 cigarettes a day, that equates to about $7 per day, even more than a daily coffee.
Life is meant to be enjoyed, but wouldn’t it be great to keep our enjoyment, and still be able to reach towards our financial goals? Sometimes it’s worth forgoing a bit of small enjoyment now, in order to look forward to an even better time down the road!
Finjoy Capital is not a financial advisory firm.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice.