Everyone knows the key to proper money-management is in a well-run budget. This means giving yourself limits on your spending and sticking to them. You will have to adjust your spending based on how much income you are bringing in on a month-to-month basis. But one of the problems many people have can be small expenses that don’t seem to fit into any special category. Included here are a few areas your family budget could be leaking and how to get them under control.
Recreational Drugs or Alcohol
While it is highly unlikely you are going to put your illegal habits down on paper, your drinking habits should be factored in.Consuming alcohol on a regular basis can become a very expensive and unhealthy habit. You may not think this is something that really needs to be monitored or budgeted for but it is exactly the area you need to pay attention to.
Keep in mind, any aspect of your spending that is not monitored is the most likely one to suck your money up. If you start writing down how much you spend on wine, beer or spirits in a week, as well as any drinks while eating out, you may be forced to take a hard look at your habits. If you are spending money on prescription drug use and abuse you could be throwing astronomical amounts of money away on a monthly basis.
At this point, everyone is aware of how dangerous smoking can be for your health, but are you paying attention to the damage it’s doing to your wallet? If you’re lucky, you may be able to land a cheap pack of smokes for about $5 from a grocery store. Take into account all of those “pack a day” smokers and you are seeing a minimum of $35 spent on cigs per week.
Some conscientious smokers will choose to visit their local reservation to get smokes at a slightly cheaper price. But are you paying attention to the effect that all of that driving and gas consumption does to the environment? Smoking is a very expensive, unhealthy habit and should be removed immediately if you wish to save money.
Everyone needs a little pick-me-up now and then, and what better form to come in than an overpriced coffee beverage? If morning coffee has become a staple in your routine, you must add it to your budget. Give yourself a coffee allowance and don’t go over it on a monthly basis. If you hate looking at the large sum of money spent on coffee each month, perhaps your habits need to be adjusted. A cup of coffee at home with creamer can cost you just a few pennies and save a disposable coffee cup from the environment.
Wise money management is a lifelong commitment and must be adhered to to keep your head above water. Budgets will only work if you recognize the need to dedicate every dollar and hold yourself accountable. Don’t nickel and dime yourself out of a savings account!