If you have a budget you are already ahead of the game, as only a third of Americans actually have one they follow, which means that two-thirds of the population is just winging it every month, which cannot leave much money left over each month. In fact, according to a recent survey by GOBankingRates.com, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account, so living paycheck-to-paycheck is most definite. Analyzing your spending and eliminating unnecessary expenses from your spending habits will free up more money to start building an emergency fund and plan for your long-term future. It will also help you to avoid unnecessary events in life like destroying your credit score!
If you have not switched to a credit union yet, what are you waiting for? With no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees, the $15-25 monthly charge from the big banks quickly add up to hundreds wasted over the course of the year. Most even have free-fee ATM’s.
Sure January rolls around, you get a gym membership that you promise to use, you use it for a few solid months and then once the summer starts and you get busy, the days are more infrequent. By September you have paid for a few months on non-use, so might as well just cancel before you throw more money down the drain each month.
Unused Monthly Subscriptions
With magazine subscriptions on the decline it can be easy to sign up for a near-free promo, but as the unread magazines start to pile up, money is going out the window. Food service and streaming services can be nice, but weigh the use vs. cost to see if it is worth it.
Sure it is easy not to cook and just go to your favorite local restaurant for food and drinks. Walk in hungry and you are ordering an appetizer. The meal is great until you see the bill and it is approaching $100 for a couple and you wonder if it was worth it when you could have eaten at home for a mere dollars compared.
Birthday and Holiday Overspending
Sure we love to spoil our friends and family for their birthday and at holiday’s, but you need to set a budget and not go overboard. According to a recent Gallup poll, consumers expect to spend over $800 on holiday spending this year, while 30% polled even said they expected over $1000. Dial it back a little.