As much as you may try, it can be difficult to stay on budget — especially when everyday expenses keep destroying your budget. But even if your budget always gets off-track, there are ways to steer your money in the right direction. Here are seven everyday expenses that might destroy your budget.
1. Fuel Cost
Unfortunately, you can't avoid paying fuel for your car, especially if you commute to work. But there are ways to lower your everyday expenses and keep your transportation budget on track. For starters, if you work and live near one of your employees, maybe you can take turns and carpool to work each day. Using public transportation a few days can also keep your transportation budget on track, as can maintaining your car. Certain routine maintenance, such as keeping your fuel injection system clean, can improve your gas mileage. Speak with your dealership for details.
Even if you budget a fair amount for groceries each month, you might overspend. You may see extra things and impulsively put these in your cart. To keep your budget on track, never shop when you're hungry. Also, leave your children at home. If possible, shop when you're in a rush. Therefore, you only have time to buy the items you need.
Living without cable can be challenging, I completely understand this. However, paying for the best cable package does not always make sense. If you're very busy and have little time for TV, it’s pointless to pay for unnecessary channels. Reevaluate your cable package and make adjustments to save money.
Caffeine can give your mind and body the boost you need to get through the day. But if you always spend your money on expensive gourmet coffee, this can take a chunk from your budget. There are ways to enjoy your morning Joe without going over budget. For starters, ditch coffee shops. Buy a bag of gourmet coffee and brew your own.
From water to electricity, utilities can definitely take a chunk of your budget. However, to keep your finances on track, look for ways to reduce your power bill. There are several techniques you can employ, such as keeping your drapes closed during the summer to block the heat, sealing cracks in your walls, installing a programmable thermostat and using energy efficient appliances. Additionally, you can shop around for different utility companies, if available in your area.
You need a little fun in your life. However, if you overspend on recreation and entertainment, there might be little cash for bills at the end of the month. Sit down with your family and determine a reasonable amount to spend on entertainment each month.
Eating sandwiches or microwavable meals each day can get old, and you may prefer eating out with coworkers. But if you go to lunch five days a week, that's $5-$10 per day. And at the end of the month, you can easily spend $200 — just on lunch. Think of creative, delicious lunch ideas that you can prepare at home.
Keeping your money on budget is one of the first steps to reaching long-term financial goals, such as building your rainy day fund or saving up for a house. Therefore, it is important to regularly reevaluate your spending plan and make adjustments as needed. What other expenses can destroy your monthly budget?