When the end of the year hits, you reflect on your bank account, debt, and wonder where did all the money go and what did I spend it on. In order to ease the burden on your bank account, try to cut back in a few of the most popular spending habits.
Sure, it is easy to go to a restaurant and have your food prepared for you, and not have to clean up after the meal, but that comes at a premium. For a couple going out, having appetizers, drinks, entrees, dessert, you can be talking over a hundred dollars, but even for normal eating at a diner can cost $25 with tip, so eating out a few days a week over the course of a month, that could be hundreds of dollars spend that could have cost a fraction of that buying from the grocery store and preparing at home.
Hitting the Bars
No matter what age you are, it is still fun to meet up friends and go to the bar to get out the house or watch a game, but the markup on beer, wine, and liquor is outrageous. Spending an entire night out at the bar can cost a hundred dollars each, so going out big every weekend, or even a few days a month can add up quickly. While for myself going out can still be a weakness of mine, but now we at least have a couple drinks at home before going out, and maybe don’t have to stay until last call. Baby steps I guess.
Going to the Movies
While I have been off work between Christmas and the new year, my wife and I have been catching up on movies, both in the theatre and ordering on-demand, and I can honestly say, most movie end with us having a reaction of “eh, it was ok”, so why spend the big bucks to go out to the theatre, unless it is a big movie you really want to see. $11 a movie ticket, $6 popcorn, $10 drinks, you are at least at $50 a couple to see a mediocre movie. Have your money and rent a movie to watch at home, without the sound of random people talking around you.
Ordering Coffee on the Go
Stopping for coffee on your way to work every day spending a couple dollars here and there does not seem like a lot of money, but every day, over a month, can at least be $50 a month, of which if you buy a large package of your favorite coffee for a third of that, set the timer on the coffee pot to have it brewed by the time you leave the house, your supply will last you months, and maybe are late to work a few less times.
Depending on which part of the country you live in, this may not be a much of an issue, unless gambling is part of a trip to Vegas, at least you have had time to save and expect any losses to be part of a fun vacation. In Michigan, we have quick access to casinos, so unless you only go on special occasions, making gambling part of your regular activities can cost hundreds each visit, let alone what you could spend in a month. Online gambling sites, and pretty much any sport will have a pool during a championship run, so money can quickly add up to most likely lose.
Along with eating out and having drinks at the bar, this could be one of my biggest money wasters, especially working from home where I have access to virtually any website at my fingertips throughout the day. At least working in an office, sites can be blocked to help curb spending a little. With sites, such as Amazon offering free shipping and quick click buying with all financial and shipping address saved, going on a credit card, it can almost seem like an endless supply of money available to use, that is, until the next billing statement is due.
Not only are the health factors involved with smoking that lead to, well, death, it is amazing that people in 2016 still smoke, so hopefully in 2017 strides can be made to continue to eliminate smoking from daily habits. For those that still do smoke however, it can add up quickly as packs of cigarettes can average let’s say around $7 per pack, so if you are on a pack a day habit, that can be $50 a week, $200 a month. An expensive habit for something that will kill you anyways.
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