Whether you are trying to improve your credit score, pay down some outstanding debts, or save money for the future, just about every personal finance expert will tell you that there are plenty of monthly expenses built into your budget that aren’t really all that necessary.
In fact, many of those same experts would argue that you are currently spending a small fortune on unnecessary expenses that you simply can’t afford. So, unless you have a perfect credit score and years of income stashed away in savings, here are 10 things you probably buy every month that you can’t really afford.
Coffee & Energy Drinks
Everyone has heard about “the latte factor” at this point, but knowing that spending $5 a day on a coffee or energy drink can have serious financial consequences in the long run isn’t stopping most people from grabbing a frappuccino or a big tall energy drink on a daily basis.
Another common expense built into many budgets is the annual dinner at a fancy restaurant for whatever happens to be important to your family. This might be for a birthday or an anniversary, but whatever the occasion, expensive dinners can blow a devastating hole into the side of your budget.
Speaking of dinner, grabbing take-out from your favorite places instead of cooking the groceries in your fridge can have a double impact on your bottom line. Dining out is one of the biggest expenses in most budgets, and even reasonably priced restaurants can add up if you make take-out a regular habit.
Anyone who lives in a major city will tell you that hopping into an Uber is easier than figuring out mass transportation. However, the cost of jumping into a vehicle through any rideshare app is significant, and doing this regularly can eat away at the portion of your budget that could be going towards long-term goals.
Cable & Streaming Services
Cord-cutting is becoming more and more popular, but there are still millions of Americans that subscribe to cable TV along with as many as a dozen different streaming apps. Each of those services on their own can be a cheap form of entertainment, but the combined cost of subscribing to all of them can be devastating.
Groceries That Aren’t on Sale
One common excuse from people who order take-out frequently is that going to the grocery store is always too expensive. That’s because these people are paying the full retail price for those groceries. If you aren’t using coupons and hunting for sales, you’re paying too much for your groceries.
Another thing that no one should ever pay full price for is clothing. No matter what type of clothes you are looking to acquire, there is always a way to get a great deal if you are patient and willing to put in a little extra effort.
Bank & Credit Card Fees
One line item that no one wants to talk about is the bank and credit card fees that come from making late payments. These are almost always the result of being disorganized, and everyone can agree that they are something that can and should be avoided.
Mobile Phone Plans
When was the last time that you shopped around for a better cell phone plan? Sometimes, all it takes is a quick call to your preferred supplier to obtain significant savings on a new or updated plan.
Cell Phone Apps
Your smartphone might be essential, but most of those apps that show up on your credit card statement every month are definitely not. Cut back on the apps you are willing to purchase or remove your credit card information from your account and you will instantly see the money you would have spent start piling up in the bank.
No matter how diligent you are when it comes to your personal budget, just about everyone has room to improve in some areas. Work on limiting the slippage from these ten expenses and you won’t believe how fast the savings accumulate over the next few months.