8 Money Drains On Your Budget

8 Money Drains On Your Budget


Are you coming up short every month? Are you living from paycheck to paycheck? Unfortunately, you are not alone. Lots of Americans aren’t just pinched—they’re feeling squeezed. Worse, many people continue to supplement their income by using credit cards and not paying them off every month.

money bagI can think of at least a dozen “money drains” on your budget, most of which can easily be corrected. Out of those twelve, eight can make a huge difference by helping you reverse your losses and help you start coming out ahead each month. What are they? Read on and we’ll look at what they are and how much they may be costing you:

1. Cable Service – I’m not knocking cable nor am I advocating satellite service, but I am suggesting that if your cable bill is $70 or $80 per month, then you’re paying too much. Cut back from 500 channels to 50 and tell your service provider you want a better rate or you’ll switch. You should save $30 per month which adds up to $360 per year.

2. Coffee to Go – Do you need that Starbucks cup? How about your morning fill up from your 7-11 store or gas station? Even at $2 per day, that adds up to $10 per week or $500 per year. Consider investing in a nice coffee maker for the home and brewing your own java.

3. Alcoholic Consumption – A drink here or there may not matter, but if you’re in a six-pack every two day habit, then you’re going through some serious money. Cut back and you could save $200-500 annually. Besides, liver problems are no joke.

4. Cigarette Smoke – How much is a pack of cigarettes in your state? $5? $6? $7? A pack a day, even a pack a week is an expensive habit. Besides, you’re killing yourself slowly and you’re not doing your body any good in the short run. Save $350 or more annually by kicking the habit. Saving tens of thousands of dollars in medical care later when the full effects of smoking kick in.

5. Telephone Service – How many phones do you have? Land line or cell phone or both? Lots of people are ditching their land lines in favor of cell phones, but those savings disappear if your cell phone plan is a bad one. Consider consolidating to one service, finding the best plan and enjoying the savings. Save at least $300 annually.

6. Lottery Tickets – Yes, someone has to win. After all, you got to be in it to win it! But, your chances of winning the big ticket are quite small, so why not put that money to good use by investing it in something worthwhile? Save hundreds annually.

7. Vending Machines – A snack here or a drink there can add up especially if you go to the vending machine at work where prices are marked up by three to four times what you would pay had you purchased the same at the store yourself. Break the vending habit by bringing along what you want for the day. Save $250 to $500 per year.

8. Lunch Out – Five dollars or more per day for lunch means you’ll spend $1200 to $2000 or more annually. Brown bag it and pay about a third of what you would eating out.

Together, you can save thousands of dollars annually by reducing or cutting out some of your habits while changing others. You may enjoy certain pursuits, but if you’re spending more than what you are taking in, then you need to make some changes now.

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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".