Does it seem like you’re always broke? Do you often wonder where the money went? In many cases, the money was spent on items you didn’t really need. These budget busters can quickly eat away at your income and leave little to show for your expense.
Don’t let that happen. Let’s look at some budget busters and how to avoid them.
Impulse buys are those items that are strategically placed in stores to capture your attention. For example, magazines placed in the checkout are a big impulse buy. As you wait in line, you may be tempted to grab a couple magazines. Those impulse buys can set you back $10 or more. If you do this each week, that’s over $500 a year on magazines that you probably didn’t even read.
The trick to avoid impulse buys is to keep yourself occupied while waiting to checkout. Look over your list to make sure you got everything you need or play a game on your smartphone. Whatever it takes to keep you focused.
Oh, Bath & Body Works is having 20% off plus buy 3 get 3 free on your favorite items. How can you pass that up? Here’s the thing. You can go broke saving money. Unsubscribe from emails so that you’re no longer tempted to shop the sales.
Cable or Satellite TV
Are you still paying for cable or satellite TV? Why? You can cancel your service and still watch your favorite channels for a fraction of the price. There are so many streaming services available. Stop paying $150 or more per month to watch a handful of channels.
Eating out is one of the biggest budget busters for many families. Sure, it’s quick and convenient, but eating out costs a lot. To avoid the need to grab a quick meal, use a meal plan, make freezer meals, and utilize your slow cooker or pressure cooker. You can enjoy a quick meal without eating out.
Do you really need to give your mother a new $300 mixer? Instead of tearing your budget apart with expensive gifts, focus more on giving gifts that are meaningful. Meaningful gifts are not only inexpensive, but so much better than an expensive gift that will be quickly tossed aside.
Last, but not least, stop breaking your budget to cover an emergency. Build an emergency fund that can handle whatever life throws at you. An emergency fund should be at least three months worth of expenses for a two-income household. If you’re in a one-income household, or salaries are based on commission or other unreliable income, a six-month fund should be considered.
When your budget is torn apart, it can make you feel helpless. You want to get on top of your finances but seem to always fall short. If these budget busters are part of the problem for your family, work to put an end to them.