If you work hard, watch your spending, and try not to overindulge, yet still find yourself short on money in the bank, you may be a victim of these five small expenses that prevent you from having a successful budget. These expenses slowly chip away at your money but often go unnoticed because they seem inconsequential. Learn more about these costs and how to eliminate them from your budget planner!
There’s nothing wrong with splurging here and there. However, it’s easy to get swept away in the desire for nicer things. If you’re not careful, giving in and buying those designer shoes or kitchen gadgets on Amazon “just this one time” can turn into a monthly occurrence that’ll wreck your budget. These purchases can and do add up at the end of the month. Think of it this way: If you spend an extra $5 a day on something you can easily live without, you’re looking at an extra $150 a month in impulse buys.
Monthly Subscription Charges
Are you signed up for streaming services you don’t use or a smartphone app you haven’t opened in weeks? Automatic renewals can be handy if you’re using the services for which you’re being billed. However, if you signed up for a free trial and forgot to cancel before you received a bill or you simply don’t use the service anymore, it’s time to start budgeting more thoughtfully. Take a closer look at the entertainment sources you use and eliminate the ones you don’t.
Credit Card Fees
If you allow your credit card balance to roll over into the next month, you’ll see some additional charges added to your bill. It’s not always practical to immediately pay off your credit card bill, especially if you’ve just used it for a major purchase, but paying the minimum when you have the extra cash won’t do you any favors in the long run. Just an extra $15 in monthly interest fees adds up to $180 a year. Try to save your credit card for emergencies, rather than shopping trips and impulse buys.
You don’t need to purchase name-brand products to get good value. A lot of store-brand and name-brand products are manufactured by the same companies. In many cases, there’s virtually no difference in quality — just differences in packaging. Whether you’re shopping for groceries, medicine, or paper products, try the store brand. Depending on how often you shop, you can save upwards of $1,000 a year buying store-brand vs. name-brand products.
With the exception of items like medical devices, you don’t need to pay the full retail price for your purchases. Electronics, appliances, gifts, and even everyday essentials like food, bath products, and medicine can be purchased on sale. You can use a variety of apps for your internet browser and smartphone to help you clip coupons and stay up-to-date on sales, so you can get the items you want for less.
Get More Tips for Planning a Budget from Public Service Credit Union!
Whether you’re budgeting for a mortgage or traveling the world, it’s possible without the above-mentioned expenses killing your budget. If you have questions about how using a credit union can help, contact us at Public Service Credit Union! We can even offer more budgeting tips and answers to questions like, “Why should I refinance my car loan?” We have locations throughout Michigan, including Detroit and Romulus. We’ll take you through all the benefits of a credit union and the many ways it can help you save.