Little purchases – a coffee here, a movie ticket there, a new magazine subscription because, hey, you deserve it – add up and can wreak havoc on your checkbook – and possibly your credit.
Let’s say you stop and pick up a coffee four times per week. If the coffee costs $1.50, you’ll spend more than $300 in a year. And if you like those creamy, frothy coffee treats, you could be spending more than $725 per year.
Do you know where your money went last year? If you go through your checkbook using a program like Quicken, QuickBooks or an Excel spreadsheet, you might be surprised at how those low-dollar impulse purchases added up.
Expense Management Approach
Knowledge is power, and that’s true with your expenses too. Knowing your spending habits can help you find ways to cut costs in the future. Some suggestions:
- Cut your land line and rely on your cell phone.
- Drop magazine or newspaper subscriptions that you don’t read.
- Use a water purifier rather than bottled water.
- Quit smoking to save $1,638 per year and improve your health.
- Choose generic or store-brand items.
- Negotiate prices and ask for discounts when paying cash.
- Call creditors right away if you can’t pay on time.
- Check your bank balance regularly.
- Stay up-to-date on your credit score.
- Use free financial tools and resources online such as 360financialliteracy.org, feedthepig.org, financialfitnessohio.com and our own reacpa.com.
Making little changes in your spending habits can help you more quickly pay off high-priced debt, save for a big ticket item or fill your emergency fund. Who knew so much could come from a cup of coffee?