We all need to blow off a little steam and indulge ourselves every now and again. We deserve it, right? Of course! But when your lifestyle is killing your budget, you’re not doing yourself any favors. In fact, those things you deserve may be the very things holding you back.
- Smoking. Smoking is an extremely expensive habit. Across the United States, the average price per pack is about $5.50. In New York, a pack can cost you more than $12 per pack. Even if you only smoke a pack a week? That’s $285 per year on average and $624 per year for New Yorkers! Are you smoking a pack a day? That’s $1,995 on average and $4,368 for New Yorkers per year. Think of what you could do with that money if you quit.
- Happy hour. Speaking of vices and blowing off steam, stopping at the bar on the way home from work is another costly practice. If you spend $20 per week on drinks and snacks, that’s over $1,000 per year. If you’re trying to save for a large purchase or get yourself out of debt, you may want to cut back on going out.
- Caffeine. Do you love your morning latte? Does the coffee in the breakroom taste like muddy water? No one will deny the powers of coffee to get you up and running, but if you’re spending $5 a day Monday through Friday on java, you’re dropping $1,300 per year!
- Lottery. We all know you have to play if you want a shot at winning, but how often do you actually win? If you’re regularly throwing money away hoping for that big pay out, consider playing less often or skipping it altogether.
- Buying meals while at work. Shopping for food, preparing meals, and bringing them to work is time consuming. Getting out of the office for lunch is sometimes exactly what you need to get through the day. It’s easy to spend $10-$20 each time you eat out. You could be spending $1,000-$2,000 per year without even realizing it.
Never spending a dime on anything fun can get boring fast. Working hard without a splurge here and there can wear down your spirit. Becoming aware of your spending and plugging up the leaky holes in your budget can help you reach your financial goals more quickly.
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