Setting a spending budget is one way to help control personal finances, but there are other factors that need to be considered to ensure one keeps to the budget that is set. Consumers are often offered a variety of options when it comes to purchases. Choosing to purchase an item or service out of convenience can greatly impact one’s spending.
Here are 7 ways in which convenience is destroying personal budgets:
1. Not Planning Ahead When Traveling –
Whether it’s a road trip or travel abroad, one factor adding to the spend are snacks and drinks. Travelers may forgo carrying that bottle of water or taking a minute to pack a bag of snacks because it is inconvenient, but that only makes the traveler wind up paying for the items at a premium price at the theme park or tourist destination where prices tend to be marked up.
2. Choosing Premium Package Subscriptions –
While some premium package subscriptions offer real savings, it does not apply to all consumers when there are only a select few items within the package that are truly needed. Take for instance the premium cable subscription package where subscribers are offered access to all channels. If the subscriber does not intend to use all the channels, but only a select few, then such a package subscription in unnecessary albeit convenient to have. Such a consumer may wind up paying much less, simply by opting for the basic subscription package where only a few select channels are offered and separately adding an outside subscription for movie rental options.
3. Excessive Dining Out –
For those who like to make their own meals, then dining in is not a difficult decision. For others, dining out offers convenience. Unfortunately, the bill can run much higher when dining out. In addition to paying more for the meal, there are also additional expenses like tipping for services. Consumers can reduce spending by dining out less frequently, preparing their own meals, and opting for takeout service for pick-up instead.
4. Not Using Coupons –
So many businesses, stores, and manufacturers offer coupons for savings. It’s a big miss for consumers to not take advantage of the savings offered. Before venturing out to the supermarket or making a purchase online, conduct a quick search for promo codes or coupons that can help provide savings on the purchase. Even many supermarket chains today allow consumers to directly save coupons on their website or app for savings in store. Certain credit cards may also have cashback opportunities for consumers shopping at the supermarket or at certain stores.
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5. Picking to Drive Rather Than Walk or Take Public Transportation –
Owning a vehicle may make traveling easier, but there’s the additional expense of gas. If it’s a short trip, consider taking a pleasant walk to the destination or using public transportation rather than driving. In addition, look for opportunities where carpooling is an option.
6. Failing to Adjust the Thermostat Properly –
Keeping a home comfortable during hotter weather and warm during colder weather comes with a cost. The home utility bill can easily be lowered with the efficient use of a thermostat. Many of today’s home thermostats allow users to adjust the temperature in the home throughout the day, so there’s no reason a home’s temperature should be kept to one steady degree throughout the day where energy may be wasted when no one is at home.
7. Splurging on Coffee –
Coffee is a must for some people. The urge can come during the morning, lunch, mid-day and even into the evening. While it may be convenient to head over to the coffee shop for a cup of joe on each occasion, that can quickly add up and wind up emptying the wallet. Find ways to reduce spending on a cup of coffee by making it at home before heading out the door. There are also travel size packs of instant coffee that can be kept in the bag or purse to make at the office.
Have you ever been offered a free or low-cost printer, razor, or electric toothbrush? Companies often offer these expensive products at a deep discount to lure consumers in because they make their real money on refills. If you want to continue to use these free or low-cost items, you may break the bank trying to purchase manufacturer or brand name refill products. Take a look at the following tips to learn ways to save money on the cost of refill products.
Refill Your Own Ink Cartridges –
Are you sick of paying excessive amounts of money just to be able to print your own documents? With a little extra work, you can refill your own ink cartridges and save a lot of money in the process. One option that you may want to consider is purchasing ink bottles online and using a syringe to refill your old cartridges. If you’re looking for a less messy approach, some stores offer ink refilling services. All you need to do is drop off your old cartridge, and the store will refill your cartridge for you. This can save you a lot of money and time. Generic options may also save you money in the long run.
Don’t Overpay for Razor Blades –
The refillable razor that you have been using may offer great results, but you may find that the razor blades are extremely overpriced. If you don’t want to overpay for your razor blades, you may want to consider purchasing razor blades online. In many cases, you may learn that some disposable razors work just as well and cost a fraction of the price of many popular razors.
Purchase an Electric Toothbrush with Affordable Heads –
If you’re thinking about stepping up your oral hygiene with the use of an electric toothbrush, it’s important to take into consideration the cost of the replacement heads. Shop around to learn the different prices of refill toothbrush heads. If you find that a certain brand is cheaper, it may be in your best interest to purchase that brand of electric toothbrush. Store brand toothbrush heads are also a great way to save money.
While it is nice to go for things that are convenient, it can hurt the budget! From the extra cost associated with many services to the unexpected toll on your health because of added stress and worry when money gets tight, convenience items may not be all that convenient, to begin with.
Are you looking for more ways to cut down on the costs of your everyday expenses and stretch your budget dollars? Have your credit card payments gotten too big to manage? Take advantage of the many services that a nonprofit credit counseling company offers. Advantage CCS offers debt management and credit counseling in order to better educate you in smart spending habits. If you find that it’s impossible to control your monthly spending, you may benefit greatly by working with a credit counselor. With the right tools and techniques, you can be more in control of your financial future.