We all love to eat! Fast food is fast and easy and cheap...if you only go sparingly. However, if you make fast food a big part of your spending habits, then all those small cheap purchases will start to add up until the point that you are over budget.
But fast food isn't the only way you can overspend on food. Groceries can just as easily bust your budget. The key to controlling your spending on groceries is to create a list before going to the grocery store and sticking to it. Getting to register and realizing your groceries are $500 when you clearly wrote in your budget $300 is a problem.
Every month document the total amount you spend in groceries. If you want a baseline my husband and I spend about $400 a month in groceries every month! Sometimes $440 but never $500 unless we are hosting a get together.
You would be surprised how much people spend on their electric bill each month! The average electric bill in Houston as of 2020 is $131.63 a month...girl no! If you live in a house that number is probably great but in an apartment that is robbery! Your phone bill and internet are no different.
Here are some ways you can get this fixed.
✨ Call your electric provider and ask for a cheaper rate
✨ Switch electric providers
✨ Switch phone carriers
✨ Call your internet provider and ask for any promos
✨ Switch internet providers
Affording a new item is relative, We can afford a lot of things. The true question is does your shopping align with your goals? Shopping just to shop can be detrimental to a budget and is often an unplanned expense and this leads to overspending! I was guilty of this before I got my spending under control.
Before making a costly purchase be sure to think long and hard about whether or not you need this item. I'm not saying you can't treat yourself occasionally but buying a $200 purse one week and some $100 dollar shoes the next isn't treating yourself. Instead this is disrupting your path to a secure financial future.
I know I'm about to hit a few buttons but it must be said. Entertainment is literally your biggest budget buster next to food 👀. Yes, Sunday Funday, Brunch and Happy Hour every week will bust your good budget plans. I'm not saying you can't go out with friends and family and relax and unwind but I am saying that you cannot do these things every week if your dropping $100 at Brunch every week. The Entertainment category should not be more than 8% of your income and 8% is on the high end! Here a few tips to cut back on entertainment.
✨ Look for cheap concert tickets on Groupon
✨ Limit your spending on these outings
✨ Limit the amount of times you go out each month
✨ Have home events instead (Clearly not during the time of #corona)
✨ Have game night and a potluck
You can spend time with family and friends without going overboard. Just make yourself aware of how much money you are spending on Entertainment. If it is over 8% re-asses your spending habits.
Well Budgeting! I know you didn't think I was going to say something else. Budget and track your spending to help identify categories were you are overspending and then create a plan to attack them.
For more on mistakes made when budgeting check out my post 7 Mistakes Made When Budgeting.
Let me know the category that you struggle with on a month to month basis!