Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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These 3 Monthly Expenses are Breaking Your Budget

These 3 Monthly Expenses are Breaking Your Budget

When you review your budget at the end of the month, there is nothing more exciting than realizing that you reached all your goals. Conversely, it can be frustrating to find yourself spending more than you wanted to.

If you continually overspend, the best thing you can do is pinpoint where the problem is coming into play. Once you review your budget, it won’t be long before you have a clear idea of where you need to make adjustments.

Here are three monthly expenses that may be breaking your budget:

1. Trips to the home improvement store. You may not think you are spending much on flowers, furnace filters, and tools, but these purchases quickly add up. For some, this is a year round problem. For others, it only rears its ugly head during the summer months. Either way, make sure you know how much you are spending to keep your house in order.

2. Dining out. No matter how you look at it, eating out will cost you more than eating in. There is nothing wrong with working this into your budget, just make sure you don’t go too far. Try to limit yourself to a certain number of restaurant trips every month.

3. ATM withdrawals. You may find yourself in need of cash from time to time. There is nothing wrong with this, as there are situations in which paying with cash is preferable to using a credit card. The problem comes into play when you begin to do this on a regular basis, while still making all your other monthly purchases. Keep a close eye on your ATM activity. You may be surprised at what you find.

The next time you are due to review your budget, take special note of these expenses. 

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Comments 2

Frank on Thursday, 10 September 2015 13:17

3 ways to limit your expenses with the 3 categories Chris described:
1. Trips to the home improvement store: Map out and research exactly how much you plan to spend BEFORE going to the home improvement store. Research is key because you can find better deals online sometimes.
2. Dining out: Make a rule with yourself to only eat out X number of times per week/month. Once you hit that limit, keep yourself accountable and dine in. This will save you a ton of money over the long term!
3. ATM withdrawals: I would always recommend not spending cash if possible! Always spend on your credit card/debit card when you can. If that is not possible and you have to spend cash, DOCUMENT IT. This will help you realize how much cash you are spending each week/month. I would also set an ATM withdrawal limit for yourself.

3 ways to limit your expenses with the 3 categories Chris described: 1. Trips to the home improvement store: Map out and research exactly how much you plan to spend BEFORE going to the home improvement store. Research is key because you can find better deals online sometimes. 2. Dining out: Make a rule with yourself to only eat out X number of times per week/month. Once you hit that limit, keep yourself accountable and dine in. This will save you a ton of money over the long term! 3. ATM withdrawals: I would always recommend not spending cash if possible! Always spend on your credit card/debit card when you can. If that is not possible and you have to spend cash, DOCUMENT IT. This will help you realize how much cash you are spending each week/month. I would also set an ATM withdrawal limit for yourself.
ChrisB on Friday, 11 September 2015 08:42

Great advice, Frank. You hit the nail on the head with this advice.

Great advice, Frank. You hit the nail on the head with this advice.
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