There are more than a few people out there who think they’ve got their spending under control, and yet they can’t seem to figure out why they’re still spending more than they earn every month. In many cases, the answer is simply that many people spend small amounts of money on too many things. The truth is, it all adds up –even the small stuff — and if there’s enough of it, the spending eventually becomes significant.
So, what are some of the most common small expenses that, when taken in the aggregate, are often guilty of drilling a large hole in your finances? Here are four likely candidates:
Subscriptions usually come pretty cheaply, which is why many people are often enticed to pull the trigger on multiple product or service agreements. Of course, there are many different subscription-based goods and services; whether it’s magazines, newspapers and Internet access, or services like Netflix or Amazon, there are plenty of options to tempt us. And while just one or two probably won’t put a dent in your income, if you aren’t careful, things can quickly add up. If you’re the type of person that has a lot of subscriptions, identify which ones you really can’t live without — then cancel the rest. After all, there’s no point in letting money go down the drain for services you don’t even use.
Software and apps
Software and apps follow a similar formula in the sense that they usually come in small packages with rather inexpensive price tags. However, put all of them together and you’ve got yourself quite the budget bomb. There are as many different types of software that people buy as there are services that can be used on a computer, tablet or even smartphone. Unfortunately, most people fail to comparison shop software because they fail to realize that, unlike apps, software sales can be very competitive. For example, if you’re looking to buy software, then it’s important to make sure there aren’t any special offers or coupon codes available. By carefully managing software and app expenses, you’ll go a long way toward getting the most from your paycheck.
Always beware of sales; tread that territory with extreme caution. Obviously, discount sales are wonderful because they give people access to things they want at a much better price. However, the point of most sales is to induce people to buy even more because, technically, they can “afford” it now — which is why, in the grand scheme of things, most folks end up spending just as much as they would have when there was no sale! If you think you’re the kind of person that can’t really stay away from all the juicy offers surfacing on their favorite sales platforms, it may be better to stay away from sales altogether.
Photo Credit: Rosmarie Voegtli