We all work hard to stay on budget; but did you know there are seven "Costly C's" that could be derailing your goals of financial success? Most people don't even realize how much of an impact these every day expenditures can have on their debt, budget, or savings. Keeping a close eye on the "Costly C's" can help keep your budget in check.
1. Coffee. How many days a week do you find yourself in the line at Starbucks, Tim Hortons, or any other convenient coffee shop? All those coffee runs can really add up quick! Consider brewing your own coffee at home to save you time and money. Better yet, wait until you get to the office and splurge on the coffee offered there- it's probably cheaper or even free!
2. Children. Have you ever noticed you tend to spend more money when you take your children shopping with you? If you do take them to the store, set some ground rules on shopping. It's important that they don't get used to expecting a new toy every time they go to the store. Use these shopping trips as learning moments about spending money and comparing prices and brands.
3. Carry-Out. If you hate to cook or don't have the time to, carry-out is the way to go. But do you actually know how much you're spending on carry-out every month? It can really add up! Consider subscribing to a meal kit service that can cut your time and carry-out cost in half. Better yet, take some time to meal prep before the week starts.
4. Cable. Cable is out, streaming is in. Cable can cost you over $1,000 every year and chances are you don't watch all the channels. Sign up for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others that are more budget friendly for your financial goals.
5. Convenience. Buying pre-chopped veggies, fruit, pre-formed burgers, etcetera, will save you time, but definitely not money. Think about buying your meat in bulk either from your local grocery store or farm fresh butcher. Doing the work yourself will pay off in the end!
6. Car. Besides a home, owning a car is one of the most expensive purchases, and financial upkeeps, you will have. Gas, maintenance, cleaning, the list goes on, can really nickel and dime you. Consider downgrading your vehicle or going without all the bells and whistles. We also suggest shopping around for better car insurance that can lower your monthly costs.
7. Cell Phone. It's always fun to have the latest and greatest, hi-tech smartphone. But it can also come with a great big cell phone bill. Shop around and see where you can save; do you really need the latest gadget with the biggest screen? Or can you settle for an older model? Also think about switching to a smaller carrier or switch carriers that will offer you a special to change companies.
Telhio Credit Union offers checking accounts, financial education, savings options, loans, and more, that are all designed with your budget in mind. For more information, visit www.telhio.org.
Thanks to GreenPath Financial Wellness for providing some of the professional insight to this article.