How Pumping the Frenos on Everyday Expenses Can Save You Big $$$
It’s tough! We all know what it’s like to walk into Target after a bad day and find that PERFECT cobijita for the house. The way-too-familiar conversation starting up in our head, “It’s $17. I work hard. It won’t break the bank. Me lo merezco – I deserve it.”
So you buy it and go home. You curl up on the couch with your new blanket, light the vainilla candle you bought last week, and take a sip from your Starbucks four-shot chai latte. Sound familiar?
Most of us get caught up in the same spending traps. Whether it’s “treat yourself” buys, accidentally expensive habits, or forgotten subscriptions, it adds up! Controlling these everyday expenses is important, and the good news is you can stop these spend traps today!
The Treat Yourself Buy
This “spend” trampa is tough to break because it feels so good. For me, it’s the chai latte on a cold day. The new lipstick after I finally finished that massive project at work. The doordash because, sabes que?, I’m just too tired to cook. Treating ourselves is good – in fact, we at SUMA are in full support of self-care!
But those non-essential personal treats can really add up. This report scared me straight. It compared Americans’ average spending on “essential” versus “non-essential” items. Check out the chart below for common daily treats that can be a real savings nightmare.
An easy way to treat ourselves and our bank account is to find cost-conscious self care options. For me, it’s a nice loooooong bath jamming out to my favorite 90’s throwback playlist. It’s easy to find your own! Take a walk and listen to a new podcast, like California Love by Latino storytelling powerhouse Walter Thompson-Hernandez. There are a ton of cost-conscious self care options out there, and the money we save as a result will empower us even further.
The Accidentally Expensive Habits
So here’s a question – when was the last time you looked at your credit card statement and really paid attention to those little purchases you make most often? Like… cafecito. Turns out the average person spends about $6 at Starbucks per visit. Let’s assume you (like my husband) can easily find yourself buying coffee five times a week. At four weeks, that’s a $120 monthly bill!
Once we figured that math out, the old man and I made a plan to keep coffee and cash in our lives. We invested in a good coffee maker earlier this year, and we buy bulk ground coffee from Costco. In our first month, we pretty much broke even. But you know what? Because we only had to buy the coffee pot once, we are on track to save up to $960 in a year! Even if you take the cost of filters or extra coffee for stronger brews into consideration, it’s still a massive savings win .
The Silent Subscriptions
The third way to get perspective on your spending is to look at your “silent subscriptions”. And this one hurts. Pull out those same statements that helped you find your expensive habits, and look for the repeating monthly expenses this time. Do you have Netflix? And Hulu? And Disney+? And Amazon Prime?
A recent study found that 84% of people underestimated what they spend each month on subscriptions by up to $158 per month! The most common expenses people forgot about were things like meal services, dating apps, wellness apps, and subscription boxes. I combed my own services a while ago and canceled Medium ($5/mo), and paused Audible ($15/month). From those two memberships alone, I am saving $240 a year. Little choices = big savings, mi gente.
La neta – Awareness of our spending is the driving force behind savings. We work hard for our money. It’s up to us to make sure we’re spending it intentionally, and creating an opportunity to put that money to work.
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