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Little Things That Might Be Costing You BIG Money
By Melissa Bailey on Mar 14 2014, 12:54 AM
Most often a budget is not blown from big purchases, but rather it's the small items that we spend money on that can add up. From time to time my husband and I take a look at our budget to make sure little spendings here and there have not created big holes. With the promise of Spring on the horizon, we decided to take the leap and make sure our budget was right on track.

Here are a few little things that might be costing you (and me) BIG money:

1. Work lunches & coffee
I understand what it's like to work in an office. It's easy to oversleep, stumble out of bed and head to the office without taking the time to brew coffee and pack a lunch. For many families (ours included) an incredible amount of money is spent on unexpected expenses throughout the work week. Whether it's a $2 cup of coffee at the local cafe or a $6 lunch at your favorite taco place, such spending can add up quickly.

A great way to decrease work related expenses is to set a spending budget and carry that money around in cash. You will be more conscious of what you are spending as you slowly see the wad of cash deplete.

2. Eating out and pizza delivery
Life moves at such a fast pace! If we're not careful, weeks come and go and grocery trips are sporadic and ill-planned, leaving our family with few options when it comes to dinner: eating out or ordering pizza. I realize that schedules are busy. We get off work and are too exhausted to cook dinner. Or we pick kids up from school only to cart them to gymnastics practice. In the midst of all this hustle, food prep often falls to the wayside leaving our families with fast food options that can quickly become expensive.

A great way to decrease the amount of money spent on food is to always keep fillings for sandwiches close at hand. It might be a good idea to invest in a small cooler so that if you are on the go for meals, your kids can easily make sandwiches in the car, eliminating the need to stop at your local burger place. Sub out chips for cut up vegetables and fruit to keep the meal as healthy as possible.

3. Miscellaneous Snacks
Remember that $0.50 candy bar and $1.00 can of soda that you bought this week? Or what about that bottle of water that you purchased? For some reason when we spend small amounts on snacks throughout the week, we think that small purchases don't matter - almost as if we're using free money! Let's say each individual member of a family of 4 spends about $5 a week on small items. That's $20 a week or about $80 a month. Small expenses can quickly add up and eat away at extra areas of your budget.

A great way to save money on miscellaneous snacks is to buy them in bulk at the store and keep them at the house. Instead of purchasing something at the local gas station, dip into your supply at home to save a few dollars (and get more snack for your buck!)
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