HOW I WAS BLOWING OVER $11,000 A YEAR & YOU MAY BE TOO!
As a single student, working full time and living with roommates I will admit that when it comes to money the only time I really stress is when my savings are looking low and my car decides stop working. Having said this my third roommate has decided to move interstate with her boyfriend. Now not only are my other roommate and I going to miss her like crazy we are left with the decision as to whether or not to find someone to take her spot or tighten our belts. As all our friends are either not in a financial position to move out of home or are already in a place they love, we are looking at the possibility of a stranger moving in with us. Having had some really bad experiences living with people we didn’t know we are strongly leaning towards turning the third bedroom into a home gym and splitting the rent 50/50. This will require some planning and cut backs on our part. Yep that means some dreaded budgeting. Wanting to take things seriously I started evaluating my spending and I was very surprised. After double checking the figures I was shocked to learn that my everyday activities were costing me a whole lot of cash. In fact I was spending over 11 THOUSAND dollars a year without even realising. I never really thought I lived extravagantly until I really looked into my spending. It was a real eye opener. If you have never evaluated your spending I really suggest you do so. You may be left suprised like I was. So how was I burning 11 thousand dollars of my cash each year you may ask? Well, here’s the breakdown:
Cafe Coffee: Getting up at 5am everyday and not being in bed until after 11pm most days, often leaves me tired and heading to my local coffee shop for a pick me up. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with this until I worked out how much my coffee addiction was actually costing me. On average I buy 1.5 cups of coffee a day. Each cup costs me $5, taking into account that my 10th is free (I’m a really loyal customer, as you can tell haha) I am spending an average of $48 a week just on coffee. That’s almost two and a half grand a year. Which is insane and could pay for an annual trip to Thailand!
My solution: Take a flask of home-brewed coffee with me each day and learn to love the free instant at work.
Brunch dates and bought work lunches: It’s tempting to meet the girls for brunch and indulge in a $20 (vegetarian) eggs benny or hit the sushi bar for lunch every second day but when you work it these “little” indulgences are super expensive and end up costing me around $80 a week or $4,160 a year!
My Solution: Opt for the raisin bread ($4.00) at brunch and start taking lunch to work. Easy.
Friday Night Cocktails: Since I started my job Friday Night Cocktails have always been a weekly occurrence. As I usually spend the weekend working (I work one weekend on, one off) or catching up on study I only have one cocktail, two at the most which doesn’t seem like a huge expense. However, with each cocktail at $15 a pop and a taxi ride home (I never drink and drive, even if I think I’m under) Friday night drinks were costing me around $50 a week or $2,600 a year.
My Solution: I really didn’t want to give up my Friday nights, so instead I talked to a workmate (also a friend) about my new budget and we decided to alternate weeks as designated driver. This will ultimately save us both on taxi fare as well as drink costs every second week. Win-Win.
Online Shopping: I am an online shopping addict and my purchases are so regular that both my courier and mailman know my name by heart and often joke “Oh looks like ASOS had a sale again!” while delivering my latest silver plastic clad package. Upon looking through my debit card history I worked out through the past 6 months my online spending averaged $60.00 a week, which works out to be around $3,120 a year! If I am completely honest with myself about 50% of my purchases I either end up hating, don’t fit right or I forget about them and end up finding them months later at the back of my cupboard with tagged still attached.
My Solution: Follow my own advice and cut costs where I can when it comes to online shopping. But more importantly stop any impulse buys and limit myself to just $100 a month on online purchases. My wardrobe is seriously bursting as is and I don’t need anything else.
So there you have it “little” ways I was blowing over 11 grand a year with frivolous spending and you could be too! Do you have any tips and tricks for budgeting or saving cash? Becky xo
Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.