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Avoiding Budget Pitfalls: The Small Stuff

Budgeting for Goals
Budgeting for Goals

What does a soda or coffee on the way to work, a lottery ticket when you stop for gas, and a candy bar at the checkout line all have in common? They all add up to cost you much more than you think. When you skip tracking the small stuff in your budget, you can end up with big surprises.

Let’s say you grab a fountain soda three days per week on your way to work. If you work 50 of the 52 weeks in a year that means your soda habit costs you $150 a year.

A $2 Powerball ticket you buy once a week when you fill up on gas will cost you $104 per year.

That $1.50 king size chocolate bar you get at the grocery store each week knocks $78 out of your annual budget.

If you’re guilty of indulging in all three of these sneaky expenses, it costs you $332 per year.

That doesn’t mean indulging in a small item is bad or wrong at all. It just means you shouldn’t skip budgeting for them, especially if you’re on a tight budget. If you’re a soda drinker, factor that into your monthly food budget. Lottery tickets can come from your entertainment budget, and candy bars can be moved to your grocery budget.

If none of these small items are really important to you, break the habit. Save that money for items that are higher priorities for you. $332 is a good start on a vacation fund.

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