5 COMMON BUDGET BUSTERS (AND HOW TO COMBAT THEM)
Evaluate your financial habits and look out for these five things that could be working against you.
1. Recurring subscriptions
Subscription services can be a budget killer if you’re paying for things you don’t use. They might include charges for a gym membership or streaming services. They may be small costs, but they add up when you’re paying for them month after month. Review your account statements and cancel subscriptions you haven’t used.
2. Food waste
Throwing away food is essentially throwing money away. Do two simple things:
- Planning meals on a weekly or monthly basis
- Shopping with a list (and sticking to it!)
When you only buy what’s on the list, you know exactly how you’re going to use the products in meal preparation, so food waste (and cost) will go down.
3. Impulse Buys
Giving in to impulse buying is not only hard on your wallet in the short term, but the habit prevents you from developing good financial practices in the long term.
- Create a 30-day waiting list for big purchases.
- If you buy online, don’t get distracted by internet only deals and specials.
- Avoid using credit cards. It’s easy to develop a “I’ll worry about it later” mindset.
4. Late fees
Being disorganized can kill your budget if it causes you to forget about a bill. Create a system for tracking and paying bills by using a paper or digital calendar, or a budgeting app. You can also set up banking alerts to notify you of due dates and schedule automatic payments.
5. Banking fees
A solid budgeting strategy is to have a checking account for paying bills and making purchases, and a savings account. However, it’s all too easy for fees—such as ATM fees or overdraft fees—to nibble away at your cash.
- Do you have overdraft protection? Ask your bank about what programs are available to avoid unnecessary fees.
- Try to use an ATM within your bank’s network.
- Pick a checking account that doesn’t have a balance requirement or charge you monthly fees.
Fulton Bank, N.A. Member FDIC