A $1-per-slice pizza as a midday snack or $3 for your favorite cup of coffee a few times a week might not be overspending in your mind. These are seemingly minor expenses, but they can dent your budget when you add them up. Look at 12 small and sneaky costs you must stop incurring.
1. Food Delivery Apps
A survey found that Americans spend $37.28 weekly on food delivery apps, amounting to a monthly expense of $152.51 and a yearly expense of $1,843.72. You can pick up the order on your own or request the restaurant to deliver it directly to your place at a lower price. A better and healthier alternative is to cook most meals at home.
2. Gas Station Shopping
You are probably buying a burger, a soda can, or a cute accessory at the gas station store refueling your car. You may need to realize that you incur these non-essential expenses during every trip to the gas station.
3. Paper Towels
You are not alone if you are obsessed with paper towels. Americans spend about the same amount on paper towels as the rest of the world combined. Unfortunately, these towels could be costing you a bomb. Switch to microfiber towels. Make reusable rags from an old t-shirt or a bed sheet.
4. Bank Fees
Banks charge ATM fees, monthly maintenance fees, paper statement fees, insufficient funds fees, overdraft fees, and many other charges. These fees are avoidable if you are careful. For example, you can opt for paperless statements.
5. Cigarettes And Other Vices
Your budget and health can take a hit if you are a regular smoker. The American Lung Association states that a smoker can save between $1,380 and $2,540 annually by quitting the pack-a-day habit.
Vape products and alcohol are also recurring but unnoticeable expenses.
6. Technology And Media
According to a report, Americans incur monthly expenses of $84 on the internet, $66 on mobile plans, $55 on streaming services, and $80 on cable TV. The impact on your budget is equivalent to an average of $203,830 annually. You can cut these expenses by canceling a few services or changing your data plan.
Unwanted, unused, or forgotten subscriptions pinch your budget to a few thousand dollars annually. Review your bank and credit card statements for deductions on gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, children’s activity box subscriptions, etc. Unsubscribe the ones that you don’t need.
8. Cloud Data Storage
A cloud data storage service is essential to save your documents, precious photos, and other data. However, this service can cost up to $100-$150 dollars annually. Find out if you can opt for a free cloud data storage service. Another alternative is to declutter your existing storage in the paid service to create space for more critical data.
9. Cosmetic And Personal Hygiene Containers
Do you buy new bottles and jars whenever you shop for shampoos, shower gels, or makeup products? Next time you go shopping, compare the prices of refill pouches and fresh purchases. Understanding how costly this habit is for your budget and environment will take little time.
10. Bottled Water
A 1.5-liter bottle costs $0.70-$2.34 in America. Do the math, and you will be astonished at the amount you spend on bottled water every month. Install a water filter at home and carry a reusable bottle with you.
11. Credit Card Fees And Interest Payments
Cardholders paid on average, $76.27 in fees and interest per credit card account in the fourth quarter of 2022. If you are one of such cardholders, it is an injustice to your budget. Contact your credit card issuer to waive the late payment penalty and lower the interest rate. Comb through your credit card statement routinely to avoid surprise charges.
12. Ride-Share Services
To save money, a ride-sharing service for commuting to and from home, office, hotel, or airport seems like a good idea. However, carpooling, public transit, and free shuttle services are cheaper alternatives for your budget.