Personal finances aren’t generally most peoples’ forte. Money and day to day expenses can be subversive in the sense that people rarely think twice about the little expenses. A coffee here, a bagel there, a subscription here, an overpriced airport sandwich there; you get the idea. In no way should you starve yourself of life’s pleasures merely to save a mountain of money, but day-to-day nickel-and-dime-ing has a larger financial impact than you think.
While the world of finance is vast, there are little things you can do every day to help curb your minor expenses and prepare for the future. They won’t seem like much, but saving isn’t an immediate thing, it takes patience, time, and a little bit of self-control.
We are in the age of conveniently invisible expenses. All those subscriptions you signed up for that are making withdrawals month to month add up. In fact, sometimes people will see things in account ledgers that they can’t remember signing up for. If you have 10 recurring subscriptions that average to a total of $50 per month, take the time to go through them and nix ones that are unnecessary. Last time we checked, signing up for five TV streaming services is a little excessive. There are even apps out there like Trim and Truebill that you can link to your bank account and they’ll send you your monthly subscription expenses. However, the rest is in your hands, so take charge.
The introduction touched on this but nickel-and-dime expenses come from an adage that’s personified by causing financial strain through many minor expenses. For instance, if you buy a $2 coffee three days per week, every week of the year, you’ve spent $312-ish. Add on all the other tiny expenses that don’t really cross your mind and the result is substantial. Again, buying things is totally fine and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of them, but being aware of, and budgeting for, such things is financially prudent and makes a difference!
In case of emergency
There was a study done in Canada that showed that employees have triple the risk of workplace injury in their first month than those who have been there longer. A huge financial mistake is being unprepared for unpredictable events. Work injury, job loss, medical expenses, relocation, etc. all have serious financial implications. Keeping at least a month’s worth of a financial safety net is reasonable and essential for securing your finances in the face of the unknown.
As you head into 2018, we want you to have an amazing year personally and financially. Beginning on the right foot fiscally isn’t easy for most, but starting small will have you baby-stepping toward a confident financial frolick.