Overspending? Avoid these DAILY pitfalls.

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Today, it's easier than ever to overspend without even realizing it. Many people are spending mindlessly without even realizing where all their money is going. Today I wanted to share a story, a story that may sound all too familiar, a day in the life of an overspender:


7:00 AM The alarm goes off. You promised yourself you would take full advantage of your unlimited class pass at that swanky spin studio; but your bed feels so warm and cozy, you’ll just skip it this morning…. and again the next morning… and again the next morning. Before you know it you're only going once a week, which is averaging out to be about $45 a class!

What to do: You have 2 options here:

1. Start waking up or making the time after work to start using the class pass. Enlist an accountability buddy if you need. You bought that pass in the first place because you clearly had a goal in mind (whether it was to feel better, lose weight, etc.), so start working to achieve that goal and stop throwing money down the drain!

2. Sometimes life really does get hectic, in which case you need to be honest and realistic with yourself. Do you have the time to use this membership? Do their classes work with times in your schedule? If the answer is no, it is time to cancel the membership. Look into either joining a cheaper gym altogether or seeing if you can buy a class package (i.e. 10 classes for $120) with no time limit for usage on it. This way you have the freedom to go when it fits within your schedule. I personally try to pay $10 per class. So what that means, is if I do buy an unlimited membership, my goal is to go as many times that month, that it whittles the cost of each class down to $10. This is beneficial to me in two big ways: 1. I am feeling like I am getting my money’s worth and feeling good, 2. I am getting those endorphins going usually a three to four times a week, which again, leaves me feeling good.

8:30 AM You stop by the coffee shop on your way into work to kick start your morning. If you are like the average American, you are probably spending about $20 a week on coffee, for a yearly average of almost $1,100!

What to do: Make coffee at home! Putting forth a small investment in a killer coffee maker will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. I personally drink iced coffee, so I got this great cold brew coffee maker:

Hario Water Brew Coffee Pot, 1000ml, Brown

for about $20 on Amazon* (note, the above are affiliate links, but I used this every day and am obsessed!)  Since the coffee never heats up, it does not have that icky bitter burnt taste. I spend (on the higher end) 8.99 on a pound of coffee, which usually lasts about 3 weeks at a rate of 4 cups a day; that’s about 11 cents a cup!!

12:00 PM Lunch Time! You call your favorite lunch spot for a carryout salad. Then you head over to pick it up and decide you want to grab a water bottle why you are there. There goes another $12 bucks, oh wait, you throw in a $2 tip for good measure… make that $14.00.

What to do: Brown Bag! I know, I know, how uncool does that sound? BUT you have to ask yourself, would you rather spend thousands each year on running out for a quick bite OR going on a great vacation? Saving for your future retirement or home? Getting out of debt? Lunch money can probably be spent better elsewhere. Plus, why are you buying bottled water during the workday? Most offices these days have a filtered water system in the office; so USE it! This move alone can save you hundreds of dollars. Need more motivation to brown bag your lunch? Check out this article by TIME on How to Save $2,500 a Year on Lunch.

2:00 PM Flash Sale! You know the feeling, it’s late in the work day, you are getting tired and restless… you check your inbox and yelp! There’s a flash sale at your favorite store! Only 2 hours remaining?? Hmm, let’s buy some stuff! Now you feel alert and ready to close the day on a high note!

What to do: Do NOT open that email. Consider using unroll.me, which will bundle your subscription, e-mails and send them as one mass e-mail daily (way less tempting and it’ll help get your inbox under control!). You are probably checking your personal email at work because you are in need of a few minute break/refresher to clear your head… not go shopping. Go for a brisk walk around the building to get some fresh area and your blood flowing again. This will have the same revitalizing effect as a new pair of shoes (that you really didn’t need anyway), without hurting your budget. Plus, ask yourself, do you really want to be that person that falls for the gimmicky “flash sale”? Let’s be realistic, if it happens every week, it’s not really a “flash sale”…. Just sayin’.

6:00 PM One of two things usually happens here:

1. Your friend texts you to grab a bite to eat or

2. You are exhausted from your day and you decide to just order take out for dinner. Regardless, the damage is usually the same: you wallet is another $20-$40 lighter.

What to do: Meal prep and Meal plan. Spending money on food is one of the fastest ways to sink you budget or increase your flex spending; it all depends on what you decide to do. When you take the time to sit down and plan your meals for the week, create a grocery list, then stick to that grocery list while shopping, it will save you money. End of story. Don’t let all those groceries go to waste either! Create a meal plan to make sure you’ll use all those veggies throughout the week and then take the time on Sunday to cook some dishes for the week ahead, and then all you need to do is reheat them when you tired during the week. No excuses anymore for take out.

10:00 PM It’s late, and you are mindlessly scrolling through television channels or Instagram feeds. When you find yourself struck by a new workout program or gadget being advertised. One thing leads to another, and before you know it you just spent $160 you really don’t have to spend.

What to do instead: Stop the late night scrolling. My dad was a big culprit of this one. He would watch QVC and workout infomercials till odd hours of the night. We would randomly get a shipment of the latest fad diet or a kitchen appliance in the mail far too often (my dad struggled with overspending in case you were wondering). Instead try reading at night, meditating, journaling, try doing anything to unburden the mind before bed. You will sleep more peacefully and your bank account will thank you later.


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108 thoughts on “Overspending? Avoid these DAILY pitfalls.”

  1. Are you spying on me? Jk lol this sounds just like me! I’ve quit my full time job to become a freelance writer full time.so right now I am on a very limited budget, this makes me want to rethink my spending lifestyle.

    1. Lolol You know, you aren’t the first person to say that! haha when I went into business for myself in 2014 I definitely rethought my spending habits majorly as I was trying to bootstrap! It’s totally doable!

    1. Agreed! People don’t realize how much they spend on meals out! And just food in general! I’ve had friends spend over $1,000 a month on food for just themselves!!

  2. Yes! So, so true! I save a lot on coffee because I actually prefer making coffee at home, but then I spend money because I give in to my Chick-Fil-A cravings more often than I’d like to admit. Self control is my main issue in both food and money. Ugh.

    1. Girl! Shift your mindset! Pay yourself first! Then pay the big companies (chick fil a and where ever else!) — why are you investing in others rather than yourself?

  3. Yes! Yes yes yes. It’s all the small things that add up. I noticed how much money I’m saving ever since I: stopped buying coffee (I can just make it at work) and stopped ordering takeout during the week (I meal plan/prep). Those two things have made an insane difference!

  4. Jennifer Ostroski

    It’s crazy how much all those little things like coffee can add up. It’s really the little things that are the biggest culprit for me, because you don’t really think about them.

  5. This is brilliant! Taking through the day, really adds a point of how relatable it is for everyone! I really need to check out unroll.me! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Everything really does add up! I’ve gotten so much better lately at making my own coffee at home, but I’m still trying to work on snagging an extra snack after class everyday!

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  7. Great post! I’m good at most of these (French press has made me a coffee snob and saved me from my Starbucks habit), but I’m feeling a little called out on that gym one. Haha! I’ve had a membership for 4 months, and I don’t want to think about how the cost breakdown works when I go maybe once every other week. With a 2 hour roundtrip commute and a 9-6 workday, I just truly don’t have time if I want to spend time with the hubs + have some time for myself. Time to cancel the membership and start doing YouTube yoga videos…

    Maggie | amillennialmarriage.com

    1. Lol! thank you! And you are so not alone! I know finding yoga videos on youtube can be tough sometimes, I really like gaiam’s channel (i think it’s like $10 / month) – I used to do it everyday but had a shoulder injury so cancelled it like a year and a half ago… but am thinking about getting back into it…

  8. Loved this post! I have been seriously trying to budget lately because I’m so tired of being in credit card and student loan debt, so these tips are just what I needed to hear! Thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks Brittany! Trust me, getting out of debt is totally do-able! Just remember that you are investing in yourself every time you don’t buy that coffee or new shirt!

  9. I love how you put this together by going through the day instead of just giving a list. And everything on here is so true. It’s amazing how much those coffees and lunches out add up to. Also, once I cut back on those types of things, I enjoyed going out for lunch and grabbing a coffee from a coffee shop whenever I did. It becomes the treat that it should be.

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