$5 – Morning Coffee
$3 – Two slices of raisin toast
$15 – Lunch
$7.50 – Magazine to read on break -
$25 – Cigarettes
$4 – Afternoon snack from vending machine
Does your bank account look like this at the end of a working day? Bad money management goes hand in hand with other bad habits which are costing you money.
If you are serious about getting your money back on track, you will have to consider dropping some of your bad habits. On the bright side, what is good for your hip pocket might also be good for your health.
We have all seen the ads on TV about what smoking can do to you and those around you. If you are a sceptic and think those horrible graphic images are just a scare tactic, think again. Smoking has been linked to a number of terminal diseases including cancer and emphysema.
If your health isn’t your greatest concern, think about the money you can save by giving it up. A packet of smokes averages $25. Two packs to get you through the week plus the extra packet on weekends means you are spending $75 a week on smokes which adds up to close to $4000 annually. If your smoking career has spanned 20 years, you have very likely spent almost $80,000 on your smoking habit. That substantial sum would be better off as a decent chunk of your mortgage repayments or two very fancy cars.
Many people can’t function without a daily dose of caffeine. While the jury is still out on the health benefits of the popular drink, buying your morning coffee is definitely not good for the budget.
On average, a standard cup will cost you about $5. Times it by seven days a week and 52 weeks a year and you are spending $1820 on coffee for a cup-a-day habit. It may not seem too bad, but if you keep it up for 5 years, you will have consumed almost $10,000 in coffee. Why not buy a box of coffee from the supermarket and make it at home yourself. That immediately cuts your coffee expenses back from $35 a week to $5 a week.
Three dollars for two slices of raisin toast is preposterous. Especially considering you could buy the whole loaf for the same amount. Sometimes the convenience of breakfast on the run is just not worth the outlay. And the same goes for lunch. Even with lunch specials, you would be hard pressed to find a meal from a restaurant or café for anything less than $10. Instead, buy ingredients in bulk, make a huge casserole or soup and freeze it in individual portions.
We all have hobbies and interests and almost every hobby in the world has a magazine to go along with it. If you have a weekly, monthly or quarterly tradition to trot down to the newsagency and buy the latest edition, turn to the page that offers a subscription. You can save heaps of money on bulk buys and it is delivered straight to your door.
Debt is often caused by a lifetime of wayward financial decisions. By changing your habits, you will change the way you think about money and your money management will develop into a thriving skill set. For more ways to improve your money management skills subscribe to the Save On Bills Newsletter.