Where is my money going?!
It’s a question a lot of us ask ourselves, especially when we say we only go to work and back home. At that point you have to wonder…maybe it’s money I’m spending while I’m at work???
This could very well be true. Most of us buy breakfast, lunch and maybe even dinner or a snack on the way home. Trust me when I tell you, that all adds up!!
Don’t believe me?
Let’s Take a Closer Look
Try this little exercise. Print out 3 months of bank statements and go through every transaction and categorize it. The most common categories are: groceries, eating out/fast food, clothing/shoes, household bills, auto expenses (gas & tolls), etc. the list can go on and on.
Now take a look at that eating out/fast food category, how many of those transactions occurred while you were on your way to, at or leaving from work? If the answer is more than half, well, there’s your answer.
Here are some tips and tricks to save you a little money in that category.
- Eat breakfast at home. I know sometimes we snooze that alarm until that last possible second and rush to get out the door in the mornings but getting up a little earlier will help you feel not as rushed and hectic in the morning. You can even prep your breakfast the night before so you can eat quickly or grab and go!
- Pack a lunch. You know you have some leftovers in the fridge from last night! use them, or for those that don’t like leftovers, try buying the fixings to your favorite lunches and make them at home the night before. Or maybe try that getting up early situation and making in the morning ;-).
- Pack some snacks. I would recommend something sweet and something salty for those days when you don’t know what you want. It even helps with the excuse of: I want something sweet but I only brought crackers type of situation or vice versa. If you have enough to last you throughout the day, you’re less likely to go to the vending machine 3 times a day or be so hungry on the way home that you stop for something quick.
- This one is for my coffee drinkers! Buy a coffee machine! You can buy the old fashioned pots or invest in a K-cup machine. I got my mom one for her birthday and she loves it, saves her money too since she no longer gets up in the morning on the weekends and drives to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s “just for coffee” and comes back with food.
Some of these things are really simple, but when you think about it they make sense. We tend to get so hungry that we will go and buy something quick to appease our stomachs. But, when you keep your stomach satisfied throughout the day your focus is not on getting something quick and spending extra money or spending money you don’t really have.
I am in no way saying that you can’t eat out or buy fast food because you want it, I’m just saying that the impulse to buy it just because you are extremely hungry can be stopped.
I’ve adopted these strategies and they have saved me loads of money, I’m talking $200-$400 a month! The hardest for me was the breakfast thing since I am NOT a morning person, ask my family they’ll tell you they even got me a nightshirt that says mornings make me moody!, but I find that it became an easy habit once I started. So sometimes you just have to start it and see where it goes.
Give it a try and let me know if any of these things work for you!