Getting your finances in order can be an eye-opening experience, especially if you start listing all of your daily expenses. Most people move through life and do not really pay attention to how their daily spending is affecting their finances until they decide that they need to improve their finances. There are five everyday things that you are paying more than you think for. Learn about the real cost of these five things.
1. Your Daily Cup of Joe
How many people stop and grab a coffee on their way to work? Probably millions of people stop every day and grab a cup of coffee. We are going to lowball this cost and say you are paying $3.00 for your daily cup. That is $15 a week if you work a five-day work week, $60 a month, and $720 a year. When you look at it like that you can see how that one cup of coffee every work day can really add up.
Imagine if you invested that $720 a year or saved it for ten years at 0% interest you would still be able to take a great vacation, buy a decent used car, or contribute to your kid’s college fund. Can $720 a year improve your finances?
2. Meals and Snacks
On average Americans spend about $44 a week on snacks and a whopping $80 a week on take-out food. Let’s look at that math. In total, according to the USDA, that adds up to $124 a week on average. That is $496 a month, and $5,952. That money is a huge drain on your finances. With that amount of money, you can plan your own funeral and fully fund it in two years. According to the FTC, you can snag a coffin for around $2,000. You would still have almost $4000 left if you cut out snacks and take-out food for one year.
3. Legal Fees
Getting in trouble with the law can really put a dent in your finances. Legal fees are largely underestimated because most people do not look at legal bills as a daily expense, but if you get a DWI charge in Texas (and other states) you should look at it as a daily expense. In Texas, a first-time DWI can mean anywhere from three to 180 days in jail. That means you lose income for those days which you can look at as an expense. Of course, fines can be upwards of $2500 which means you are paying about $7 a day.
When you add it all up a DWI charge (and other legal fees) can cost you about $20 a day for 365 days. That is a ton of money.
4. Sometimes, the Money That You Don’t Spend Will Cost You Plenty
If you’re a homeowner and do not pay for pest control services you can find that your finances are going to take a huge dent. According to the EPA, termites cost homeowners about $5 billion in damages every year. Professional pest control can cost on average $1.33 a day. Pay it you will be glad you did.
5. The Cost of Gas for Your Vehicle
The cost of gas is on the rise and most people are complaining at the pump but you likely do not realize how much you are actually paying on a daily basis. Protecting your finances when gas prices are high can mean making some lifestyle adjustments and condensing your driving.
On average an American driver spends about $9 per day on driving costs. That is $252 a month and over $3,000 a year. If you want to conserve your finances consider public transportation or condensing your trips. Try to get everything done that you can on one trip out.
Getting your finances in order starts with figuring out where the money is going in the first place. Keep a spending journal for a week or two to find where your money is going, and then start trimming the fat. Your finances will thank you.