Sometimes it’s the Little Things That Count

Sometimes creating and maintaining a budget is easier than you may think, but you have to be willing to change your lifestyle somewhat. During a recent conversation with a graphic designer friend, I had an opportunity to give some first hand advice on some of the small things in life that can really affect your wallet.

“We’ve decided to send our daughter to a private school,” she told me in between sips from a Starbucks cup, “We fit most of it into our budget, but we don’t know where we’re going to come up with the last hundred and fifty dollars every month.”

“One-fifty?” I asked. “That’s easy. How much did you pay for that soy mocha latte you have there?”

She glanced dubiously at her Starbucks cup. “About three-fifty.”

“How often do you go there?”

“You know I go to Starbucks every day before work. I get my coffee and a muffin, or a bagel.”

“So how much do you spend there every day?” I smiled at her.

“With the muffin it’s like six bucks or so,” she said, and drained the last of the beverage.

“You spend six bucks a day, every day, at Starbucks. Does Dave do it too?” Dave is her husband.

“He gets a coffee and Egg McMuffin at Mickey-D’s every morning on his way to the office.”

“So he spends about four or five dollars a day. You both need to eat breakfast at home. You’ll save two hundred and twenty dollars every month, give or take the price difference between muffins and bagels.”

Sometimes it is little things that can make or break our budget. When we’re getting that morning coffee and muffin, or a fountain soda when we buy gas, or any of those little extras, we’re putting a significant dent in our budgetary plans. We usually think nothing of it at the time, after all five bucks isn’t going to make or break us, but when we realize that we’re giving the same amount to Starbucks every month than we give to the electric company, it puts it in perspective.

By cutting out those forms of unnecessary spending, we can often save much more money than we ever considered possible. If you’re planning on creating a budget, make sure you take the time to account for the little things and steer clear of Starbucks.

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