When looking at an electric bill, experts often warn against "energy vampires," those items that are constantly plugged in but rarely used. Unplugging the blender, the rice maker, the coffee pot when not in use, can make a small but mighty difference in a monthly electric bill. Other budget sucking items sneak their way into a household, as well, and I found several and saved $100 each month!
Morning Coffee - $40/month
Some have a daily habit, but due to my work schedule, I only had a twice a week habit, at most. When we received a Keurig as a gift, I let my husband use while I continued my practice of buying fancy drinks. Then, I discovered the options available online, ranging from white hot chocolate (my favorite) to specialty teas. Costco even sells the coffees for this machine in bulk, and Target offers small sample packs for less than $4 (the cost of one fancy drink at a coffee shop). I get a snuggly drink each day for a far lower price.
Recurring Charges - $25/month
My husband and I both used to play an online subscription game. Allowing the charge to occur on its own made game play to continue without interruption. The birth of our son proved a major interruption, and neither of us had logged on in months. I went through all of our statements - credit card, bank account, etc. - and scoured them for any other recurring charges to ensure that we actually still needed to pay them. We paid, in total, $80 every three months for this game.
Scope Out the Best Gas - $20/month (or more!)
When running errands and during my daily commute, I make a note of gas prices and make an effort to go to the less expensive stations. I would save more if I did this every time I filled up, but when the best gas prices are 25 miles from home, the cost savings is low. When we make our monthly/bi-monthly trips to Costco, for example, I make sure to fill up on their budget-friendly gas.
Subscriptions That Make Sense - $15/month
We have recurring costs that we cannot avoid. For my family, those costs are in diapers and wipes. I signed up for Amazon's "subscribe and save" program for both of these and save $15 monthly on my purchase. When compared with in-store purchases, and the potential to add more items to my order when shopping in person, the savings is potentially much greater. Other families may sign up for regular coffee or dog food deliveries.
Identifying these, and other, budget suckers offer the potential for far more than $100 in savings each month. Scope out your own spending and identify where you are leaking funds.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
- Banking & Budgeting