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7 Surprising Budget Bursting Spending Habits

When we budget, we tend to focus on larger expenses like rent and car maintenance. Rarely do we account for little things like daily jaunts for coffee or frequent fast food lunches. You might be surprised how many of these habits could be draining your bank account.

Life’s small pleasures can come back to bite you. Treating yourself occasionally isn’t inherently bad. Doing so frequently, however, can put a dent in your bank account and ruin your best attempts at budgeting. These are some common spending habits that may be busting your budget.

Going to the Movies

Movie ticket prices rose 4 percent in 2017 to $8.97, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. If catching the latest blockbuster while it’s on the big screen is your favorite pastime, try not to let the smell of $10 popcorn lure you into splurging even more on snacks each time you see a movie.


Smoking isn’t only detrimental to your health – it eats away at your finances as well. In 2017, the average cost of cigarettes in Washington was $9.30 per pack. If you were to smoke one pack per week, you’d spend over $480 in a year. A pack a day would cost you nearly $3,400!

Eating Out

If you and your coworkers gather for lunch every weekday, you will quickly notice how little money you have left for other fun activities. A $10 lunch each workday will cost you $2,400 a year on one meal alone! Avoid the expense by preparing your week’s lunches on the weekend.

Grabbing Coffee

If you need a piping hot cup of joe to start your day, you should consider brewing your own at home. The average cup of coffee costs $3.12. Larger, specialty drinks can cost you upwards of $5, meaning daily coffee a $22 to $35 weekly expense. In one month, that’s between $88 and $140!

Beauty Routines

Looking good comes at a price. It’s no secret that beauty services are expensive, but it may shock you to know just how expensive they really are. A basic manicure will run you about $21, which means weekly manicures cost almost $1,100 a year. A $50 haircut every six to eight weeks could add up to between $325 and $400 per year!

Monthly Subscriptions

Sure, $10 per month for a streaming service doesn’t sound like much, but how many of these small subscriptions have you racked up? When you add them together, it could result in hundreds of dollars each month. Canceling a few unnecessary subscriptions could save you upwards of $1,000 per year.

Clothes Shopping

Boosting your self-esteem by strutting into the office with a new outfit can be thrilling, but it can also have a big price tag. In 2016, the average American family spent just over $1,800 on apparel and related services. Steer clear of the mall or check out online shops that sell discounted clothes to maximize your funds.

Regain Control of Your Finances With American Financial Services

Struggling to figure out why your budget isn’t going as planned? Regain control of your finances with credit counseling from American Financial Solutions. Our certified credit counselors can help you assess your situation and give you options for how to get your expenditures back on track. Speak to one of our counselors today by calling (888) 864-8548 or visiting us online.

Published Sep 5, 2018.