The Costly Cs of Personal Finance Budgeting

  • June 3, 2021
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

When it comes to personal finance budgeting, have you ever heard of the “Costly C’s?”

As prices continue to rise for everyday essentials, the Costly C’s are items in your budget right now that act as speed bumps on your road to financial success.

Whether you are trying to reach a specific financial goal or manage debt, keeping a close eye on the “Costly C’s” in your budget can put you on a better financial path.

The Costly “C’s”

As noted in the webinar highlight video, taming the Costly C’s will help manage your spending in the short and long term.

The following “C’s” of life seem harmless in the moment. But when you add them up over a month, three months, or a year – you may be surprised.

1. Coffee

Buying coffee from your favorite cafe is quick and convenient. It seems like the logical thing to do every morning, right? In thinking about personal finance budgeting, the money you spend on this little morning indulgence can add up quickly.

Rather than buying coffee from chain coffee shops, consider brewing your own at home. If not, try buying coffee from cheaper cafes instead of the big chain shops. You can treat yourself once in a while, but this is an easy way to help spark your financial independence. While you’re at it, consider bringing a reusable cup.

2. Children

Children are a blessing, and there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of money you spend on them. If you take them with you on every shopping trip, consider setting the shopping ground rules before entering the store. Set limits on extra purchases while in the store. Treats are okay, in moderation.

With planning, you are less likely to find yourself spending on items that were not on your shopping list. It’s also a good idea to train your children that planning, even in a grocery store, is a good idea. You can use your trips to your favorite grocer to teach them about money and spending. Teach your children about money early and often.

3. Carry-Out

Dining out may not seem like it’s a major issue, especially since you can save the time you would otherwise use to prep your meals. The reality, however, is that carry-out food, despite saving you the hassle, won’t help you save cash. Statistics show more than 54-percent of families order carry-out once a month or more. Instead, try planning ahead and eating at home – your personal budget will thank you.

4. Cable

Did you know that you could spend up to $1,476 every year, just on cable bills? Well, even if your bills won’t add up to that much, it’s highly likely that you are pretty close, with streaming services and what seem like small monthly charges.

Consider cutting cable and watch your favorite shows from online services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others. They are cheaper, and you can divert a few more coins towards your financial goals.

5. Cigarettes

The reality about cigarettes is that they are costly – both in terms of health and money. Smoking even a few cigarettes in one day could amount to over $1080 in one year. See how quickly small expenses can add up? The goal should be to limit your smoking time gradually and set yourself up for the future financially and with your health.

6. Car

Other than your home, the car you drive can be a major expense for the household and personal finance budgeting. Gas, maintenance, cleaning, and more can seriously eat into your monthly budget. Consider what you drive and why you drive it.

Does it help you in your job? Is it merely transportation? Are you trying to make a statement? If you have to use your car all the time, consider looking for ways to cut your costs. You can shop for better car insurance, switch to a hybrid car, switch/rotate your tires, downgrade, and more. Remember, there are always options for getting from here to there.

7. Cell Phone

We all want to have the latest, hi-tech smartphone. It comes with all of the bells and whistles. It can also come with a hefty bill. It’s always a good idea to shop around and see if you can save. Many cell phone carriers have special offers to change companies. You could get the best of both worlds – a lower monthly bill, and that new phone you’ve wanted. You could also consider switching to a smaller carrier and/or a pay-as-you-go plan.

You could also consider using alternative online services such as WhatsApp, Skype, Vonage, and others to reduce the number of minutes and texts you use. If feasible, cut your landline (for those that still have one) to reduce your overall costs even more.