By Kelly M. Lewis, CFP®, JD, LLM

Ladies, I was recently going through my monthly budget to see where my money is going. As I started adding up the costs, including the sneaky ones that don’t seem like they would have a major effect on my budget, I found that I was overspending in several areas! As I’m trying to rein in my spending a bit, I thought I would share the Top 10 areas that we tend to overspend on and how we can alter that:

 

  1. Gourmet Coffee (gosh, I love my Starbucks & Dunkin’)
    1. Make your own in a good old-fashioned pot.
    2. Invest in an espresso or Keurig machine.

 

  1. Food Delivery
    • Ugh – Doordash will be my downfall.
    • Set a number of times per week you will get delivery and stick to it!
    • Delete Doordash, Ubereats, and Grubhub off your phone.

 

  1. Groceries
    • Use in-store rewards programs.
    • Avoid the expensive stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s if you can.
    • Shop more than once a week – many overbuy for the week when shopping only once. Produce can go bad and you might forget what you bought.

 

  1. Phone Apps & Subscriptions
    • $.99 may seem cheap, but not if you lose track of how frequently you make in-app purchases.
    • You may not know about subscriptions that auto-renew. Have a reminder sent for every app.
    • Set up a budget that keeps track of how much you’re spending on apps.

 

  1. Shipping Costs
    • Last minute shopping and express shipping that costs $25! Yikes!
    • Instead, plan your purchases ahead.
    • Shopping in stores can reduce express shipping costs and return costs.
    • Shop local.

 

  1. Taxis & Uber/Lyft
    • Try public transportation.
    • Even renting a car may be cheaper if you’re going to be doing multiple taxi rides over a number of days.

 

  1. Cell phone plans
    • Wifi is so common these days, your data usage may be way down! If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, check and see how much you’re using and see if your cell service provider offers a cheaper plan based on the actual amount of data you use.

 

  1. Cable
    • There are so many alternatives to cable these days, it’s likely that you can get select channels via another medium if you look into it and for much cheaper too!

 

  1. Movie Rentals
    • $5.99 for a movie to watch on a smartTV? May not seem like a lot, but think if you’re watching two or three per week!
    • Set a limit on how many movies to watch and the max cost of them.

 

  1. Car Insurance
    • Shop around – likely your first pick is not the cheapest for you.
    • Use an app that shops it for you – it’s easy!

 

My personal plan is to take a look at my monthly subscriptions and re-vamp those! Even if you pick one or two off this list, I bet you can make a pretty big dent in reducing what you spend each month!