Have you ever noticed that pay day seems to come, and you are left with much less money then you thought you had? Or that when you do a budget, there's always some sneaky dollars that are unaccounted for? Well, I've been investigating the things that secretly spend our money, and here are the most common...
1. IRS Withholdings
Most people allow the IRS to withhold some of their money, in the hope that they will overpay and get a big refund at the end. It's much more cash-friendly to fill out a W4 and find out exactly how much they need, though, so you can pay it exactly and keep the rest of the money for when you actually need it!
2. Gym Memberships
Most of my friends are members of a gym, or maybe even two or three. And most of the time, they don't ever go! If you are paying for a gym membership, use it, and make the most of the expenditure, or see if you can cancel. There may be a cancellation fee, but this could be less then you will end up paying, so do the math and see what works out best!
Basics such as bread, eggs and milk can get used up surprisingly fast, and last minute dashes to pick up some extra groceries can really drain your funds. Look for coupons for the products you use, and use them! You'll save a whole load of money you can then use towards more fun purchases, and who wants to pay any more then they have too anyway?!
4. Dry Cleaning
Whether it's your whole wardrobe or just the 'specialist' items, dropping off clothes to be professionally dry cleaned can cost around $5 per item, which soon adds up. Instead, invest in some professional quality dry cleaning detergent, such as Tide Total Care.
I'm terrible for this...I'm a nail biter if my nails get untidy, so I have them groomed alot. I'm dreadful at painting them myself, but looking at the maths is shocking...one manicure a week can cost upwards of $60 a month! Space out your professional appointments by looking after your nails yourself between appointments, and you'll find you've got much more spending money.
6. Eating out
Going out to eat can be really expensive...depending on the restaurant, the bill can be huge even if you have a small meal! And that's not adding in any new clothes, jewellery or transport costs! Take it in turns to cook at home for your friends, and opt for cheaper restaurants to preserve some of your hard earned dollars.
From movie rentals to CDs and nights out, entertainment can get expensive...my local movie rental place charges $11 per rental per night, which is crazy when Netflix offer unlimited rentals for $8 a month. Look at your entertainment choices and see where you could save money, you could be surprised!
I've been adding up my little luxuries, and by just using coupons and being a little smarter about saving money on my favourite things, I've found I've got much more money left to play with. These things are real money leeches! Have you spotted something draining your funds that I haven't mentioned? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: leff