I just spent $2,000 on car repairs. I know it’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things, and to be fair, my car does treat me quite well considering my complete and utter lack of care for it, but no matter how much money I make, I will always resent the unforeseen high dollar expenses that seem to pop up when you least expect it.
I tried to explain this to my sister, and she laughed at me! Her response? “You spend more than that per year on sushi.” This got me to thinking; I have mini heart attacks about something like an expensive car repair, but I don’t think twice about the unnecessary smaller amounts that I spend every day. When you stop and add them up, those little expenses can add up in a big way. So, I decided to make myself a list of the daily little expenses I indulge in and calculate what kind of a dent they actually make in my finances.
First on the list? My daily vanilla cappuccino. At $3 a day about five days a week, that sets me back almost $750 a year, taking into account vacation weeks or miscellaneous missed days.
Then of course are my lunches on the go, and with my tendency to avoid the fast food joints, this easily runs me about $10 a day. That’s $50 a week and $2500 a year. Yikes!
I’m also a convenience junkie, and that reflects most prominently in my monthly bank fees. I can seldom be bothered to find my bank’s ATMs when I need cash, and depending on the machine, the fees can range anywhere from $1.50 to $3.00 per transaction. A few of these per month and I’m probably spending an extra $200 a year.
I’m sure there are more incidences that have become so habitual I can’t even think of them off hand, but I’m sure there are solutions to these unnecessary expenses that would work for my bank account and my lifestyle.
I could invest in one of those fancy schmancy premium coffee makers and have my daily vanilla cappuccinos at home. Making my lunch at home might be a little more time-consuming, but I would certainly reap the benefits of a lower price point and even healthier (and probably tastier!) lunches. As for the bank fees – I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and spend the extra five minutes to actually find my bank’s ATMs. I have a smartphone – I’m sure there’s an app for that.
I certainly don’t think I should have to forego all of life’s little pleasures in favour of a strict and unyielding need to save, but maybe there’s a way to enjoy all of my little luxuries in a more cost effective manner.