The Family Piggy Bank

Find Your Hidden Budget Busters!
October 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM

 You can have your cupcakes. You can have your candy. You can have your ice cream. I'm talking about those things that derail a diet. We all have that one food that can totally throw off our good work. For me, it's French fries. From McDonalds or from the five-star ritzy restaurant, doesn't matter, I love them. 

What is your budget buster? We all have those too...the ways we stray from the course, from the good track we are on. It could be anywhere, and often, they are a tad hidden, not so easy to find or discover til it's too late. Here are a few common hidden budget busters:

 -- Gifts. Birthday gifts for family or little friends of the kiddos. Anniversaries. Mother's Day. The cards, the flowers, the last-minute "I forget Aunt Martha!" moments all add up. Try to stick within a budget for each gift or buy in bulk items you can give when they go on sale (I do this for kids' birthday gifts).

-- Gadgets. We see a new version of our phone or iPad or computer or TV and get "gadget envy" and want the newest and latest and fastest. Even if we do get a new phone, we convince ourselves that the purchase price is all that phone will cost...but then the earphones and the case and then an app or two. All of that adds up.

-- Eating out. We get into a routine when we fall back on take out or a dinner or two out a week. This adds up, especially for those with larger families.

-- The Shopping Spiral. Imagine you need something for the house, so you head to the store or the mall. You get what you need, but then you spot another item that you think you need...and then a cute t-shirt for your daughter...and then you spot a deal for your face cream if you also buy a new lipstick -- and you walk out spending triple (if not more) than what you had planned on. Yes, the shopping starts to spiral away from the one thing you actually needed into more things that are not necessarily a need, but more a want.

What are your hidden budget busters?

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  • MamaBear2cubs
    November 4, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Not much. Birthdays usually get me.

  • michiganmom116
    November 4, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    My kids seem to have plenty of unexpected expenses.  I've learned to keep extra in our weekly petty cash to help cover those.

  • elasmimi
    November 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Eating out is a big one for us. Also Groupon, just can't resist a bargain. But I'm getting better.

  • MamaMandee
    November 4, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I find myself in the shopping spiral often lol 

  • goddess99
    November 4, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    My addiction to McDonald's breakfasts is my budget buster. I've tried to limit myself to once a month but ugh.. I just can't.

  • .Angelica.
    November 4, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    i am actually pretty good about not spending money. even on stuff I need I shop around and find the best deal then it takes me a while to decide to actually buy it.

  • jessicasmom1
    November 4, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    ... DD seeing the justice catalog that comes in the mail every 2 weeks 

  • meglennox
    November 4, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    we are really bad at spending when we have the money. meaning, instead of saving when we have extra money left over, we spend it. whether it's on something frivolous or something needed.  poof! it's gone.

  • anotherhalf
    November 4, 2012 at 7:40 PM
    Dh. He "needs" lots of gadgets and lunches out.
  • kellynh
    by kellynh
    November 4, 2012 at 7:50 PM
    Nothing.. Mine is set in stone!!!

The Family Piggy Bank

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