It’s amazing how much money we can spend on an everyday basis. I think a lot of people will have noticed this at the grocery store – you pile many small non-costly items into your cart, and when you check out the bill is quite large. The same thing happens with your overall budget. It’s usually not the occasional big purchase that blows up your budget, it’s the regular small purchases. And it’s hard to realize just how much you’re spending on those small things until you track your spending. I think what really made this hit home for me was one month where I ended up going to bars more times than normal (out of town friends came by). I spent maybe $5 here and $7 there on drinks. By the time I sat down to total all of that, I realized I had spent $66 at bars that month! These seemingly small purchases really do add up. Imagine what happens if you eat out regularly! You can track your spending passively with something like Mint, or more actively with something like You Need a Budget. It doesn’t matter, so long as you track it.
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