Ant Expenses: What They Are and How To Curb The Habit
How To Control Ant Expenses
Many people have savings goals and make it a priority to put aside some of their money. Some people have goals that are big and could take years, such as buying a home or saving for retirement. Others have smaller goals that can be reached sooner, such as buying an instrument or saving for a dream vacation. Whatever the reason, it’s no secret that saving that much money requires control and self-discipline. However, what many don’t realize is that they’re losing a lot of money through transactions nicknamed “ant expenses”. Here is what they are and how you can gain control of them.
Ant expenses are tiny purchases we habitually make throughout the day. Since we make them regularly, we don’t think of them as things that hurt our pockets. After all, a $4 coffee or $6 value meal is nothing compared to a water, electric, or car insurance bill. This type of reasoning or justification is what leads people to continue to purchase without giving them a second thought.
However, the reason we overlook these ant expenses is that we make them separately and at different times throughout the day. You start the day with a fresh coffee and breakfast sandwich for $7, and by lunch you’ve spend $15 on a sandwich and your favorite soda. Who knows what else you might want to snack on later… perhaps you see something that looks good for later while you’re in the check-out line? At this point, we’re already at $20 for the day, which comes out to $7,300 on food alone a year! So, what are the most common impulse expenses and how can we get them under control?
The Most Common Ant Expenses and How They Affect Our Budgets
Not everyone has the same exact type of ant expenses. However, there are two major money-sucking ant expense examples that most people spend their hard-earned money on without noticing. Food is probably the biggest one that sneaks up on people. After all, eating is a necessity, and no one wants to start their day on an empty stomach. Also, it is much easier to go through a drive-through and buy a drink and breakfast sandwich for “just” $7 than having to wake up earlier and prepare it yourself. If you opt for the $5 fruit parfait instead of the sandwich, you’ve just gone the healthy route – but you’re still spending dollars. This type of reasoning is what makes ant expense spending so effortless.
Another one people don’t notice are recurring services on credit or debit cards. Cable T.V. and CDs might not be a thing anymore, but what we have instead are endless video and music streaming services. At an average of ten dollars per streaming service (and let’s be honest, most of us have more than one video streaming service and at least one music streaming one), that comes out to about $30 a month minimum. Add that on top of the $20 a day mindless spending on food, and you’re looking at a monthly spending report of $690 already. This doesn’t include your “real” bills either, like rent, water, light, and car. This doesn’t even include guilty spending, like treating yourself to a night out with friends, ordering something off amazon, or buying that shirt on sale that you saw at your favorite store.
Getting them Under Control
At $690 a month, the total yearly damages to your budget (excluding real bills and guilty pleasure spending) stands at $8820. That’s enough to buy a car, take a great vacation, or great money to put towards student loans. You could even buy that dream house a lot sooner!
With this information, it’s easy to see that our financial goals can be greatly hindered by ant expenses. Realizing how damaging they are is the first step in getting them under control.
It’s important to analyze what really requires your money every month. Of course, no one expects you to stop all spending cold turkey – but it’s important to plan out when it’s worth it and when it isn’t. Maybe preparing lunch the night before can save you from eating out so much, and you can lower it to three times a week instead of six or seven. Also, do you really watch every streaming platform that you pay for? If not, know that your card is automatically being charged for a service you may not even be using. This same principle applies to any other type of ant expenses that you may have.
Knowing what is and isn’t worth the expense can help save you thousands a year – literally! We strive to help all of our clients reach their financial goals, and recognize that sometimes they may need our help with lending options. If you are at the point in your life where your next financial goal requires lending help, reach out to us! We provide the best customer service and have helped countless customers over the years.