Take a look at how some habits can put a serious strain on your budget. Here are some average expenses of habits that may be impacting your finances.
1: Using online food delivery services
Companies like Uber Eats, Grubhub and Doordash make it easy to have food delivered to our doorsteps at the touch of a button—and a hefty price tag. People spend around $36 per order when using any of the major food delivery apps. Sound expensive? That’s because in addition to paying for your food, you’re also paying a service fee, a delivery fee and a gratuity on top of that—which adds up fast. Even if you only use a meal delivery app twice a week, that amounts to $70 per week, $280 per month and $3,360 per year.
Average Monthly Cost: $280
Quick fix: The only way to save money with this habit is to stop using food delivery apps altogether, or at least reduce how often you use them. Even splurging on food delivery once a week adds up to $1,680 a year—not a small chunk of change.
2: Paying credit card bills late
This habit won’t only cost you a pretty penny; it’ll really hurt your credit score. It could also increase your rate (which will increase your interest charges).
Average Monthly Cost: $70
Quick fix: Take a few minutes now to set up automatic payment on your bills so you’ll never be late.
3: Wasting food
The average U.S. household wastes nearly 32% of the food it buys, and we spend a collective $240 billion on that waste every year. That’s $1,866 per household! Since we don’t directly see the cost deducted from our bank account—just our usual budgeted grocery transaction—this bad habit can rob us of our dollars without us ever really noticing.
Average Monthly Cost: $156
Quick fix: Take some time to plan what days you’ll cook and keep a list of the food you have on hand that needs to be used each week. Try the “pantry challenge” – make it a goal to use up everything in your fridge, and leverage items already in your pantry and freezer, before you hit the grocery store again. You might be surprised at the creative recipes you come up with!
4: Online shopping
It’s way too easy to overspend when it’s just a click here and a click there before you’re looking at a full cart – and an empty checking account.
Average Monthly Cost: $65
Quick fix: Don’t save your credit card info on your computer or phone in any online shopping sites you visit. If you can’t stop surfing the stores, keep your credit card out of reach while you browse.
5: Collecting clutter
Clutter costs you more than just time – it can also make you blow big bucks. When you don’t know what’s in your pantry or closet, you’ll overspend on things you don’t need.
Avg. Monthly Cost: $50
Quick fix: Spend your next Saturday clearing out your closet and pantry. It’ll take a few hours, but afterward, you’ll only need to spend a few minutes a week keeping it in order.
6: Only paying the minimum
Carrying a balance on your credit cards can cost you hundreds of dollars a year in interest alone.
Average Monthly Cost: $60
Quick fix: Get into the habit of paying more than the minimum so you make real headway on paying off debt.