All of us have that one thing (or two or three) that we love to indulge in that at first glance can seem harmless to our wallet, but over time can really add up. (And of course, that thing might not seem innocent and we know off the bat it is costly, not only to our wallet but may be to our health as well.)
These things can be obvious. A daily cigarette habit. Possibly alcohol consumption depending on how frequent and what kind of alcohol is involved. A caffeine habit (could be coffee or soda or both.)
And then there are the less so obvious things. Buying in-app purchases for mobile games or allowing your children to make those purchases. Or forgetting to put some sort of lock on your phone so your child can’t accidentally or intentionally make an in-app purchase.
Or a lock for yourself so you don’t end up doing the same thing, accidentally making an in-app purchase. Permission granted if you want to laugh at me. It’s only happened once…er…twice and thankfully the amounts were very small. I’m talking ninety-nine cents each time. It’s not my fault the game developers make it so easy to make a purchase you weren’t intending to make. (Hmm, on second thought, that is probably the point.) So yes, this story although hilarious and shaking-head worthy totally proves my point about kids being able to make a purchase that was unintended or by an adult. Okay, moving on.
Buying mostly convenience foods for the week or month from the grocery store. Guilty. (Or having your entire weekly grocery trip be convenience foods. Guilty again.) Freezer meals, boxed and packaged foods, and/or junk food.
These are all examples of vices that you could have.
The Truth About Vices and Saving Money
Now, look through your bank account summary or back through receipts and tally up how much you spend on that thing. That is money that could be used in a variety of ways. Paying down debt or paying it off completely. Saving up for a down payment on a house. Saving up for a vacation with your kids. The list could go on.
Maybe you are saying, “Amanda, it’s not unhealthy, but I don’t want to give it up in its entirety.” Okay, so what if you didn’t give up the vice completely? What if you reduced the frequency? There would still be money that you could take to use for something else.
Also, think of the ways that you can still indulge in whatever it is, but save money while doing it.
Let’s say you like to drink alcohol with your friends. Well, going out with friends can get costly and run up quite the tab. So, what if instead of always going out to drink with friends, you bring the party back to your place. Find alcohol when it is on clearance (buying alcohol that is seasonal and on sale is a great option) or have everyone bring something.
So, let’s say I decide to allow myself to make in-app purchases on my phone (that are intentional) and I set an amount for it monthly. That way I would still get to enjoy it, but reduce my frequency thereby saving money. Also, buying in-app purchases on sale can help too. Yes, that does exist.
Or what about your daily coffee ritual. If you are buying it everyday from Starbucks that really adds up. So why don’t you reduce the size and still buy it from Starbucks. Or make it yourself from home. Be your own barista as you will. Much cheaper and probably faster too.
You will be surprised as you tally up your vice, how much money you can save. Try it and find out.
Do you have a vice mentioned here or something else? How much money have you been able to save? Am I the only one that has accidentally made in-app purchases?