How Much Are Your Daily Habits Costing You?


0d6824effc0d4a7eaa7f09913c3450c5You know how much money is coming in, and it should be more than enough to make ends meet and even put away a little something in the savings account each month. So, why does it seem like you have to stretch every cent once you reach the final days of every month? And why hasn’t your savings account seen a deposit since you got that birthday check from your Gram-gram last November? We think we might have the answer.

“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” So said Benjamin Franklin, great American inventor, statesman, and all around revolutionary guy. As one of the smartest dudes in American history, we think he’s worth listening to. So, let’s all take a moment to reflect on this knowledge he dropped way back in the day. If we’re picking up what ole’ Ben was throwing down, and we think we are, here’s the gist: no matter how sound your financial ship might seem, how padded the bank account, those little pleasures, those petty little purchases we make day in and day out that seem so small as to be insignificant, they add up, and quick! Maybe you won’t find yourself destitute and out on the street because of them, but you might find that the new car or new house you’ve been dreaming about or that college education for your children remains out of reach. Do you really want those ships to sink?

So, just where are those leaks? While we don’t know your exact spending habits (because that would be creepy), we do know a few things about how people spend money today. So read on to discover three of the most common financial leaks that plague our bank accounts: coffee, cigarettes, alcohol. Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to quit these things. We want you to save money. That said, each of these habits could lead to substantial financial leaks.

Coffee. When you make coffee at home you’re spending mere cents. Buy that same cup of joe at Starbucks and you’re paying over two dollars. For a small! Don’t get us started on lattes and blended coffees that cost between four and six dollars a pop. Do that every day and you’re spending around $120-$180 a month. No offense, but that’s insanity. So what to do? Make your own coffee at home and at work and occasionally treat yourself to coffee out. It won’t kill you, we promise. In fact, cutting out all of that sugar will do quite the opposite.

Cigarettes. A single pack of cigarettes can cost anywhere between $6 and $14, depending on the state you’re in. That’s between $180 and $420 per month if you’re a pack-a-day smoker. The irony here is that you’re paying money to slowly kill yourself. That means medical expenses later on in life due to the toll cigarettes take on your body. We said we wouldn’t tell you to quit them, and well, we lied a little bit. Switching to vaping (e-smoking) has both immediate and long-term financial benefits. For instance, with NJOY vaporizer kits, you can get up and running with all the gear you need plus e-juice for as low as $49.99. And because vaping doesn’t carry the same health risks that smoking does, you’ll likely save money on medical fees down the road.

Alcohol. The cost of drinking every day can get pretty high, depending on your particular poison, as the bartenders like to say. Two glasses of wine a night—if you’re drinking, say, $8 bottles—ends up costing you $120 a month. That’s assuming you can stand the $8 stuff. If you’re palate is more refined, it’s going to be hard to dip below $12 a bottle, which brings the total to $180 a month. And it only goes up from there. Of course, drinking every day—even within the surgeon general’s guidelines—taxes the liver over time and leads to weight gain because of all those liquid calories, both of which can create medical expenses down the road. So, why not cut back a bit and save some money? Why not drink only on weekends or special occasions? Believe it or not, life sober manages to be pretty all right. When it comes to drinking at bars and restaurants, all we can say is don’t do it. The markup on drinks is astronomical. The cost of two beers at a bar generally will get you a twelve-pack at the grocery store. That’s a no-brainer.

There you have it: three possible leaks in your financial ship. Plug those leaks up and watch as your debt decreases and your bank account set sails on the seas of economic stability.

Join our newsletter


Subscribe to get the latest "Engineer Your Finances" content via email.

Powered by ConvertKit
About the author

1 Response
  1. This is an excellent point – small bills, like 10 dollars here or 10 dollars there really can add up over time. I try to regularly prune any unnecessary expense from my budget.

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to get the latest "Engineer Your Finances" content via email.

Powered by ConvertKit Top Finance Blogs


SSCP   CAS-002   9L0-066   350-050   642-999   220-801   74-678   642-732   400-051   ICGB   c2010-652   70-413   101-400   220-902   350-080   210-260   70-246   1Z0-144   3002   AWS-SYSOPS   70-347   PEGACPBA71V1   220-901   70-534   LX0-104   070-461   HP0-S42   1Z0-061   000-105   70-486   70-177   N10-006   500-260   640-692   70-980   CISM   VCP550   70-532   200-101   000-080   PR000041   2V0-621   70-411   352-001   70-480   70-461   ICBB   000-089   70-410   350-029   1Z0-060   2V0-620   210-065   70-463   70-483   CRISC   MB6-703   1z0-808   220-802   ITILFND   1Z0-804   LX0-103   MB2-704   210-060   101   200-310   640-911   200-120   EX300   300-209   1Z0-803   350-001   400-201   9L0-012   70-488   JN0-102   640-916   70-270   100-101   MB5-705   JK0-022   350-060   300-320   1z0-434   350-018   400-101   350-030   000-106   ADM-201   300-135   300-208   EX200   PMP   NSE4   1Z0-051   c2010-657   C_TFIN52_66   300-115   70-417   9A0-385   70-243   300-075   70-487   NS0-157   MB2-707   70-533   CAP   OG0-093   M70-101   300-070   102-400   JN0-360   SY0-401   000-017   300-206   CCA-500   70-412   2V0-621D   70-178   810-403   70-462   OG0-091   1V0-601   200-355   000-104   700-501   70-346   CISSP   300-101   1Y0-201   200-125  , 200-125  , 100-105  , 100-105  , 1Z0-803  , 400-051   EX300  , CISM   100-105  , 000-106   400-201   642-732   220-902   70-410  , MB6-703   810-403   70-243  , CAS-002  , AWS-SYSOPS   70-462   70-410   2V0-621   LX0-103   70-461  , 220-902   1Z0-144   70-178   70-270   350-080  , 1Y0-201   1z0-808  , NSE4   102-400  , ADM-201   SSCP  , 200-125  , 640-911   000-104   640-692   300-320   350-060   000-089  , 000-017   1z0-808   700-501   1Z0-051  , 70-177   M70-101   300-209   70-461   3002   N10-006   VCP550   70-487   300-320  , 3002   700-501   NS0-157  , 1V0-601   CAS-002