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Home / Budgeting / How to Destroy a Budget in 5 Ways


Have you ever wondered why the people you work with seem to have more money than you? You are on the same pay scale, yet they seem to be flush with cash and you are strapped every Friday, why is that? Assuming that they are not neck deep in payday loans and credit card debt, you could be either wasting money or not preparing yourself for budget bumps. To help you recognize some of the ways that you could be oozing money without realizing it, here are some of the top items that could be destroying your budget.


Into every life a little rain must fall. There is going to be an emergency expense from time to time, it can not be avoided, but not being prepared for it can be. Saving an emergency fund can seem a bit impossible when you are strapped for cash every payday, but it is necessary. Here is a post we wrote about building an emergency fund under those circumstances.


Having the newest best electronics seems to be a growing trend among people under 30. It is a great waste of cash. In general those brand-new gadgets will be on sale in just 120 days. By waiting you can save fifty percent or more. Another way that electronics can drain your budget is by having too many. Do you really need a tablet, cable, multiple laptops, an e-reader, and smartphones galore? That doesn’t even take into account the higher rate you need to by for an internet speed fast enough to support all of those devices or data charges.

Meal Plans

Statistics show that Americans spend between $4,500 and $7,000 a year for groceries. Much of that is spent on impulse purchases that could easily be avoided. Building a meal plan that you create a grocery list from can shave hundreds of dollars from your grocery bill each month. Be sure to include snacks or your meal plan will seem too restrictive, making you give up on the idea.

Me Time

Everyone needs a little me time. It is understandable and necessary. We all a need a night out or a chance to eat someone else’ cooking once in a while. The problem arises when you have not planned for those expenses in your budget or decide that your budget can stand just one extra night out, even if you have to tap into your emergency fund or use a credit card instead of cash.

Car and Housing

Neither can be skipped to be sure, but do you spend too much on one or the other, perhaps both? Payments for your cars and housing should never total more than forty percent of your gross monthly income.  Exceeding this limit will stretch any budget. If possible, you may want to consider purchasing an affordable vehicle in cash, rather than financing. Not sure how much to spend? Here are the results of a survey we helped conduct among other PF bloggers, asking how much you ought to spend on a vehicle based on your salary/income.

We have several great posts here on that can help you create and stick to a budget. Hopefully you will find one that helps you get on track to becoming debt-free and budget proud.

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About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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