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Incidental savings: Your budget is begging you to stop small spending

When it comes to budgeting and fixing your finances, most of you start big and work your way down to the miniscule.
Maybe you try to lower your car payment, refinance your home loan or take a long, hard look at your cell phone bill or cable television setup, and begin whittling away accordingly to help save you at least a few dollars by the end of the month.
But what most don't realize is that the incidental spending, the day to day routine stuff that you subconsciously buy, might have a bigger impact on your bottom line than you think. But the good news is that those small items that you could easily live without are fixable and, unlike the arduous and annoying process of the bigger ticket items, won't take a lot of your time to rectify.
Are you still buying coffee every day or at least a few times a week?
What about stopping for a few minutes every day and buying an energy drink or soda, perhaps even more than just one per day?

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Still purchasing bottled water by the case?
If you've answered affirmatively to any of those questions, you probably don't realize just how much money you're spending every year, since the $1-5 per item price tag each time you buy doesn't seem like too big of a purchase at the time.
But if you look at it over the course of a 12 month period, it certainly adds up.
A $4 cup of designer coffee twice a day, three times per week means you're spending more than $1200 per year on coffee. Energy drinks are more of the same, costing you more than one thousand dollars per year. Let's say you love your caffeine to the point that you're not only hanging out at Starbucks but also partake in a Red Bull from time to time. Can you really justify spending nearly $3,000 per year on drinks?
And that two cases of water per week purchases might not seem like much but having another $500 in your pocket at the end of the year will have you buying a water filter for your faucet and traveling water bottle fairly quickly.
This financial lesson isn't to suggest that you can never enjoy a cup of coffee outside of your own home or an occasional mid week energy drink reprieve, but you may want to choose moderation over habitual.
Sure, you might miss the items initially, but once you get a glimpse of what skipping those sporadic expenses means for your savings account, you'll be more interested in drinking up your new found financial prosperity.

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