Posted by Tim Stobbs on June 16, 2010
There is a bit of downside of having a well developed budget, I tend not to look at it all that much anymore. As such I’ve noticed an interesting problem lately. I’m developing some financial blind spots. I don’t look for savings anymore as such I’ve had some creep of spending in areas where I’m wasting some money. The amounts are minor so I suppose that is why I’ve been neglecting looking at them.
Here are a few examples:
- The Second Cable Box - We have two cable boxes in my house. Why? We just decided to hook up both TV’s when we moved in. Yet here is the thing. I don’t really watch much TV. So 99% of the time I’m using the second TV to watch a movie. So I’m paying $3.50/month for something I use perhaps once a quarter if that.
- Food Waste – As a family we used to be really good about not letting food go to waste, but now it seems every garbage day that something is going into the trash. It’s become rather systematic lately and I’m not entirely sure why it is happening. I suspect it has to do with poor meal planning and making sure to use up things before they go bad. I would estimate perhaps we waste $15/month in food.
- Eating Out – A secondary fall out from our poor meal planning is we have been spending more money on eating out. We used to eat out perhaps twice a month. Lately it’s been at least double that. I know I’m partly to blame for not planning some of my lunches so I end up eating out from a lack of being organized. Estimated wasted spending $40 a month.
- Not Putting Aside the Raise – I recently got a small raise at work and I’ve managed to forgot to adjust my saving amounts to capture that raise. As such the raise is currently vanishing into the regular budget and getting spent. Estimated waste $60/month.
Each item itself isn’t that much money yet when you add it up it is $118.50 a month that I’m letting slip between my fingers. It’s time to get back into a habit of checking in on my spending every few months to reduce wasteful spending.
Have you ever developed blind spots because your are too comfortable with your budget? If so, what are a few of your blind spots? If not, how do you managed to keep track of the little items like these?