Over the past year, there has been so much uncertainty that thinking about the future can be anxiety-riddled. From local stay-at-home-orders to disruptions in how we work, shop, and play, the situation seems to always change from one thing to another.
And if you want to end up broke, comfort spending is one of the more convenient ways to do it.
During the pandemic, specific industries like cosmetics and sun care reported a sharp decline in products purchased. Several other consumer goods saw a massive uptick in sales.
The leading cause of these changes has been that more and more people are shopping from home with delivery services.
The ease that shopping from home has can also be an issue for overspending. And as we know, overspending can be one of the simplest ways we go broke and ruin our budget.
Regardless of your needs, shopping smartly and not overpaying for food is crucial in today’s environment of economic uncertainty.
It’s The Little Things That Add Up
To save money on food, you should consider alternatives to processed, high-fat, high-sugar items and think about shopping for food in their natural forms.
Foods in their natural state can be versatile ingredients for many different recipes, and combining other things is a great way to make delicious, healthy meals while saving some money along the way.
When grocery shopping, consider buying for a more plant-based diet versus meats, buying bulk grains like rice instead of packaged meals, and most of all, remember that you can shop cheaply and still eat healthily.
In addition to being expensive, processed and junk foods don’t offer much in the way of nutrition.
They are often loaded with fat, sugar, and salt as well.
It’s Just One Cup Of Coffee
One of the most significant luxury items that we spend money on is coffee. In fact, it’s thought that you could save $1,200 or more a year by making coffee at home and not purchasing it from a local coffee shop.
That little one cup of coffee can cost between $3-4 dollars a day, spread out over 30 days is almost $100 a month. $100 a month times 12-months, and you can see how that adds up.
If saving money on your coffee is one thing you want her thing to consider, make small batches such as a single cup of coffee at a time. No, not a Keurig cup. Those are costly, and they create a ton of debris as well. Instead, consider making a small batch of coffee, such as with a pour over coffee technique.
With this technique, you make one or two cups at a time by filling a filter or french press and pouring hot water over the grounds into one mug, wasting little additional coffee grounds in the process.
Making coffee at home doesn’t mean that you need never buy another cup in a coffee shop again. Just be reasonable and budget for it as you would any other expense. An occasional cup from your favorite spot is fine.
But it needs to fit in as a luxury item or reward for some other task you have to perform first.
There are numerous ways to save money, from making food and coffee at home to cutting back on purchases you don’t need.
Buying something on a whim can lead to other costly purchases that can disrupt the delicate balancing act you’ve created with your budget, so be sure that the purchase is something you need.
If it’s crucial, shop around and see if you can find a lower price online as well as in person.
One final way to overspend with comfort purchases is by buying too many things for our children.
Look, I get it; it’s easy to want to make your kids happy and comfortable in all that’s taken place over the past year.
But buying every little toy, device, or thing just because they say they’re bored or disinterested doesn’t help them develop coping mechanisms. It reinforces quick fixes for something that may take time to correct.
Spending outside of your budget is one of the easiest ways for you to go broke and is also one of the easiest ways to control unnecessary spending.
Creating a budget is an excellent first step, but what you choose to spend money on is also just as crucial in keeping above water with your finances.