D€bt & Cupcake$

FOOD | LIFE | MONEY

Overlooked Money Leaks That Can Steal Your Cash

money leaks

Money leaks are silent, ninja like assassins of your pay check.  Slowly sucking you dry, leaving you in a state of financial bewilderment.  Where did our money go?  We haven’t bought anything!

The slow trickle of money quietly adds up over time, and can derail your financial plans.

Money leaks are dangerous because you rarely notice they’re happening…

We had quite a few money leaks.  My wife loves the dollar store.  I don’t know why, it doesn’t matter really, but she freaking loves that place.  They sell pretty much everything out here in rural America.

Clothes, food, tooth paste, and even wine!! They literally have everything… and none of it’s a dollar!!  What a freaking sham!

It was really easy to swing by the dollar store on the way home and pick up a few items.  Hell, it was always under $20, so… no harm, right?

Those quick trips started to add up.  If she stopped 2-3x a week, we’re looking at $120 a pay period.

Now, that’s a pretty substantial chunk to have unaccounted for.

The money quietly slipped away, $20 here, $20 there… Never feeling the sting initially, but we always wondering where our money went.

The Ol’ dollar store wasn’t our only money leak.  We had quite a few, and it took us a long time to identify them…

Monthly Money Leaks

Woman carrying a box

Monthly subscription boxes are all the rage these days.  They’re cheap, convenient and totes hip.  What more could you ask for?

There is a subscription box for pretty much everything.  Entertainment, food and now dudes can get monthly subscription to prevent ED.  Hot damn, what a time to be alive!

Most of these monthly subscription boxes are under $20 a month.  The price is a huge selling point, and it works like a charm.  I mean, who can’t afford a $20 subscription?

Hell, I bet you can afford 4 or 5 of them if you don’t pay close enough attention!

Will one of these bust your budget?  No, probably not… Will 4 or 5?  Sure, you’re looking at $800-$1,200/year at that point!

These hip mofo’s become a problem when you don’t pay attention to how many you have, or how much you’re paying for them.

Worth it?  That’s your call, but if you’re trying to budget and pay off debt… I bet this becomes pretty annoying, pretty fast!

Do an inventory this month on all of your monthly subscriptions.  Netflix, Hulu, Birch Box, Blue Apron, Ipsy…  Whatever they are.  How many do you have?  How much are you paying per month and do you even use them?

The worst thing I found about small monthly subscriptions is that you get used to the small fee and stop paying attention to it.

Entertainment Money Leaks

man watching tv

How much do you pay for cable or satellite TV?  Have you checked recently?

Well… I’ve got some bad news for you.  The cost to watch the ol’ boob tube has gone up about 10% each year for the past 4 years.

On average, you could be paying 40% more for TV this year than you were in 2014.  Holy moly!

My wife and I live wwaaayyy out in the sticks.  Cable isn’t available, therefore we have Dish.  Initially I was impressed that it was only around $50 a month.

Coming from cable, it was super cheap and I loved it!  Fast forward 2 years and our bill was over $110/month.

Those sly bastards had increased our bill slowly over the course of 2 years.  Sure, we noticed… each increase just didn’t seem too bad.

The bill was $5 more this month, shit… Well, I’ll take care of that next month.  $5 wasn’t worth the time to move it up the to-do list.

Months passed by, and before we knew it our billed doubled!

Here is the real kicker.  I called to cancel it and they just knocked our bill back down to $50/month!

Well la-dee-freaking-da…

Gym Memberships Money Leaks

crossfit gym

Working out is a great hobby.  It’s not only good for you physically, but also mentally.  That’s why for the longest time I paid for a gym membership.

It wasn’t awfully expensive.  I was paying around $35/month for a 24 hour gym.  Not bad…right?

As life got busier, I stopped going as much.  I can probably come up with 100 excuses, but the fact is, I just didn’t make it a priority.

It was always something I was going to do.  “I’ll start on Monday”… This happened for months and months.  That $35/month continued to pull from my account and I sorta got used to it.

Canceling the membership was hard for my from a emotional standpoint.  Cancelling was giving up on my fitness, and I hated that thought.  So… I continued to pay.  Month after month.

Finally, I tucked my tail and canceled.  My wife and I have since created a home gym and it gets an abundance of use.  I just had to give up on the traditional gym membership.

If I had to guess, I’d say I lost $400-$500 by refusing to acknowledge that working out wasn’t a priority in my life.

There isn’t anything wrong with having a gym membership, please don’t misunderstand.  Paying for one that you’re not using is a waste!

Use it or lose it! 

Also, there are so many affordable gyms out there, some boasting fees under $20/month!  If you’re into fitness, shop around and find a gym that meets your needs physically and financially.

Is it worth the price?

Most money leak are commonly attached to some kind of perceived luxury.  Curb side grocery pickup, 24hr gym memberships, and subscription boxes are some fancy pants things, right?

They save time and make us feel good.  Hell, we work hard for our money, and if I don’t want to brave the crowds at Kroger, I’m going to use the curb side pick-up!  It only adds $5 to each trip. (scoff)

There isn’t a damn thing wrong with some luxuries in your life.  The problem with money leaks is that it’s usually things we don’t realize we’re paying for.

Or, worse yet… things we have stopped using, but continue to pay for.

Take some time and do an inventory as to what you’re paying for each month.  Export last month’s bank statement and filter it down to your subscriptions or memberships.

Cancel and close leaks you’re not using, or anything you can find cheaper elsewhere.

Don’t let the leaks add up and become a tax that you’ve simply gotten used to paying each month.  Many tiny leaks will sink your financial ship!!

2 Comments

  1. I recently had an arborist come assess a giant tree to see if it was going to fall on our house.
    He tried to sign me up for their maintenance service for $120. When I said “no”, he immediately turned it into, “it’s only $10 a month !”
    I laughed out loud at the thought that a monthly payment changed the actual cost, but you can see how this can rope people into just another monthly payment.

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