Little Treats Cost More Than You Think

by Guest on October 18, 2012

If you suggest to someone that a little treat they’re planning is a waste of money, you run the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon. After all, the people thinking about treating themselves will tell you that it’s relative pennies and well affordable.

They may well be right, but it’s far more probable that they aren’t. That’s because they set the amount off against their monthly total, seeing it in isolation of everything else so, yes, the cost seems miniscule.

But in today’s world, we all have multifarious expenses that are seen as prerequisites for modern life. And when you add them all up, they can scare the pants off you.

If you don’t believe this, try doing a really accurate monthly budget. Take out your mortgage or rental costs, your local taxes, state taxes, income tax, all costs associated with motoring, an absolute basic “no frills” monthly food bill, your telephone (including mobile) costs, all other utilities, an amount for necessary clothing (again on an essentials only basis), all types of insurance, a small amount for home maintenance, a little for savings for pensions etc., and then see how much you have left to cover any other eventualities.

Now take off any satellite TV, club membership etc., and type subscriptions and see how much you have left for the little treats in life. And remember, we haven’t even begun to consider trips and vacations. If you have a huge amount of cash left, then great, you need probably read no further. But if things are looking a little tight after you’ve done this exercise then think how much that trendy cup of café latte and cinnamon bun, or that meal out for two, or cinema tickets for the family etc., are costing you as a percentage of your disposable income. Only then do you get a true idea of the costs of those little treats.

If you’re struggling, you can go to reputable short term lenders like for example, but this should be for emergencies only. Never rely on borrowing regularly. Instead, everyone should do a monthly budget, and then cut their coat according to their cloth, building in a little wiggle room for the contingencies life throws up. And if that means cutting out the little non-essential treats in life, then that’s how it’s got to be.

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