NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Are you drinking and eating your way into debt? We all know that expensive dinners and drinks add up quickly, but how much are consumables affecting your ability to save?
“If most people were asked the amount of their mortgage or car payment, they’d know it off the top of their head, but if asked how much they spend each month eating out, they’d likely have no idea, or at best offer up only a guess,” says Gail Cunningham, director of media relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
People are notoriously bad about tracking their expenses, particularly the small ones, she explains.
“They think they are so small that they won’t matter. However, little money adds up to be big money, thus any amount of unaccounted for spending — even on food and drink — can wreak havoc on a budget,” she says.
Here’s a look at the top six things that could be eating away at your monthly budget.
“A gracious guest brings a bottle of wine to a dinner party. The generous dad always buys Sunday lunch for the extended family. Wanting to fit in, the new employee joins others for lunch out,” Cunningham says.
As one-time events, any of these unplanned expenses are probably fine. If they start happening once every few weeks, though, it can be rough on your budget.
“A person needs to decide if they want this type of spending to continue, and if so, how they’re going to work it into their budget,” she says.