October 16, 2018
Greetings Thrifty Friends,
According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics release, American consumers spent more across several expense categories.
On food away from home, or dining out, we spent an average of $6,598 (around $550 per month), which was a 1 percent increase from the last year.
We spent an average of $2,586 (around $216 per month) on entertainment, which was a .5 percent increase from the past year. Our largest category of entertainment spending was on our electronics, where we spent nearly 40 percent of our entertainment budget.
The average household spent around $635 on personal care products and supplies.
On average, we spent more on alcoholic beverages (an average of $449) and tobacco products and smoking supplies.
So what does this mean? The price of everything is going up? Yes. But it also means that many Americans are falling down on the job of budgeting and saving!
Keep pinchin' those pennies,
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TODAY'S THRIFTY TIP:
Only an estimated one in three Americans maintain a detailed monthly budget. If maintained, budgets can help you save money and stay on track with your spending. Most people experience a time when their budget fails due to unexpected expenses, but other people have trouble staying on budget because they don't take the time to adjust and maintain it!
* Set aside time to work on your budget
A common reason that budgets fail is because people don't make time to update them or change them. You should review your budget at least once a year to account for changes in expenses, income, expenditures and savings.
It is equally important to give yourself time to get used to a budget. If you have never budgeted before (or you recently made large changes to your budget), you can't expect to change overnight.
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* Budget for emergencies and extra expenses
You have probably heard the importance of an emergency savings. It is an essential part of maintaining a budget. You should have money saved for at least three to six months worth of expenses in order to protect you in an emergency.
* Don't make your budget too loose or too restrictive
If you make your budget too restrictive, you are setting yourself up to fail. While it is important to save money, not allowing yourself (or your family) enough money to cover expenses and have a little fun, will put you in a bad rut quickly.
On the other hand, making your budget too generous will prevent you from saving money.