Many budgets are like leaky buckets — they are full of holes. Most holes are small and hardly noticeable, but those little drips can add up over time. Here are five ways you’re mindlessly blowing through your hard-earned money every day:


Paying too much on housing

Personal finance experts recommend spending no more than 30 percent of your income on housing. If your costs exceed that, consider a roommate or moving to a different neighborhood.


Spending too much on car costs

Transportation is likely your next biggest expense after housing. Buy a reliable and affordable used car, try to live close to where you work and consider taking public transportation.


Wasting energy

Utilities can eat up about 7 percent of the average U.S. household’s budget. You can lower that number by conducting an energy audit on your house to find energy leaks. Unplug appliances not in use. Renters can consider insulating curtains.

Not planning meals ahead of time

Keep your grocery budget under control by planning out your meals and shopping accordingly. Consider meal-planning apps from



Grocery shopping without a list

Maintain a running list of what you need to pick up at the grocery store to avoid making any unnecessary purchases. You’ll know exactly what needs replacing, and you won’t have to do any guesswork.