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Spending Leaks

Yowzah! Where did my money go?

My goodness, these sales are really testing my resolve to Curb the Urge to Splurge this holiday season. Are you tempted to pick up that adorable ornament that is 60% off this week? I know I was! And that’s just what retailers are hoping we will do, fill our carts and shopping bags with a lot of little inexpensive items that seem like they won’t deflate our budget too much, and yet they do! These are known as spending leaks and they can drain any size bank account if they are not monitored on a constant basis.

All the things we don’t need can fall into the spending leak category. If spending less this season is truly your goal, then be diligent about controlling your spending leaks. Spending leaks are different for everyone but here are some common holiday shopping spending leaks:

  • Stocking stuffers
  • Extra groceries
  • “Just in case” items
  • Earnings store rewards, and spending store rewards
  • Toys to entertain kids while shopping
  • Specials deals on the end cap of the isle
  • Snacks purchased while shopping (a soft pretzel is hard to resist)
  • Holiday clothing for that 1-time event
  • Gifts for people that weren't’t originally on your list (manicurist, stylist, hostess)
  • Decorations
  • Special family portrait cards
  • New recipes with expensive ingredients
  • Supplies for DIY gifts that don’t get finished
  • Great bargains on things that are perfect for ME!
  • Holiday fund raisers
  • Gas for extra trips to the store or mall
  • Alcohol


What are your spending leaks?


If you spent $5 on each of these without budgeting, you would have spent a total of $80 on unplanned expenses. You can see how spending leaks can get out of control.

A great way to keep your spending leaks in check is to review your cart full of purchases before checking out. Compare what’s in your cart to what is on your list. Put back items not on your list.

Evaluate each item you are about to purchase by asking “Is this a need or a want? What could I do instead of purchasing this? Could I borrow this item from someone? Will I still want this in 48 hours?

Also, keep reminding yourself of your financial goal of not over spending.

Plugging up the shopping leaks may not sound like fun, but having that money in your bank account will be worth it!


Have a wonderful week,


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