You have already spent a ton of money today

Have you ever had a day where you just felt like spending some money? Maybe you have some “extra” money burning a hole in your wallet or you just feel like you deserve to treat yourself to “a little something.” While you definitely do deserve to treat yourself, the fact of the matter is that spending money on unplanned, unneeded items on a whim is a sure-fire way to break your budget. Lucky for you, I know a fact that is sure to burst your balloon: You’ve already spent a ton of money today.

Next time you feel the urge to splurge, take the time to figure out how much money today has already cost you. Maybe you haven’t done the slap-the-credit-card-on-the-counter kind of spending, but believe me, you’ve doled out your fair share.

To figure out how much exactly how much you’ve spent today, I invite you to do the math. Figure out what it costs you to live a day of your life. For example, divide your monthly home or rent payment by the number of days in the month to approximate what it costs to live in your home for a day. Then, do the same for all of your other expenses. Here’s a quick list of expenses you incur (though not necessarily pay for) daily to consider:

  • Mortgage or rent
  • Food (at home and away)
  • Clothing (plus the cost of cleaning your clothing)
  • Insurance costs (medical, dental, life, auto, home)
  • Transportation costs (car payment, registration fees, gas)
  • Utilities (phone, Internet, cable, gas, electric, etc.)
  • Cleaning supplies and personal items
  • Donations and gifts
  • Childcare or school expenses
  • Recreation/hobbies/lessons
  • Medicine and/or vitamins
  • Taxes

For me, the realization that—without buying anything—I’ve spent hundreds of dollars just to live through the day was a real eye-opener. How about you? Are you surprised at how much you’ve spent today? (And this doesn’t even take into consideration outstanding unsecured debts!) Does thinking about your expenses in this way change the way you feel about spending?

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.8/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Consumer Federation of America Consumer Federation of America
    MMI is a member of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.