Night Time Money Traps
The Spending Trap: Your friend texts, asking if you can meet for happy hour at a nearby bar. It’s one of your oldest buddies, so you know it’ll be more than a one-drink night—which means you’ll probably spend somewhere between $20 and $40.
How to Subvert It: Take advantage of this quality time with your friend to discuss, among other things, some of the financial goals you’re trying to reach.
“People are incredibly reluctant to talk about money—and that’s a huge problem,” Wallaert says. “I think, ‘You’re not worried about it,’ and you think, ‘I’m not worried about it,’ so we both end up spending more than we want at the bar. You have no clue what they’re making, or if they can afford to go out with you.”
So when your friend asks why you’re forgoing that second cocktail, fill him in on the progress you’re making on saving up for your new home, or how you’re almostfinished paying off that pesky student loan. If you’re honest about your finances, your real friends will be supportive.
The Spending Trap: Exhausted from your busy day, you pull out your laptop to order takeout—Seamless.com has been your personal chef as of late. It’s just this one time, you say … almost every day. You don’t realize it, but you’re probably spending in the neighborhood of $900 a year on takeout.
How to Subvert it: Take a look at your order history, and add up your receipts for the week. Extrapolate that out to a month, and now you can see what takeout hasreally been costing you.
So heat up that leftover pasta and start plotting out a grocery list that will be conducive to easy weekday dinners. That type of preplanning will save you time and energy in the long run, says Faherty, because you can cook big batches over the weekend that you can easily reheat throughout the week.
“If you have veggies already cut up, or a big bowl of chili already cooked, it’ll be easier to make a quick dinner, even if you’re tired from the day,” she adds.
Turns out social media creates a strong spending temptation: Shopify.com says it gets more than a quarter of its referral traffic from Facebook.
The Spending Trap: Before you turn in for the night, you check personal e-mail, scroll through your Twitter feed and peruse your Pinterest boards.
The effect? One click leads to another, and now you’re hovering precariously over that one-click order button.
Turns out social media creates a strong spending temptation: Online shopping site Shopify.com says it gets more than two-thirds of its social-media traffic from Facebook, while Instagram drives its second-highest order price, at around $65.
How to Subvert it: Even though you may think you have no brain power left, onestudy shows that you’re actually better at creative and innovative thinking when you’re tired—this may be why some of your best ideas often spring up when your mind is wandering.
So instead of spending your late-night hours surfing the internet, think about a creative endeavor you’ve been wanting to try, and spend an hour actually doing it—or at least strategize how you can pursue it without busting your budget.
Faherty cites one client who realized she never made time for her art, so she devised a way to schedule it in and save money at the same time. “She ended up staying in a few nights a week, while her friends went out, so she could work on painting. And she didn’t feel deprived because she saw it as a reward for herself.”