Budget Breakers: Why the “Little” Things Add Up


During my time as a member of the Body of Christ, I’ve noticed an unfortunate dilemma. Too many people are struggling financially.

Now that I’ve revealed the pink elephant in the room, please consider this. Imagine a church where people are living in abundance, debt-free, and positioned to freely give back to the Kingdom. Wouldn’t that lay an awesome foundation to do ministry?

Changing our individual and family financial positions is pretty simple, but won’t necessarily happen overnight. However, we have to be willing to address the ‘little’ things keeping people in financial bondage.

We have to be willing to address the ‘little’ things keeping people in financial bondage.

As someone who works with people to assist with financial matters, I have learned firsthand how important it is to track income and spending. There are several financial advisers and money coaches who promote a looser approach to budgeting and expense tracking. However, I am NOT one of them.

I have learned it’s the “little” things that make or break an individual or family’s budget. Not tracking the “little” things often results in significant losses when considered in the overall financial picture.

What are some of the “little” things I’m referring to? Let’s take a look:

1. Morning Latte: This has the ability to become a regular part of your daily routine. Many people feel it’s impossible to fully operate without their daily dose of coffee. Unfortunately, coffee producers have learned this secret too.

A cup of morning Joe can hit you in the pocket for $6 per cup, which equates to $30 a week or $1,560 a year. Individually $6 doesn’t seem like a lot, but when reviewed annually this is enough to fund your emergency account.

2. Fast Food: Due to busy lifestyles, countless individuals seek out convenient food options. Fast food undoubtedly is one of these “convenient” options. Unfortunately, fast food is another category that tends to drain the monthly budgets of individuals and families.

When working with my clients, I notice many people don’t understand how much they truly spend in this area. Unfortunately, it’s often in the hundreds of dollars each month.

Consider spending $7 for lunch each day as part of your work week. You are essentially spending $35 a week or $1,820 a year. The numbers listed are pretty conservative considering a number of people eat out multiple times per day, including a combination of breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I do realize there are times you want to partake in a cup of Morning Joe as a treat or socially with your coworkers. However, try to seek out alternatives like store-bought coffee or scaling back the number of times you purchase designer lattes at the corner shop.

It’s a good idea to identify other eating alternatives. Here are two reasons:

1. First, fast food options are generally unhealthy. That’s a great reason to look at other options.

2. Second, eating out has the ability to drain hundreds of dollars: The money would serve a greater purpose of expanding the Kingdom of God.

Begin managing the “little” things in your finances today. Watch your financial position improve over time.

Kenny Pugh

Kenny Pugh is an entrepreneur, author, radio show host and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, business and money. Kenny is the host of the Chat Kafe Show (www.chatkafeonline.com) and is a frequent guest on various radio broadcasts. He is also the author of Can You Do It Standing Up? A Different Position on Relationships (www.amazon.com).

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