Hidden costs, spending only cash, gamifying your finances, changing your coffee habit and more.

1. Know All the Costs Before You Buy

Northern Cheapskate — When you’re excited about buying something, you probably rarely consider the additional costs that are associated with the purchase. Christina has a perfect example. She and her family bought a new gaming system at a great price. Then they needed additional controllers, games, cords and other things. As a result, the cost skyrocketed.

She says this happens with almost every purchase — even clothing. But don’t worry, she provides guidelines that will help you discover the additional costs that accompany clothing, toys and electronics and music purchases. Howard Dvorkin, chairman of Debt.com, also speaks about additional costs in his book Power Up. He believes: “It’s nearly impossible to buy one thing without getting a half dozen other things that add to the price.”

2. 5 Things That Happen When You Spend Only Cash

Enemy of Debt — Travis and his wife decided that they’re using only cash for their personal expenses. These expenses include: gas, groceries, allowance for their kids and entertainment. He says they’ve been extremely successful managing their finances when they’ve done this in the past, and he wants to share his success.

The first thing that happens is: “You Constantly Evaluate Your Resources.” You really pay attention to your spending patterns because you’re actually watching your money disappear. Check out the other things that happen when he spends only cash. You can also read this post about cash and debit cards.

3. Gamify Your Personal Finances to Power-Up Your Real Life

20 Something Finance — Everyone has heard about the Pokémon craze. People have actually quit their jobs and fallen off cliffs just to catch these characters. It’s insane. This blogger wonders why people can’t “bring that same passion and intensity to something as profoundly life-changing” as their personal finances.

Now all those gamers, and the rest of us who don’t play, can. He provides three ways we can gamify our finances. The first is, make a list of goals “and assign a point value to each one.” This is an interesting read. So is this blog: Pokémon Go Should Be Pokémon Dough.


4. The 5 Spending Habits That Freed Me From Ever Needing a Budget

The Financial Diet — We should note that Clara did use a budget at one time. She says during 2015, “I decided to make a serious effort to get better at managing my money.” That’s when she started tracking her spending and using a budget. But the budget didn’t work for her — it stressed her out.

She then reviewed her financial objectives and “came up with a different system.” I won’t tell you what the system is, you can discover it for yourself. You can also read this post entitled” Who Needs a Stinkin’ Budget. But let’s be clear, budgets are great financial tools. They just don’t work for everyone.

5. Coffee Habit Can Be a Real Drain on Your Wallet

Money Talks News — Americans are drinking less coffee, but spending more money on buying coffee. Krystal says “Americans are expected to spend a whopping $13.6 billion on coffee this year.” At first, this doesn’t make sense. But as you read Krystal’s blog you’ll understand why consumption is down and the money spent is up.

Once you finish reading, you may consider purchasing an “old-fashioned coffee pot.” It can save you upwards of $1,200 a year depending on how much you pay for your morning caffeine buzz. But don’t cut out coffee all together. Debt.com found a study that shows how it can boost your brain power.

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Meet the Author

Brian Bienkowski

Brian Bienkowski


Bienkowski is a contributing writer and is the face of Debt.com's 'By the Numbers' videos.

Budgeting & Saving

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Article last modified on September 25, 2017 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Around the Web: Using Cash Only - AMP.