A Dollar Here A Dollar There: Do They Add Up?

I’m sure you know how easy it is to justify spending a couple bucks here and there and not feel guilty about it… Right? Have you ever really given thought to how much all of those small purchases add up to be?


McDonald's Restaurant, Miles CityI know I  fall victim to this type of thinking from time to time… It normally happens when I’m leaving the house to run errands right before lunch or dinner. You can certainly work up an appetite shopping or running errands. So what do you do? Grab a bite to eat at the closest drive through.

Nowadays a typical fast food meal costs close to $10, but the convenience is worth it right? In the moment thinking may leave you with a happy belly, but an emptier wallet before you know it!


I just recently had artificial acrylic nails put on for my wedding. This is the first time I had this done and I figured for a little bit more money I could get my nails to last a lot longer than the traditional manicure. They sure did look nice and after a couple short weeks they needed to be touched up (filled in).

I was originally going to do this and keep them on for the honeymoon a month later, but after thinking about it, I decided not to. Sure it was only about $20 to have nice looking nails for the next 3-4 weeks, but I realized it could become a slippery slope. I’d be easy to become accustomed to having them and then decide I “needed” them on a more regular basis.

I know there are plenty of women out there who religiously get their mani-pedi every two weeks. I’m sure that adds up to become a budget buster quick!


One of the hubby and I’s favorite date night is a Redbox movie night. We tend to get 3-4 redbox movies per month. However, we rarely pay for a redbox movie. There are a ton of free night redbox rental codes out there and we ALWAYS make sure to return it the next day before 9pm.

They may not make any money off of us, but I am sure there are lots of people out there who will pay full price (less than $2) for a night, but then forget to return it the next day. So what starts out as cheap entertainment a few times a month could turn into quite a pricey habit.

How Do You Add Up These Small Expenses?

One of the easiest ways to keep track of mindless spending is to not use cash, and keep all of your receipts. I know for me, if I use cash, its very difficult to keep track of where I spend it. The hubby and I always use our credit card if we can, and then every couple of weeks enter every single one of our receipts into a program called Quicken.

This software is awesome because it allows you to categorize all of your expenses and then will generate reports based on your spending habits. This will more than call out your frivolous spending!

How do you keep track of the small frivolous spending? Are you guilty of a habit that adds up quick? What are some ways to prevent it?

photo by: dave_mcmt


  1. Just like you I rarely use cash. Everything’s on debit or credit to help me track everything better.

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