As the personal financial situations of Americans continued to build momentum, consumer spending surged in July. However, just because more people are spending money with bad credit history, doesn’t mean you should adopt financial habits that aren’t cohesive with your budget. Falling behind on your monthly expenses can lead to trouble and force you to utilize a signature loan to keep your financial footing.
According to a report from the Department of Commerce, overall retail sales rose 0.8 percent in July. While this may not seem like a notable change, it was the sharpest increase experienced in the past five months.
This could be an indicator that Americans are gaining confidence in their financial standings after remaining frugal during the first half of 2012. Meanwhile, the more money consumers inject into the economy, the quicker it might rebound in the latter half of the year.
Additionally, this could also cause many companies to expand payrolls to help handle the influx of activity.
Businesses added an estimated 163,000 jobs in March, which was the biggest employment gain experienced since January, according to the Department of Labor. If consumers continue to spend money, this rate could remain consistent through the remainder of the year.
Although the money Americans spend could help bolster the overall economy, this doesn’t mean you have to engage in wasteful spending. Wasting money on small purchases here and there may not seem like very much individually, but add these expenses up, and they could reveal major leaks in your budget.
Where Do Consumers Waste Money?
Gasoline is one major expense that many Americans waste money on. Specifically, some car owners convince themselves that their vehicles require higher-grade fuel. Unless you own a luxury vehicle, regular should do just fine.
Meanwhile, another wasteful spending habit among drivers is changing their oil too soon. In the past, it was recommended to have your oil changed every 3,000 miles. However, advancements in engine technology and the introduction of synthetic oil has expanded this to between 5,000 and 7,000 miles, according to Kiplinger.
This distance can vary depending on a vehicle’s make, model and age, so read the manual or consult a mechanic to know when you should take it in for servicing.
Many people have vices, but some are much more expensive than others. For example, smoking cigarettes is damaging to both your health and wallet.
Not only are the short-term implications of this habitat damaging, but it could result in higher health insurance costs and medical bills later on in life. According to the MIT Press, the various expenses of smoking can add up to more than $100,000 during a person’s lifetime.
Brand Names Versus Generic
The next time you take a trip to the grocery store, instead for reaching for a brand name product, see if there is a comparable generic brand of similar qualify. These items are often much more affordable than their counterparts.
One of the biggest price differences between generic and brand name products can be found among pharmaceuticals. The cost of prescription drugs can be a burden on any budget. Next time you get a prescription, ask your pharmacist or doctor if there is a generic alternative that could help you save money without sacrificing your wellbeing.