A budget is an essential step towards financial responsibility and stability but certain thing can seriously derail your plans if left unchecked. Here are five budget killers that you should avoid:


Nothing puts a strain on your finances in the same way as an addiction. In most cases, when someone takes a financial misstep it is because they weren’t paying attention or they didn’t know what they were doing. With an addiction you can know you are hurting your body and your budget and still struggle. Things like alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling can really destroy your budget especially when they are done in excess. The best thing you can do is to moderate or quit bad habits that you have. If you can’t, on your own, look for some help.

Impulse Purchases

When you are in the store do you find yourself leaving with more than you planned on buying? Do you ever get home and realize it was a mistake to buy whatever it is you bought? Well, these are called impulse purchases and they can really hurt your budget if it happens too often. One way to avoid buying on an impulse is to create a list to follow while you are in the store. A list can keep you focused and when make you more aware when you stray from it. There are plenty of other ways you can avoid impulse buying.

Unplanned Emergencies

An emergency or disaster can be a rough time to go through and to add insult to injury; it can ruin your finances. Of course, it is impossible to know what life has in store for you just around the corner but you can plan for emergencies. If you budget in an emergency fund ahead of time you may be better financially prepared for whatever you may face. Remember, an emergency is not always a big disaster. It can be a costly car repair or a job loss. You should grow your emergency fund to several months’ worth of salary.

Loans without a plan

Many of you will probably have to borrow money at one point or another, whether it is to buy a house, get an education or grow your business. However, if you do take out a loan, make sure you have an effective plan for paying it off. To avoid problems in the future:

  • Only borrow if you absolutely have to.
  • Only borrow what you need.
  • Don’t borrow more than your next year’s salary. So you can pay it off in a reasonable amount of time. 


Avoid fees as much as you can. Things like ATM fees, credit card fees, overdraft fees and late fees should not be tolerated. Make payments on time and choose ATMs and credit cards that don’t charge you to access your own money.

Keep these five things in mind as you deal with your money. Too many missteps can lead to some serious problems.






Comment (1)

Sean Bryant

Sean is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he received a Bachelor's of Arts degree in economics. After beginning his career in banking, he found his love for marketing. Before arriving at ATBS in 2014 he spent time working for two different technology startups as well as his own freelance marketing company.

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I think the addiction thing is the worst. I've had drivers ask me to buy them a fountain drink with the points on my card as they stand there puffing on a cigarette. Same with the beggars in the truck stop smoking and asking for money. I don't understand it. I know this isn't a thread on smoking, but I am so disappointed in the number of drivers who smoke. Have you ever gotten into a truck that was driven by a smoker? It's enough to make you gag. And, it is a big drain on one's finances.

September 10, 2016 16:33:16 PM