Have you ever felt that money is not enough for you? Don’t you know where you lose so much money every month? Probably if you have had this feeling, you are being a victim of ant expenses. Ant expenses, just like when we see an ant with respect to an anthill, are small when they look alone, but when they put all the anthill together, we can panic.
Thus, ant expenses alone seem harmless. But when you add up all those small expenses that we make we realize that they are much more than we expect. In addition, these expenses greatly affect our budget and can sabotage our personal and financial goals.
Good personal finances start with a good knowledge and control of our personal expenses. Raising awareness that there are no minor expenses, and less if they are done regularly, will help us improve our finances. That is why Gustavo Mirabal Castro wants us to know everything necessary to manage ant expenses as experts.
Therefore, today we will talk about ant expenses, what they are and how to eliminate them, or failing that, how to reduce them. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What are ant expenses?
By definition, ant expenses are small expenses, unrepresentative and that do not attract attention, but that are very frequent. Ant expenses are present in our day to day, but because they are so small, or so routine, we do not pay attention to them.
Ant expenses could become “invisible” to our attempts to control our budget. Only if we begin to pay attention to our recurring habits and begin to record even our small expenses, we can realize their impact.
That is why we need a strategy to be able to identify them and achieve a full financial awareness. Next, we will look at some of the characteristics of ant expenses.
Characteristics of ant expenses
Ant expenses are very small, but they are made every day or very often. This causes them to accumulate without hardly perceiving them. An example of this is the cost of a coffee in our lives, a coffee on arrival and a coffee after lunch in the office.
In Mexico a coffee costs approximately $ 0.75 and in Chile $ 1 approximately. Making a conservative estimate and assuming the price of $ 0.75 per cup of coffee. This price is more or less similar in all Latin American countries (Colombia, Venezuela, etc.).
Considering this scenario, only on cups of coffee and considering only 2 cups of coffee we would spend $30 on coffee alone. This results in 12.5% of the minimum wage in Colombia and 11.6% of the minimum wage in Mexico in 2022.
As we can see, ant expenses can be very representative, especially for those who earn the least.
In addition, a person may have various concepts of ant expenses. Among these concepts we can find alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, sweets, among others.
How to identify ant expenses?
Ant expenses have a very definite pattern in our lives. Some characteristics that can help us recognize them are:
- They seem to be amounts of money that are not significant if we see each purchase individually.
- They are expenses with high periodicity (daily, interdaily or weekly). This causes that despite being small amounts, they become an important amount when added in time.
- Generally, in this category are the “small vices” such as alcohol and tobacco. For this reason, they can also damage our health and cause additional health expenses.
- It is an expense that can become a saving if we do not do it.
- We can always choose not to do them. Failing that, we can exchange them for others that are healthier or that bring us some benefit. For example, we can change the expenditure on sweets for more proteins or fruits.
- It is an expense that is usually impulsive and compulsive.
- When they accumulate, they can represent between 10% and 20% of our income.
Some of these expenses can be:
- Street food or food delivery.
- Coffees, sodas, or energy drinks that we buy daily.
- Lunches on the street on normal days.
- Meals or meetings with friends
- Tobacco, alcohol, or knickknacks every day.
- Tips or charity without control or budget.
- Transfer fees, interest payments for paying with credit cards out of time.
- Costs for reconnection of services, commissions, or interest for late payment.
- Subscriptions you don’t use but you still pay.
- Any impulse purchase. These invite us to buy things that we do not need or that we can find at a better price.
- Buy an expensive brand, without this representing a substantial improvement in the quality of the product.
We don’t realize it, but it’s a pretty big expense at the end of the month
Enhance your knowledge about expenses looking to the future.
Do you feel that by eliminating ant expenses you eliminate part of your happiness? If you’ve become addicted to certain “habits” you may want to consider that level of attachment. Attachment to things that hurt us and that are an obstacle to achieving what we truly desire. That’s the difference between seeking short-term desire satisfaction or long-term desire fulfillment.
Some studies associate success with people who have the emotional intelligence to postpone the immediate satisfaction of their desires. In this way these people can prioritize not only the options they have immediately, but the long-term goals.
It’s like that person who buys a lot of appliances, furniture, and vehicles, but still lives rented. A person who wants to achieve success should know that saving that money can help him to achieve his own home that will then help him make large savings in terms of rent.
This is how a person with great emotional intelligence has a greater chance of success. So, managing your ant expenses can be a way to raise your emotional intelligence and with it your chances of success in life.
Find your own way between expenses and your new habits.
Eliminating ant expenses is a challenge. Sometimes we will have to give up things we took for granted like a coffee after lunch. We can also choose to reduce some ant expenses and leave others. The important thing is that each decision is conscious and allows us to create new habits.
The new habits we create should help us achieve our personal and financial goals. In addition, they will have the positive effect of influencing our health if we improve our eating habits and leave some vices.
Eliminating these vices will also help us to have better health and will affect the reduction of medical expenses and medicines. In addition, we will be able to better link with our environment and with ourselves.
Gustavo Mirabal Castro encourages us to take the path of financial self-knowledge to help us achieve our dreams.
La entrada Ant expenses, what are they and how to avoid them? se publicó primero en Gustavo Mirabal Castro.