Having a budget is basically managing a simple mathematics problem. How much goes in better be more than goes out. You and your bank account can benefit so much from cutting out unnecessary costs. Out of the many unnecessary and overrated purchases people make on a daily basis, I picked three areas where you can save money. There is an argument for these purchases being necessary, but if a tight budget is involved, they may be worth a critical look. Our money is precious, and in 2013 it’s important to analyze what can be left out of the spending column.

Disney Dining Under the Sea (Explored)
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1. Desktop Computer.

They serve a purpose, but an overrated purpose in this day and age. Not only do smart phones seem to outnumber the United States population at this point, they are starting to surpass the functionality of specific electronic devices made to do only one function. It’s a positive transition in many ways relating to consumer ease, while at the same time making many products more dispensable than they have ever been. The desktop computer is a product that is still heavily marketed and heavily sold, yet becoming less and less necessary with the increasing capability of laptops and tablets. The money that you spend on a desktop in 2013 can definitely be put toward a more practical purchase. The screens keep getting bigger and nicer, but they are overrated in the pecking order of purchases because of the outdated practicality that comes with them.The takeaway tip is to consider a refurbished desktop.

2. Dine-out Food.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s comforting to sit in a public place and have food delivered to your lap. It’s just expensive. Eating out is a massive burden on the wallet when the act is not utilized sparingly. On top of dining out being incredibly expensive, it is also usually unhealthy. Even eating at upscale restaurants where the food appears to be organic or nutritional, the actual meals are usually loaded up with sodium and butter to the point where your eyes may be puffy like a losing boxer the following morning. Eating out is a positive thing that stimulates the economy, but in a budget sense it should be greatly limited. It is a transaction, when done in excess, that becomes very costly. With the grocers we have and the ease with which we can cook, eating out too much makes the act an overrated purchase. Because food is such a necessity for human survival, it is often overlooked when percentage of budget is concerned. The takeaway tip is to cook a meal you’ve never had at home, and eat out once per week.

3. Gasoline

Cars are completely necessary, for the most part. If there is a place you can walk or ride a bike, do it. The difference you can make in your account is huge. Even little things like walking to the store twice a week for groceries can greatly benefit you. When driving places, not only do you pay for the car to move the miles you need to go, usually you are stuck in idle part of the time. Small changes to your transportation choices can pay big dividends in the end. Gasoline classifies as an overrated purchase because the amount that people need is far less than the amount consumed. It’s not needed as much as is portrayed, and oftentimes walking or riding outside is a more healthy and enjoyable form of transportation anyway.Takeaway tip is to walk or ride a bike three times a week to places you’d normally drive to.

Saving money is all about winning where you usually don’t. These are a couple options to ponder that will help you better analyze all aspects of your financial footprint. One way to look at hard-earned money is that it should be spent according to practicality. You most likely need a computer, food and fuel for practical reasons. However, type and amount are variables you can control as a consumer. These three are just a few of many, but offer a start to the deep analysis people should deploy in 2013 in order to help a budget.

Alex Watson is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing about personal finance and does his best to take his own advice. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading the classics and keeping his box turtle, Sparky, company. He currently writes for GoldMax USA.com.

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