5 Money Biases to Kick Out of Your Budget

Sometimes we miss out on good things because of bias. For example, if you hate cheese dip because of an attack of food poisoning from last year's Cinco de Mayo, you’re missing out on a delicious treat. That’s a queso bias.

Yes, it’s funny. But it’s also powerful.

Biases crop up in more than just our food choices. We have them toward people, politics and even our money! The good news is that you can recognize and change them pretty easily. Take control of your mind and your money by kicking these five budgeting biases out of your life for good.


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Spend More Money on What You Actually Want

Americans aren’t spending money on what we want, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Instead, we’re paying more and more for things like groceries, utilities and healthcare and less on fun stuff like travel and eating out. Bummer.

While you can’t control the fluctuating costs of health insurance or natural gas, you can figure out some smart alternatives for expensive budget items. Free up more money in these four areas of your life:


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5 Reasons You Could Be Spending More This Season

Emotions have a way of making us spend a little more during the holidays—even when you’re feeling happy and nostalgic! But understanding what makes you tick can help keep your holiday costs down.

Here are five common reasons we spend more during this season and five strategies to avoid overspending:


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Where Does Your Christmas Spending Rank?

Americans plan to spend an average of $830 on Christmas gifts this year, according to a new Gallup poll. That’s a Santa-sized bump from last year’s November poll, when $720 was the average guesstimate.

Here’s a breakdown of how much money Americans think they will spend this year:


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3 Secrets to Lasting Money Change

You make enough money. You know you do. But you still feel like half of your paycheck flies out the window every month.

What if you could hold onto more of your money? Strike that. What if you could hold onto more of your money without sacrificing what you love?

You can, and we’ll show you how. Here are three secrets to effective money change.


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4 Ways to Keep From Overspending This Christmas

The average consumer plans to spend $805 on holiday merchandise this year, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s great, unless you only planned to spend $600. With plenty of chances to spend over the next couple of months, there are a lot of chances to overspend.

Most people know the drill. They’re just browsing at the mall and see some boots or a sweater that a friend would love! They snatch it up and either make it to the register or look around for another few minutes. And find more gifts—ones they didn’t plan on getting.

How do you keep from overspending on shopping trips? Here are four ways pull it off.


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How to Avoid Holiday Impulse Buys

You’re at the mall and surrounded by shelf upon shelf of Christmas cheer. Everywhere you look there are hot chocolate-filled mugs, Rudolph-themed dog clothes and evergreen-scented candles. It makes you happy and you want it all. 

Christmas shopping is so much fun because you get to buy for the people (and pets) you love! But that doesn’t mean you should spend with abandon. That’s a recipe for impulse buying—and overspending. 

So how do you look past those distractions and get what you went for? Here are five smart ways to enjoy the shopping season without paying for it later. 


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Where Does Paying Off Debt Fit Into Your Holiday Budget?

The average person will spend $463 on gifts for family members this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. Between presents, decorations, food and travel expenses, your money gets pulled in more directions than Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

If you wonder where extra payments on your debt fit into this festive season, here’s a quick four-step guide that shows you how to handle it.


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We’re Giving Away $5,000 to One EveryDollar Budgeter

We’re celebrating budgeters in a big way this season! And what better way to celebrate than with a $5,000 Christmas giveaway?

Just think—you could finally pay off that student loan, beef up your emergency fund, or spend it on some over-the-top fun—like renting out an entire theater to watch Star Wars with your friends and family on the big screen!


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Thanksgiving Weekend: Budgeting for Feasts and Shopping

In 2014, the American Farm Bureau Federation estimated that a classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 people would cost $40–80, with the average cost being approximately $50.

That’s small beans, though, when you compare it to what many Americans will spend the day after on Black Friday. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2014 Black Friday shoppers spent an average of $381 buying gifts for family members as well as candy, decorations, and greeting cards. They even spent a good bit on themselves!

Between Thanksgiving dinner and post-turkey shopping, your Thanksgiving weekend budget could top $400. If you throw travel into the mix, then you could easily spend more than $500 on Thanksgiving weekend—much more if you’re hopping on a jet plane.

So how can you be thankful in the middle of all those costly expenses and keep money-related stress as far away as possible? Here are a few recommendations.


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The EveryDollar November Challenge: Experience the Joy of Giving

We’ve officially entered the season of Thanksgiving, and what better way to celebrate than giving thanks? During November, we’d love for you to join us in experiencing the joy of giving. Whether you’re giving of your time or money, it’s awesome to help someone, and you don’t need a giant cardboard check to pull it off.

Here’s how to join the challenge:


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8 Ways to Maximize Your Lunch Hour Shopping

It’s fun to take your lunch hour at work. Shopping or just strolling around the parking lot to stretch your legs provides a welcome break from your busy day.

But you may have a lot to pack into those 60 minutes—and so does everyone else. About 93% of working professionals leave the office to shop, take care of errands, or buy stuff online while out to lunch, according to a survey by Captivate. Weaving through traffic leaves you little time to comparison shop, exercise, or drop off the dry cleaning that’s been sitting on your bedroom floor for days.

Let’s put some punch into your lunch schedule. We’ve got eight ideas to help you get the most out of your break time.


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15 Ways to Save Money on Dining Out

In August, Americans spent roughly $2 billion more at restaurants than they did at grocery stores, according to the Department of Commerce’s latest Retail and Food Services report.

It’s no surprise that we love dining out. But it is surprising how much money we spend ordering our meals, rather than cooking them.

Most of us could use some balance. On one hand, we know it’s cheaper to shop for and prepare our food at home. On the other hand, restaurants are so convenient—not to mention delicious. Instead of sacrificing all your favorite sushi places and burger joints, work them into your budget with these 15 money-saving tips.


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How to Budget for Big Expenses That Only Happen Once or Twice a Year

Expenses that only come around once or twice a year have a funny way of sneaking under the radar. You spend time getting your monthly budget just right, then whack! A big expense comes out of nowhere, putting an unwelcome dent in your perfectly polished budget.

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s annual insurance premiums or homeowner’s association (HOA) dues, it’s easy to overlook costs that don’t hit your pocket on a regular basis.

So how do you ward off another sneak attack? Here are a few tips to get you started.


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