Consumer Alert: The top five budget busters. How to recognize and get rid of them

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Tax time is cause for celebration. It gives us a chance to analyze, prioritize, then excise the fat.

When we all get that W-2, we have to take a good hard look at how much we made last year. And that’s an opportunity to analyze how much we spent, prioritize the bills to pay first, then excise those expenses that we don’t need.

U.S. News and World Report named the top 13 budget busters.

Here are my top five:

· Streaming services-They really add up. Take a hard look at everything from Netflix to Spotify. U.S. News suggests you cut all your streaming services. Then after two weeks, only bring back the ones you really miss.

· Unnecessary insurance- Do you need full coverage on that paid off car? Getting liability coverage instead is something to consider.

· Delivery memberships- Look at everything from Amazon to food delivery subscriptions like Door dash pass.

· Your cell phone plan- Can you get a better deal with another provider?

· Credit card debt- The average credit card rate today is 23.5%.

If you have just $2,000 on a credit card with that interest rate, it would take almost 17 years to pay it off if you’re making only minimum payments. That’s why News10NBC personal finance expert Jarrett Felton says you have to tackle credit card debt first. You’ll be better able to do that after you cut the fat. But he says our financial reset starts only after we take a hard look at our money. What we’re earning and what we’re spending.

“If we want to be honest about where we want to go, we have to be real about where we are right now in our financial life,” said Felton. “So I would say, acceptance, acceptance of where we are right now financially. Let’s lay out right now all of our bills.”

That’s the first step, to analyze, then prioritize. What do we really need? Which bills should get paid off first? Then excise. Cut those recurring expenses we don’t need. It’s the first step to a financially healthy future which can start by simply gathering the information you need to file your taxes. And that’s cause for celebration.