I’m embarrassed to share this, but there is a strong savings and budgeting lesson here from personal experience. So, here I go…
Late last year, my lovely wife introduced me to UberEats. I didn’t find too much value in it at the time because they were not delivering in our neighborhood. Therefore, I simply ignored that it even existed. Well, that cold shoulder barely lasted 2 months because at the beginning of this year UberEats has infiltrated my zip code. We tried it once and I literally fell in love. It’s extremely convenient, the restaurants participating in the program are great choices, and the delivery is faster than the restaurants who are not participating with UberEats. I thought to myself, what can possibly go wrong with this. They are going to get so much business – it’s amazing!
6 months have gone by and we have been loyal customers. However, you all should know by now that I scrutinize the hell out of our spending and I will find any possible way to save or to dedicate our money towards investments. Well, this past weekend I felt like there was something odd about UberEats, as if it were spoiled fruit stinking up the fridge (don’t act like that hasn’t happened to you). UberEats was hidden deep within my spending because I was only recording the face value of the transactions and not focusing on the UberEats receipts and reviewing it on a line item basis. Well, I found that disgusting spoiled fruit and I couldn’t help but notice my nose was flaring and my eyes were twitching…and I immediately yelled for my wife.
Between January 1st and today (June 19th), my wife and I have purchased $1,239.97 of food orders via UberEats. In total, they were 70 transactions and our average purchase was $17.71. Seems like a fair average order between two people, right? The reality is that these “average orders” have been killing my budget incognito! For every order, Uber Eats has been processing a $4.99 fee. Multiply that by 70 transactions and we have paid $349.3 for ordering on Uber Eats…
What happened to me? Have I not realized that $4.99 processing fee?! While I have been tracking our spending I was overlooking this fee. Thinking about how this has impacted our food budget, it hasn’t caused us to go over. However, it has affected us because we have not saved to the fullest potential. I know, it’s only $58-$70 a month…but in a year that’s potentially $700!
This truly upsets me because I feel like I was cheated on and deceived by UberEats. I knew you were too good to be true. Well, not for long! Sorry UberEats, I’m ending our relationship at 5 and a half months. You’ve lasted longer than some of my high school girlfriends and I’ve already had enough!
I know I’m not the only one dealing with this, so how can you prevent UberEats and other services and purchases from hijacking your budget?
Scrutinize Your Automatic Payments
If you’ve got monthly automatic payments, especially those subscription based services like Netflix, HBO Now, Spotify, Ipsy, Birchbox, etc. pay close attention. If you’re not using the service make sure to cancel! Don’t throw away your money. These are the perfect examples of incognito budget killers.
Keep Your Receipts
Keeping your receipts will help you review the line items and see what exactly is influencing that total transaction amount. Don’t wait 6 months like me to find out I’ve been paying a $4.99 processing fee for every order.
Diligently Track Your Spending
Set a routine to track your spending. Whether it is daily, every other day, or once a week, you’ll want to have a set time to make sure you are within budget on a week by week basis. Don’t leave this for the last week of the month because it may be already too late. Click here to learn more tips on tracking your spending.
Stay Within Budget
This should be straight forward, but I’ve got to bring it up…stay within your budget! If you don’t have one, click here to learn how to start. The easiest way to identify over spending is by tracking your spending against your budget. If you notice that your shopping sprees are throwing you overboard every month, well, stop shopping! In my case, stop ordering from UberEats!
The ultimate goal is to become more aware of where your dollars are being spent and to become intolerably focused on becoming debt free and to save as much as you can. If I would have let another 6 months go by, UberEats could have potentially cost us $700. I can definitely use $700 for Christmas gifts for the family.
That’s why I am literally deleting the UberEats app from my phone and from my wife’s phone as soon as I publish this blog post!