You could be saving $838 more a month by cutting out nonessential costs

Nonessential costs are probably getting in the way of your financial goals.

With so many enticing products and foods out there, it's easy to lose track of how you're spending your money. Here are some tips to maximize the efficiency of your monthly spending.

  • Identify your essentials. Those must-haves should include food, clothing, housing and insurance. But it should also account for emergencies and retirement savings.
  • Aim to have six to nine months' worth of expenses saved up in case an emergency crops up.
  • Rank your nonessential costs in order of how important they are to your quality of life. Then, cut the categories that fall on the bottom off your list.
  • Consider scaling back on other areas of discretionary spending such as travel by taking shorter trips.
  • Once you've made sure you have set aside what you need for essential expenses, identify what nonessentials you want to spend on and why.

The average millennial spends about $838 a month on unnecessary expenses. Baby boomers are even more likely to make dining, vacation and specialty coffee a priority. But, in contrast to millennials, they tend to spend more on another priority: gifts for friends and family. It's important to keep in mind that what may seem like a necessary purchase may not always be!

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.