Some bad habits are fairly harmless. Habits like leaving the cap off of the tube of toothpaste or forgetting to put the dishes away don’t carry the same consequences as mismanaging your money every month. Find out what bad money habits you should quit before you have to deal with the repercussions:
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Bad Habit: Spending Every Last Dime
You’re going through a cycle of draining your accounts and then desperately waiting for your next paycheck to come in. You’re not alone. Research shows that 74% of employees are living from paycheck to paycheck — even workers with incomes above $50,000 find themselves struggling to make it to their next payday. This is a dangerous cycle to be in.
That’s why you need to try your best to break it. Start by making a personal budget that gives you some wiggle room before your next payday.
Then, you need to get in the habit of leaving that money alone. Don’t spend it for the sake of spending it. The more patience that you practice, the more savings you’ll have in your account.
Bad Habit: No Emergency Fund
Living without an emergency fund is a bad financial habit that could get you into loads of trouble, especially if you’re caught in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. If an unexpected expense crops up, you won’t be able to pay for it right away.
What can you do? Start building an emergency fund. While you’re building it, you should apply for a line of credit online to give yourself a simple financial safety net. It could help you with unexpected expenses, like a plumbing repair or an emergency dentist appointment. You can click here to see one simple example of how online line of credits work and how long it takes to apply for your own. The information will come in handy.
Bad Habit: Shopping for Fun
Shopping for fun and not for necessity is a bad financial habit that inevitably hurts your wallet. If you’re not careful, it could land you in a lot of debt.
Here are some ways that you can stop yourself from over-shopping:
- Write shopping lists before you go to the store and follow them to the letter.
- Ask yourself mindful shopping questions before putting items in your shopping cart. Do you need it? Can you afford it? Why are you buying it?
- Recognize the psychological triggers for spending and try to avoid them as best as you can.
- When online shopping, practice delayed gratification. Leave the item in your cart for 24-48 hours before you press purchase. Giving yourself time to come back to the decision will help you figure out if you really need to buy it.
- Block out advertisements that fuel your temptation to shop. Use ad-blockers online. Stop following stores on social media. End subscriptions from retailer newsletters and mailing lists.
If you try all of these things and you still can’t stop shopping, you could be a compulsive shopper — this is more of an addiction than a bad habit. You should seek out professional help for this problem.
Motivate yourself to make these changes by reminding yourself that they will save you money. Whenever you’re feeling like you’re sliding back into those bad habits, take a look at your bank account.