If you are good with money then salute you. You’re probably setting aside a portion of every paycheque, staying on a budget, and rarely giving in to the siren calls of fine coffee shops. But the rest of us? We have all kinds of bad habits that can lead to financial problems. We struggle with budgets, don’t put anything aside to save, and almost always going to cafes to spend money we don’t have.
Even though it’s nothing to be ashamed of, bad financial habits can cause a lot of stress. That’s why it’s a good idea to notice where you could go wrong and then change your ways. âThe sooner you get into good financial habits, the better,â says Jennifer Barrett, education manager at Acorns and editor-in-chief of Grow. “When you’re starting out, it’s less about how much you save or invest … than it is about making a habit of contributing to your savings on a regular basis. Developing the habit is key.”
Once you understand how to save money and what habits can lead to financial problems, the sooner you roll in the dough. (Or at least don’t get totally broke at the end of each month.) If that sounds like a goal worth reaching, read on to discover some habits that could hurt your finances.
1. Buy things without thinking
Have you already arrived at the end of the month and wondering where all your money has gone? This frightening moment is due to mindless spending, a habit that you can totally stop. âReckless spending is one of the biggest barriers to financial success,â says Barrett. So budget or start making lists. “Once you know where your money is going and where you want it to go, you will naturally start to make smarter choices about how you spend your money each day.”
2. Pay for that gym membership you are not using
If you use and love your gym membership then keep it by all means. But if not, it might be time to cancel for the sake of your finances. âSeventy percent of gym members never go, and the 30 percent who attend only twice a week,â Janis Isaman, nutrition coach and owner of My Body Couture, told Bustle . If this is you, it may be best to work out at home or buy a daily pass instead.
3. Buy things because they’re on sale
While it may not seem important to land something in a sale, buying things you don’t need can quickly get you in trouble. “These are … everyday habits that we may not think about a lot but add up over time,” says Jennifer McDermott, consumer advocate for personal finance comparison website Finder.com. The next time you’re tempted to make a sale, take a break and think about your financial future.
4. Do not get this refund
If you buy a pair of shoes and they don’t fit, do you A) take them back and get a refund, or B) leave them to rot in your car for eternity? If you answered B, it might be time to change your ways. Not getting your money back is a major waste of money, McDermott tells me, as well as a bad habit to develop.
5. Lend money to friends
While it is good to help a friend in need or lend them a few dollars for a coffee, it is not a good idea to make a habit of lending. âShakespeare was right when he wrote, ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender is / For the loan often loses himself and his friend,’â says McDermott. In other words, you will put a strain on your friendships and probably never see this paste again. Not worth it.
6. Don’t set aside a portion of every paycheck
From now on, try to make daily savings a habit. âToo many people neglect to save because they’re like, ‘What’s the point?’ if I can only put aside $ 5 per paycheck, âsays Erin Lowry, author of BROKE MILLENNIAL: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together. behaviors you want to have in the future today, even if it only means hiding a little of it. âIt will add up, and you’ll be so glad you did.
7. Online shopping
There’s no denying the thrill of shopping online, but the ease of that “buy now” button can really slash your budget considerably. âFor the ease with which it is possible to buy goods online, this is a huge area to look at,â says Trevor Scotto, CPA, CDFA, financial advisor and operating partner of Fiduciary Financial Group. To save yourself from impulse buying, try leaving things in your shopping cart for a few days. Or just avoid the habit all together.
8. Buy coffee every morning
In general, there is nothing wrong with having a small cup of coffee on the way to work. But if you regularly offer specialty lattes, don’t be surprised if you’re # broke every month. âSpending $ 5 a day on coffee each morning (and sometimes even in the afternoon) can work out to about $ 100 a month ($ 1,200 a year),â Scotto explains. pocket those savings.
9. Forgetting to cook lunch
If you can afford it, there is simply nothing better than going out to a cafe for lunch. But for those of us trying to save money, it’s not a good idea to “forget” your lunch every day. As Scott says, âSometimes it’s hard to find the time to prepare meals given our business, but spending money on breakfast or lunch every day can start to eat into your savings. Certainly not worth it.
10. Living without a budget
If you don’t have a daily budget, it’ll be far too easy to spend every penny you have. So take stock of budgeting, perhaps using a budgeting app. âBy budgeting with a reasonable amount of savings, you are taking a step in the right direction,â says Scotto. “Over time, you can become an expert at identifying what you should and shouldn’t be spending money on.”
11. Don’t work towards financial goals
While you don’t have to work out every day to reach your financial goals, it should still be something in the front of your brain. âI always advocate that my clients set monetary goals for where they want their savings accounts to be in a month, three months, or whatever time frame they want,â said Trent Silver, career expert and in Personal Finance for Millennials at Bustle. “It’s a lot more rewarding when you reach your goals.”
Because let’s be honest, there’s no denying the allure of a fine coffee shop or an online shopping spree. But if you want to save yourself financial trouble, these things are definitely not something you want to do on a daily basis.
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