Bad habits don’t only occur in early childhood. As you get older, you may not notice the bad habits that are affecting your finances too.
So if you’ve been struggling to get ahead, today’s post is all about changing the way you think about money and how you spend it. We’ll uncover the top bad money habits you need to break right now to start living a rich life.
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- Hulu Live TV Review: The Best Alternative to Cable
6 Bad Habits That Are Destroying Your Budget
1) Comparing Yourself to Others
We’ve all done it, right? Plus social media makes it so hard not to.
Facebook was a huge trigger for me. It low-key sent me into a deep depression.
Every time I opened my phone and started scrolling down my timeline, I’d see someone else living a life I thought I wanted:
- I wasn’t skinny enough, so I wasted money on fad diets.
- I didn’t feel pretty enough, so I wasted money on makeup that I barely use because I don’t feel like putting it on.
- My clothes weren’t the trendiest, so I started buying stuff that now I don’t even wear.
You see? Comparing yourself to others only makes you feel unhappy with yourself – and you start wasting money just to keep up with the Joneses.
2) Impulsive Shopping
Have you’ve ever walked into a store to grab ONE thing but came out with extra bags in your hands? That’s exactly what impulsive shopping is, and it’s a bad money habit to have.
The many distractions, sales, and promotions inside stores make it so hard not to get sucked in and buy on emotion (I’m guilty of it too).
Especially if you’re shopping while mad, stressed out, happy, bored, or even tired – we ALL have our weaknesses.
A great way to combat this is to shop online. And you can save extra money too when you join Ebates. It’s a free website that gives you CASH BACK on your normal online purchases you’re going to make anyway!
That’s what I love about it. I go through Ebates to do all of my online shopping so I can maximize my savings. It’s super easy to use and such a great way to earn free cash just for shopping!
So the best advice I can give if you have a tendency to shop on impulse is to ask yourself, do I really need this right now? Is there a better solution for getting what I want?
Reasoning with yourself in that moment may seem silly, but it’ll keep you from feeling buyers remorse later.
3) Not Tracking Expenses
If you think you don’t need to create a budget and start tracking your spending, you’re kidding yourself.
Those little, innocent purchases add up fast. It’s easy to think they won’t affect your budget, but they do.
My biggest struggle was eating out. There would be many nights and weekends I didn’t feel like cooking, but I definitely didn’t realize how much money we were spending until I started using Mint – a free personal finance software that helps you manage your money, pay bills, and more.
It showed me that we were wasting almost $300 each month on fast food – whoa!
So the purpose of tracking your expenses is not to make you feel guilty. When you can see where your money is going, you’re able to budget smarter, reduce excess spending, and increase your savings.
4) Putting Off Debt
Having debt sucks. It makes you feel like you’re trapped and you’ll never get out.
That’s why many people are afraid to face it. It’s embarrassing and overwhelming.
But ignoring your bills isn’t going to make it disappear. Plus, waiting until next the last minute to pay them is another bad money habit that leads to unnecessary late fees.
It’s also good to know how much debt you have so you can start getting rid of it sooner than later. Checking your credit score and report is a great place to start!
You can get a free credit report in minutes on CreditSesame.
It’ll show you who and what you owe so you can start making payment arrangements with creditors. They will also monitor your credit profile every month for free!
5) Not Saving Money
This is the worst money habit to have. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have an emergency fund – even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck you can still save.
Plus, having an emergency fund will keep you from pulling out your credit cards to cover unexpected expenses.
So if you’re on a tight budget, I recommend starting saving in small amounts. Just deposit $1-$5 each week into a savings account so it’ll be there whenever you need it.
6) Living Beyond Your Means
This is where tracking your expenses/spending comes to play. It’ll help you analyze where your money is going.
For example, when I became a stay-at-home mom, one of the first things we did was downsize our home. Now I realize not everyone is willing and able to do this, but it was a sacrifice we were happy to make.
The next thing we did was evaluate what high bills we could reduce and/or eliminate altogether. So we switched to a lower-cost cell phone plan and we still watch Live TV without paying for cable.
Just doing these two things saves us an extra $200+ every month!
So as you go over your living expenses, see what areas you can cut out of your budget to afford more of the things you love.
What to do now?
The good news is these bad money habits can be broken (with a little help, of course). So I want to share a roundup of my favorite products and services I highly recommend to help get you on the right track today!
- Sign up for free websites like Ebates that give you CASH BACK just for spending like you normally would online. This service is 100% FREE! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you’ll get a free $10 bonus gift card!
- Check your credit score for free with CreditSesame. In just minutes you’ll be able to see your full credit report without impacting your score. This is the first step towards getting out of debt (and you’ll be glad you did)! You can sign up to see your free credit score here.
- Cut your TV bill. You can buy an HD antenna (this is the one we use) to get FREE local channels! We also subscribe to Hulu Live TV – we watch live sports, news, entertainment, and more (plus Hulu’s entire streaming library) all for just $39/month.
- Spend less on food. I recently joined the $5 Meal Plan to help me cook more meals at home so we’re not always eating out. You’ll get personalized meal plans right in your inbox each week that are cheap & easy to make! (Plus you can try it FREE for two whole weeks!) We’ve been able to cut our grocery bill in half and I can’t tell you how happy I am that I don’t have to sit around thinking of dinner ideas anymore!
- Lower your cell phone bill. We were paying over $150 for their cell phone plan, so we made the switch from Sprint to MetroPCS and it saved us over $100. But there are other cell phone companies like Republic Wireless that have plans starting at just $15/month!!! YES, $15! (You can even keep your cell phone and your phone number too!) I haven’t used them personally, but I know plenty of friends and family who have for years without any issues.
- Use coupons. I am NOT one of those coupon hoarders, but I do love saving money on groceries with the Ibotta app. All you have to do is upload a picture of your receipts and they give you CASH BACK on your grocery items! You can sign up for free and get a $10 Bonus!
What bad money habits do you have?
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