Even if you have the best of intentions, you can still find yourself getting into trouble with your money—especially if you have fallen into one of these dangerous money habits.If you’ve been struggling with your finances, take a look at this list to make sure you’re not sabotaging yourself with any of these bad habits.
1. Impulse Purchasing
Impulse purchases are all about emotion. You see a sale you don’t want to miss or an item you long to have immediately and you jump to buy it before you think rationally about whether you really need it or can really afford it. To curb impulse spending, force yourself to wait a certain period (it could be a day or 30) before pulling the trigger on a purchase. It will give you time to really think about your decision, and chances are you will realize you don’t really need it after all.
2. Not Budgeting
You will never stay afloat financially, never mind actually getting ahead if you don’t have a budget in place and know how to stick to it. A budget allows you to see how much money you are bringing in and where it’s all going and it enables you to make changes that help you save more money and avoid going into the red each month. Budgeting doesn’t have to be a big chore. Just follow the 50-30-20 rule: 50% of your money goes to necessities (rent, utilities, health care, groceries, etc.), 30% is for fun indulgences (shopping, charity, new gadget, entertainment) and 20% is put towards savings and debt repayment (if you have no debt, save the entire amount).
3. Relying on Credit Cards
Unless you are able to pay the balance off in full each month, using credit cards is one of the worst things you can do for your finances especially if you are using them to live above your means. Every Naira you put on a card will cost you many times more in interest, and you could spend years of your life and thousands of Naira paying down purchases you don’t even remember making anymore. No purchase is so important it’s worth that.
4. Love of Convenience
Every once in a while, a convenience purchase can be a nice treat or a necessary exception if you are in a great hurry. But if you find yourself regularly making convenience purchases, you are just being lazy and it’s costing you. Stop getting fast food every day and learn to make a few basic meals in bulk that you can enjoy throughout the week. Stop buying a pricey coffee on the way into work every morning and get up 5 minutes early to brew a cup at home. A little extra work on your part could wind up saving you big-time.
5. Personal Vices
Yes, this includes traditional “vices” like drinking, smoking and gambling. But it also includes less-obvious vices like eating out way too much or being a shopaholic anything that tempts you to spend large amounts of money you know you shouldn’t be spending.
Habits can be both easy and hard to form or break. That’s what makes them difficult to hold onto at times. Remember to start small, choose one thing at a time to tackle and celebrate wins along the way.
Quit these bad habits and your life, not just your wallet, will be happier for it.