Habits are the regular tendencies we have that are hard to break. They are the things we do over and over without even thinking about. Our habits shape our lives – both for the good and the bad.
Even if you have the best of intentions, you can still find yourself getting into trouble with your money.
If you’ve been struggling with your finances, take a look at this list to make sure you’re not sabotaging yourself with these bad habits.
You’ll never stay afloat financially—never mind 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’re bringing in and where it’s all going. It enables you to make changes that help you save more money and avoid going into the red each month.
Relying On Credit to Pay The Bills
Credit is expensive and if not used properly is a trap! If you’re using credit to cover basic things like food or rent or are using it for mindless purchases (like a vacation or new clothes) you need to remedy the situation.
While it’s true that at some point you might need to rely on debt – say, for a mortgage, education expenses or an investment property – it should be done with extreme care and planning. Do not use credit cards or any other form of debt to cover your bills.
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.
Quit these bad habits and your life, not just your wallet, will be happier for it.
Living without an Emergency Fund
If you don’t have an emergency fund, your life is a high-wire act with no safety net. Emergencies are inevitable. Life is full of them.
Make a commitment to change. Write down your pledge and put it where you’ll see it. This will allow it to reinforce your resolve. Keep the change at the forefront of your mind and tell yourself continually, “I can do this.”
Failing To Save For the Future
Another challenge is to put money into savings each month. This could be money that you find by saving on your grocery budget each month. It could be a set amount that you put aside from each paycheck. Look for ways to increase your savings. Start paying yourself each month. Soon the money will start adding up.