It’s the end of the month and you check your bank balance—where has it all gone?
With debit cards and online shopping, it’s easier than ever to spend more money than we anticipated, leaving us sad at the sight of an empty checkbook. Is there anything you can do about it?
Yes—make 2021 the year you get your finances in order. There are plenty of bad spending habits that hold us back, keeping us from reaching our goals.
By focusing more on budgeting and saving, you’ll find it easier to save for big milestones like purchasing a car or saving enough for a home down payment.
Ready to improve your habits with money? If so, keep reading to find nine bad spending habits you need to break right away—and what you should do instead.
Ever see an ad for something online and decide instantly that you absolutely have to have it? Whether it’s online or in a shop, we’ve all been guilty of making impulse purchases.
The problem is, they are often things we don’t even need—we are tricked by savvy marketing campaigns.
Improve your spending habits by being aware of impulse buying and trying hard to avoid it. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it’s something you really need, then sleep on it before deciding.
Meal Delivery Services
Another night of Uber Eats for dinner? It’s easy to get caught up in the convenience of meal delivery services, but the costs add up over time.
In addition to the cost of the food, you’re also paying a delivery fee plus a tip. Practice smart spending habits by cutting down on the number of times you order food each month.
Cooking at home is always the most cost-effective way to eat, but if you do order food, try to pick it up instead of getting it delivered.
Late fees are a sneaky way we lose money. We can be charged late fees for just about anything, including overdue library books, cancelling a gym class, or neglecting to pay a bill on time.
Avoid losing your money to late fees by being organized. Make a calendar or spreadsheet that outlines what is due, and when, so that you don’t get hit with unwanted charges.
Credit Card Interest
When it comes to money management, you’ll want to be on top of your credit cards. Ideally, pay off your credit card balance each month so that you can avoid interest charges.
Credit card interest fees can be steep, and they only increase exponentially the longer you wait to pay them off. Try to pay off your card balances before putting money into savings, as living debt-free is the best financial management tip we can offer!
Online entertainment is convenient, but how many streaming services do you really need? The average American subscribes to three streaming services—they may only be a few dollars each month, but this adds up quickly over a year.
With choices like Netflix, Spotify, and Disney Plus all vying for our wallets, try to limit your consumption and cancel the plans you aren’t using very often. You probably won’t even notice they’re gone and your wallet is sure to thank you.
Forgetting to Budget
Do you make a budget each month—then check it every so often to make sure you’re on track? If not, you’re setting yourself up to fail—you can’t improve your spending habits until you know how much money you can afford to spend and how much you should be saving.
Budgeting is a simple concept, but it can take some time to set up if it’s all new to you. Luckily, there are plenty of financial services that can help you improve your financial health.
Too Many Nights Out
We all love nights out and dinners with friends, but a few rounds of cocktails can easily put you over budget for the week—not to mention the discomfort of the next day’s hangover!
Try to be careful when you’re out about how much you spend—especially when you’re drinking and your inhibitions are lowered.
However, being careful about spending money doesn’t mean you shouldn’t socialize—just try to plan more free or low-cost activities, like picnics or a dinner party.
Purchasing Clothes You’ll Never Actually Wear
We’ve all done it—purchased a super trendy piece of clothing, but then never actually worn it. Clothes are expensive, so don’t waste your money on things that you won’t get much use from.
It’s better to invest in well-made, classic items of clothing that you can wear and enjoy for years to come.
Gambling is definitely a bad money habit you’ll want to break. They say the house always wins, and it’s true—over time, you’re never going to come out ahead as a gambler.
Whether it’s lottery tickets, online betting, or trips to the casino, limit these expenses as much as you can. While it’s ok to enjoy a small flutter on occasion, be smart about how much you bet and what you can afford to spend.
Break These Bad Spending Habits This Year
Is 2021 going to be the year you reach your financial goals? Definitely–as long as you avoid these bad spending habits.
It can be hard to make changes, so start by going through your monthly debits and working out what you can get rid of easily. Then, make a plan for your finances and budgeting, ensuring you can save enough money for your future.
Get started today and watch your bank balance grow!
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