22 Feb 5 Bad Financial Habits You Should Drop Immediately
Are you left wondering at the end of every month why you still can’t seem to meet your financial savings goals? Chances are you still have a bad financial habit or two that’s secretly draining your bank account. Here are five bad financial habits that you should drop immediately if you happen to be guilty of them.
Not having a budget.
Now’s the time to stop being disorganized and start tracking what you’re actually taking in and spending every month. Many people go through each paycheck, “winging it” as far as budgeting their money goes. Typically this habit results in your not having as much discretionary money to spend as you originally anticipated, and for many it can even result in debt. Getting organized with your money is now simpler than ever with the help of online spreadsheets and apps that make budgeting a cinch.
Not planning out your meals.
This habit has a lot more to do with finance than you might think. When you plan out your meals every week (and which things you may need to buy in bulk every month), you can make better financial decisions at the grocery store and prepare meals ahead of time that will keep you from eating out on a whim—a major money thief. Think about it: spending just an extra $5 every workday ends up costing you an extra $100 per month.
We all do it to some extent—picking up that candy in the checkout aisle in the grocery store, shopping for clothing online late at night when you’re stressed, going on a major shopping excursion to find the perfect (though unnecessary) decor for that party you’re throwing, etc. Watch for the things that commonly trigger you to buy things on impulse, and make it a habit to avoid these triggers. Impulse shopping has a way of taking hold of money that should be delegated to other areas in your budget, so it’s important to drop it as a habit as quickly as you can.
Not looking over your credit card statements.
If you’re paying off your credit card bill every month, great. That’s an essential first step towards attaining strong financial stability. But there may very well be something you’re forgetting to do here: looking over your credit card statement before making your payment each month. Study your credit card statement every month to make sure that your bank isn’t sneaking any extra charges and to ensure that no one has made any unauthorized purchases using your card. It’s also a great opportunity to assess what you’re spending on and to pinpoint areas where you might improve your spending habits.
Dipping into your emergency fund for non-emergencies.
Your emergency fund is meant for just that: emergencies. It should be there for you when you’re facing unexpected medical bills, car repairs, funeral expenses, etc. Don’t dip into it to help you pay for things like an extravagant vacation or special occasion outfit.