4 Bad Habits That Keep You From Saving Money

by Yuchen Wu, Student Blogger

Have you ever had this moment where you said to yourself “Geez, how did I spend so much money this month?” when paying off your credit card balance or checking on your banking accounts? Well, I have…and that is not new to me at all. In fact, I had to make a serious “investigation” on all my transactions, hoping to find some sort of scam or fraudulent charge. Not surprisingly, I always found out that I overspent on something unnecessary. So, let’s face it – we all have bad habits that keep ourselves from saving. But, no worries–let’s break them and let them no longer hurt us.

So, what are the common bad habits?

1. Buying things you don’t need.

This usually happens due to impulse spending. Do you really need those shoes? Think about the difference between wants and needs. Take a moment to determine whether you’re wasting money on something you don’t actually need.

2. Buying things you already own

Do you need to buy lunch or dinner at a restaurant when you have food in your fridge? Do you need to buy coffee at Starbucks when you can make it at home? Take a moment and really think about it. Stop buying things you already own can help you save so much money.

3. Not budgeting

Not having a budget in place can cause overspending. There are many different ways to budget—pick the style that works for you.

4. Not knowing how much money you have

Some people don’t even know how much money they have. This can be the worst thing because you might easily spend more than you have. Knowing how much you have will allow you to keep better track of your spending habits and help you steer clear of falling even deeper into debt.

Changing bad habits entails your readiness to act, and it’s frequently been said that “it takes just 21 days to change a habit.” According to Bankrate, “habits change more quickly when you’re in the action stage versus the ambivalence or preparation stages that come before.” To catapult you into action, Bankrate recommends this three-step approach daily:

  • Create a positive picture in your mind of the result you want, and act as if the bad habit is gone. Use a negative picture of the current stressful result of the bad habit to push yourself further toward action.
  • Identify and focus on your positive financial habits, as proof you can do things the right way.
  • Create simple rules to fall back on when tempted, such as: “Don’t browse shopping websites until all my bills are paid this month.

Give it 21 days to break your bad money habits—and hopefully you’ll soon be watching your bank account grow!

 

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