Do you remember your parents ever scolding you for a bad habit (like a spending habit, perhaps)? It could have been something like chewing on your fingernails, leaving your dirty clothes on the floor of your room, or excessively fidgeting. I bet most of you have at least one memory like this.
Well, the fact of the matter is that even if you don’t bite your nails anymore, you probably have a lot of bad habits that you still do today. Things like unhealthy eating or failing to workout are common.
Overspending is another bad habit. It’s one of the most common in adults of all ages.
Many of us have at least one bad money habit that we just can’t seem to put right. Part of the reason for this is that they’re habits in the first place. They’re things that we naturally do without thinking about even if we don’t really want to do them.
And that’s why they’re so important to break.
Below are three spending habits that many of us have. These things can seriously damage your savings and your credit and possibly even push you into debt. If you do any of these things, then you might want to start thinking about breaking them today.
1. Overusing Your Credit Card
Possibly the biggest and baddest money habit of all is overusing your credit card. It’s just so easy to pull it out of the wallet and charge everything on it!
But even though using your credit card is convenient, using it for all of your purchases can have seriously negative consequences. For one thing, it is hard to track the money that you are spending. When you can use a credit card for everything, you zone out and barely take note of your purchases.
As I’m sure you can imagine, the bill at the end of the month can be quite a shock.
And then there is the simple matter of credit card interest. When you use your credit card, you have to pay interest on almost all of your purchases. So why use it for items that you actually have the cash to buy?
2. Buying Discount Items That You Don’t Need
Everyone loves a good discount or a sale. I mean, when you can get something for 50% off, why not buy it?
Discounts can definitely be a blessing sometimes – but only when the item on sale is something that you need in the first place.
People fall into the trap of discount shopping by buying everything that is on sale. They see an item, notice it is on sale, and throw it in their cart – even if they don’t need it.
You might think that you are getting a deal by doing this but you’re really just wasting your money. It’s better to save your money for something that you actually need.
3. Pushing Bills Off Until Later – The Worst Spending Habit Of All
If you’re anything like me, then you sometimes push a bill or two off until later (oftentimes unopened). If you’re like my brother Al, then you push off all of your bills until later.
Both of these actions are bad habits. The best advice is to open your bills right when you get them, whether that is in the mail or on email. Furthermore, you should deal with the bill immediately, paying it off in full as soon as possible.
Pushing your bills aside for later is a bad spending habit because they are often forgotten. Or they form an overwhelming pile that is way too daunting to work through.
When you pay bills as you get them, you will stay more organized and you won’t have to wade through the task all at once. Better yet, making them individually rather than all at once spaces out your payments across a month and makes it seem like you’re paying less money. That’s how to break this spending habit.
You might also enjoy our post on 7 Solutions to Common Credit Card Headaches.