Are Bad Habits Hurting Your Finances?
One of the keystones of personal finance is discipline. This means having the ability to curb your spending and resist impulses that will waste your funds. However, we all have bad habits that can not only affect our health and well-being but also take a toll on our finances.
Frugal Rules recently took at look at seven common bad habits that cost you money. Some of these are no surprise including drinking, smoking, and fast food. Meanwhile other habits like “putting others first” may seem like good traits on the surface but don’t do any favors for your finances.
As I alluded to earlier, health and the cost of care factor into a lot of these habits more than you might think. For example, their sixth habit is “ignoring preventative care.” Skipping regular check-ups to save a few dollar could lead to more serious health problems that also happen to carry much higher price tags. This actually equates nicely with their number three habit: gambling.
Even though it’s only number four on the list, perhaps the most important habit to shake is “staying in debt.” While far too many people are content to keep paying the minimum on their credit cards, doing so will cost you far more money in the long run. So stop thinking of your debt as just a number on a piece of paper or your computer screen that can be ignored and start thinking about how much you’re wasting on interest. Sidenote: one good way to kick this habit is to look at debt consolidation via a personal loan.
Just like smoking or drinking can be addicting, so are many of these other bad financial habits. As the article points out, the first step in correcting these behaviors is to realize there’s a problem. This doesn’t mean you need to start attending SA (Spenders Anonymous… it could exist, right?) meetings, but here is a four-step plan for addressing these bad habits:
- Acknowledge those habits that are costing you the most.
- Make the decision to cut these habits out of your life (or budget appropriately for them).
- Make amends to your bank account whenever possible by depositing the money you would have spent on a bad habit.
- Encourage others in their financial recovery.
Yes, just like AA, having someone to encourage you on your financial path can be a blessing. Whether it’s a spouse, a friend, or even an app like Mint, have someone (or something) check in with you to make sure you’re staying on track and meeting your personal finance goals. Good luck!