We are creatures of habit, and the very definition of habitual behaviours is that they’re very difficult to unlearn. For the longest time, I had barely anything in my savings account because I would spend almost every penny on whatever I felt like buying.
It took me a while to get my act together—I’m still working on it—but now that I’m starting to straighten out my financial situation, I only wish I did so sooner. Take it from me and do yourselves a favour: quit these bad money habits and you’ll thank yourself in the future.
1. Overspending on convenience
Do you buy lunch every day? How many Uber trips do you take in a week? Do you get your groceries delivered to you? There are so many services out there designed to streamline our life—for a price. Convenience is great and all, but if you’re regularly paying a premium for goods and services, that adds up.
What you can do instead: Cook your own meals and bring a packed lunch to work instead. Take the train. Doing a few minor adjustments to your life can make a huge difference in your bank account.
2. Impulse buying
We all know our weaknesses. Some of us can’t resist a beautiful pair of shoes. Others keep buying the same shade of lipstick from different brands, like a Pokemon trainer trying to catch them all. If you have a tendency to make purchases based on emotions, take precautionary steps to avoid doing so.
What you can do instead: Try leaving your credit card locked up in a drawer at home, or simply giving yourself some time before you decide to buy something. When I go shopping online, I just add things to the cart, then I close the tab. If I still want it two days later, then I’ll let myself click the purchase button.
3. Blowing money on vices
We’re not just talking cigarettes and alcohol, though those are things you should definitely cut back on if you want to take care of your financial and physical health. If you have a weakness for a particular thing—it could be chocolate, video games, or even something as wholesome as books—you should be intentional about spending less.
What you can do instead: If only it were that easy to just throw away your cigarettes! If you can’t go cold turkey, cut back little by little until you totally phase these vices out of your life. If you have a problem with video games or binge-watching, find a more productive and fun way to use your time.
If you have vices that affect your health, pick up a new hobby that will motivate you to quit them, like running or wall climbing. If your vice is recreational, spend more of your time doing something fun and productive. Listen to an entertaining podcast while you clean your room. Take a dance class with a friend. The sooner you quit your habits and find balance, the sooner you’ll take control of your spending.
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