When you got your last paycheck, what did you do? Did you faithfully pay your bills or did you go out and spend the money willy nilly? Will you have money left over when you get your next check or will you scrimp and save until your next payday? If you answered the later to either of those questions, chances are good that you’ve got at least one bad habit that is keeping you broke.
A lot of the time we don’t realize how badly our habits affect our finances. If your habit isn’t an obvious one, you can overlook it completely for months (or even years) and never figure out that it is indeed your fault that you’re always broke. If you’re constantly asking yourself where your money has gone, take a look at these 8 Bad Habits That Will Keep You Broke. You might just surprise yourself by finding one or more that you have an issue with.
8 Bad Habits That Will Keep You Broke
Not planning your grocery shopping for meals. When you go to the grocery store to do your grocery shopping, do you shop for meals with a list or are you going through grabbing what you can and what looks good? If you are not shopping with a list and you’re not shopping specifically to make meals, you’ll very likely end up wasting money by purchasing mostly unhealthy foods and snacks instead of items for full meals. This will cost you significantly overtime in your grocery budget.
Leaving lights and/or electronics turned on. While it might not seem like a huge cost increase at first, over time the cost of leaving your lights and unused electronics turned on can add up. You could be adding as much as $500 per year onto your electric bill just with those lights, ceiling fans, and vampire electronics (i.e. an electrical item that draws power even if it is turned off). To help combat the cost, put your lights and ceiling fans on timers and unplug those electronics when you’re not using them.
Driving when you don’t really need to. Are you able to walk or ride your bike more often than you currently are? If so, you could probably save yourself a few hundred dollars (or more) each year. When you drive too much, you not only need to factor in the cost of gasoline but also repair and maintenance costs for your car as well. By driving less, you will pay less for those costs and save yourself money over time.
Living above your means. We all want to have nice things in our lives, but going into debt or spending money that we don’t have is a bad habit that we all need to get away from. Living above your means and trying to “keep up with the Joneses” can not only keep you broke but can actually destroy your financial future. To save yourself money, make sure that you are living within your means and aren’t paying more than you can truly afford (or need) for your home, gadgets, car and every other aspect of your life.
Having a disorganized home. Being disorganized at home is a major bad habit that will cause you to spend more than you should. It can cause you to buy things that you already own, to miss payments on misplaced bills, to let things expire without being used, and more. All because you were so disorganized that you couldn’t see what you actually owned. If you’re currently disorganized, go room by room and de-clutter. Sell what you can to make yourself a little bit of money and donate what you can’t. Your budget will thank you.
Running too many errands. Do you have a set day that you run errands or do you just pop out whenever you remember to do something? If you are finding yourself running errands more than once or so each week, you’re running them too often. This can be a huge issue for your budget and not for the cost of gas. When you’re out and about, you tend to spend more money. A drink picked up here, lunch picked up there, an impulse buy in the store, and before you know it, you’re broke. To help combat this bad habit, keep your errands to once or twice a week on the same day.
Not drinking enough water. This one is one that may not be obvious but if you’re not drinking enough water, it can actually cost you money. When you don’t drink enough water you could cause severe health issues. Those issues cost you money. Not to mention that if you’re replacing water with sodas or expensive drinks, you’re costing yourself money that way as well.
Not having a menu. Finally, if you’re not planning a menu each month there is no doubt that you are costing yourself quite a bit in excess groceries. Just like shopping without a list or without meals in mind can cost you, not planning what those meals are can too. Make sure that you’re at least planning out dinners for your family and you’ll cut your grocery expenses even more than you already have.