If it always feels like you are broke, it could be that you have small money draining habits that are making you spend money bit by bit. It may not seem like it, but small amounts add up, especially if you are in the habit of doing something that is killing your budget. Even if you don’t spend frivolously and allow yourself to spend one extra dollar a day, you are spending $30 a month on that one thing. When you are on a budget, that can mean the difference between having groceries for a couple days or not. Here are 6 Money Draining Habits You Need to Break and how to eliminate these behaviors to avoid unnecessary spending.
6 Money Draining Habits You Need to Break
1. Daily coffee or soda runs. This is a big one and a common one for most people. If it isn’t caffeine that gets you, try to think of other habits you have on a daily basis that you convince yourself are OK because it’s so ‘cheap’. For coffee, make it at home. It’s pretty simple and easy to avoid this money trap. If it’s a snack you always grab at a drive thru, figure out how to make it at home. I can almost bet it’s a lot cheaper to do that. For instance, I love breakfast sandwiches. I started making them at home a week’s worth at a time and saved myself so much money. It only took me about 15 minutes to do, too.
2. Using too much of a product. It is super easy to overuse things like soap, hair products, and lotion. If you find yourself doing this, you are probably spending more on these items than you need to because you run out too quickly. To solve this, train yourself to use less by applying a small rubber-band around the pump of these products so less comes out until you get the hang of it. You don’t need as much as you think you do in most cases.
3. Eating out too frequently. This one is such a hard habit to break for us. We struggled for years with eating out because we were tired, bored, rushed, lazy, you name it. To help solves this problem, I started batch-cooking ahead of time in order to save me time later so it was really as simple as assembling and seasoning later in the week. No more excuses.
4. Not comparing prices before making purchases. It is imperative that you compare prices on large purchases, but what about small ones? I try to find the best deal I can on anything over $20 as a general rule. I do this by using several apps such as the Amazon app to see if I can get it cheaper online or elsewhere. Having these apps makes it less of a hassle and I can’t tell you how much money I have saved.
5. Not paying attention to your accounts. Do you just leave your bank accounts and credit card accounts alone, barely checking them because you assume everything is going smoothly? This can be a very bad habit because these are many times I have caught over charges as well as fees that were not supposed to be there by frequently checking my accounts. To make it easy, I have the sites that I can log into bookmarked on my phone. I don’t use the apps for financial institutions because I worry about them too much, but having the login pages bookmarked makes it so simple. Try to check at least once every week or two.
6. Paying bills late. When you are on a tight budget, paying bills late can become a very easy habit to fall into. It is imperative that you get out of this rut if you can, though. With companies charging bigger late fees and convenience fees now, you could easily be paying $50 -$100 in late fees by doing this. Avoid this by setting up auto-pay from your bank account or credit card and set reminders for yourself to remember dates.