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Financial Habits to Avoid and Adopt

In “Bad habits, or lack of habits, can make finances worse than necessary, “ Daily Journal discusses the things we do that cost us more money than they should.

Years ago there was a lot of talk about the ‘latte factor,’ small items people buy that they really don’t need that cost them more than they should in the  long run. The habit of buying little luxuries isn’t the only thing that keeps people from saving, investing, and paying down debt. Here are a few habits that drain your bank account:

Impulse Purchases/Shopping without a List: Of course you are open to temptation just by being in a store or shopping online but when you shop without a list, you leave yourself wide open. When you keep a list going (whether on paper or by using an app) you can make it a little more difficult stray. And list aren’t just for food either. You can make lists for when you go shopping for clothes, gifts, and household items.

While you may buy something that is not on your list, having the list as a guide can instill discipline. You can compete with yourself to see how close you can stick to the list. And if you buy things that are not on the list, you can tighten your budget elsewhere.

As the article points out, “It’s unlikely a pack of gum bought in a moment of weakness will sink your entire future; however, when you get into the practice of buying items without considering their overall impact, you head down the wrong road.”

Piling on Late Fees: Forgetting to pay a bill now and then happens but if you regularly pay late fees you are really hurting your financial future. There are a number of ways to tackle this including setting up automated bill payments or setting reminders so you can remember to pay the bills on time. Reminders also work if your late fees are not connected to bills but to borrowing and rentals, such as library books or sports equipment.