Hopefully, at one point you have thought about financial goals. Better yet, hopefully you have a plan to meet those goals...right? But maybe you’re unconsciously sabotaging meeting those goals. Expensive money habits are just as hard to break as other habits, but like with any problem, the first step is recognizing the problem.
Here are a few expensive habits identified by Forbes into which you may be falling prey. Start paying closer attention to your finances to figure out where to cut corners and finally start that vacay fund.
1. Getting takeout instead of eating your groceries
Americans are notorious for insane amounts of food waste. You probably went to the store with good intentions, bought loads of fresh veggies and fruits, and then...everything rotted. Because let’s face it: buying takeout is way easier after a late day at the office. Stop doing this by getting serious about meal planning. Look at your work schedule, and allow yourself takeout on days you know you won’t want to cook. For the rest, plan simple meals, crockpot foods, or premade meals in the freezer.
2. Convincing yourself that you “deserve” something you don’t really need
Hands up if you’ve talked yourself into buying ANOTHER expensive purse, wallet, watch, clothing article, etc. that you definitely did not need, per say, but wanted. It’s one thing to reward yourself for saving up to buy something expensive, or building it into your budget. But, if you did neither of those things, then set it back down. Find another way to reward yourself that’s affordable and fulfilling.
3. Ignoring bank and credit card statements
In an increasingly paperless world, it’s easy to overlook those emails notifying you that your statements are available for viewing. But check them out once in while. You might be paying for a subscription you never use and totally forgot about, or just the sight of the accrued interest on credit cards might shock you into prioritizing paying it down. Not to mention that we live in a world rife with identify theft and credit fraud. Review to make sure all the charges are actually yours.
4. Trying out a new hobby--and buying hundreds of dollars of gear for it
Some hobbies don’t require a big investment, while others do. Say you decide to go hiking. You invest in a hiking backpack, good boots, gear, summer-long park pass, and other gear. And then, after a night out, you realize you don’t really like hiking all that much. Yes, you can sell some of your gear to people (at a lower price than you paid, of course), but how much better would it have been to try it out on a smaller scale, or borrow gear before deciding to make big ticket purchases? Next time, rent or borrow equipment until you know the investment is worthwhile.
Expensive money habits are hard to break, but being able to recognize when you’re making a bad decision is a huge step forward. Do your best to stop bad behavior before it starts by investing more upfront, or putting more into savings that requires a process for withdrawal.