The way you handle money strongly determines your financial status. Your habits towards money would determine if you would be financially successful or if you would constantly battle financial crises. Tens of millions of people worldwide are struggling with severe financial challenges simply because they have some bad money habits.
This category of people may have a stable source of income, yet they still get to struggle financially because of the bad habits they have towards spending and managing money.
If you are currently facing difficulties with your finances, you may be suffering these setbacks because of your bad money habits. Thankfully, this post will explore the most common bad habits that can drastically cause your finances to crumble.
Perhaps by the time you are done with this piece of information, you must have gained insight into how to break bad money habits and improve your finances.
What Are Bad Money Habits?
Bad money habits are the typical bad behaviors concerning the utility and management of finances that prove unhealthy for your financial status. For instance, a person’s unwillingness to save money periodically is a bad money habit that could result in lasting financial problems.
On the other hand, you may not even be conscious that you have certain bad money habits. In this case, you need to evaluate your attitude towards your finances to identify the things you are not doing appropriately.
How Do You Break Bad Money Habits?
You can only break bad money habits when you adopt good money habits. For example, if you are not used to saving money (a bad money habit), you can break this habit by developing a savings habit, which is a good financial habit.
Why Bad Money Habits Hurt Your Finances
If you care about your finances, you should break bad money habits as soon as possible. These bad habits towards money can prevent you from reaching your financial goals, and as a result, set you up for financial failure. You would continue living from paycheck to paycheck without having anything significant to show for it.
Think about emergency expenses. Set up an emergency fund to help you get prepared for unplanned expenses. This is very important if you must sustain your finances and avoid severe money problems such as debt.
Bad Money Habits To Drop
There are numerous bad money habits, yet the most common is impulse buying. Impulse buying has eaten up many people’s finances, leaving them stranded in debt. If there is any bad money habit you have to drop, it must be impulse buying.
It doesn’t matter if you earn tens of thousands of dollars every month; impulse buying can crumple your finances in a short time.
To avoid bad habits like impulse buying, you must learn to work with a budget. You should create a monthly budget that covers all your necessary expenses and still leaves room for you to have savings.
Creating a budget is not a complex process. If you don’t know how to set up a working budget for yourself, you should consider checking this detailed guide on how to budget your money using a simple 5-step process.
Also, another common bad money habit you must quit right now is your inability to build an emergency fund. Many people don’t see the need to have an emergency fund because they feel it is not relevant.
Nonetheless, the truth is that an emergency fund is a lifesaver, and it’s something you can always fall back on when you are faced with expenses that are not on your budget. Without an emergency budget, you may begin to incur debt you could have avoided initially.
Why Do People Pick Up Bad Money Habits
People pick up bad money habits for money reasons. For instance, if you don’t have financial literacy, you will easily pick up bad money habits. This is because you lack basic education and insight into how money is supposed to be spent and managed.
As soon as you learn how to improve your finances, you will deliberately have to break up these habits.
On the other hand, people may pick up bad money habits because they are unnecessarily lazy, and they find it hard to save money, live frugally, and even increase their cash flow. As a result, they adopt some everyday bad money habits that make them struggle financially.
I still remember when I had my first paid employment back in college. It was a part-time job I juggled with schooling. However, the pay was not bad at all. I could afford almost anything I needed at the time, including my rent, nice clothes, and gadgets.
But sadly, there was something I wasn’t doing right. I wasn’t saving any money from my paycheck, which is one of the bad money habits examples we will examine in the latter part of this post.
I did this because I believed I’d always have money to spend, and I would always get a paycheck. But fortunately, I realized my mistake, and I adjusted immediately.
The truth is, this is one of the reasons people pick up bad money habits. They believe there would always be cash flow and money for them to spend. This is a very wrong mindset, and it would lead you to make bad decisions regarding your finances.
Top 5 Bad Money Habits You Should Quit Right Now
Sometimes it’s not about how much money you earn. What matters is how you manage the money you earn. Here are 5 bad money habits to avoid if you must know how to manage and leverage your income effectively:
1. Impulse Buying
Impulse buying is one of the bad financial habits to stop. It is a terrible loophole that causes financial instability and prevents you from growing your income. Most times, people fall victim to impulse buying because they fail to understand that it’s impossible to purchase everything.
In a nutshell, you can’t have everything you want no matter how many resources you think you have. Even the world’s richest man can’t buy everything on earth, and his capacity is not up to that. The sooner you understand this, the better for you because it would save you a lot of money.
It’s possible your savings in a month can be increased by 20% if you decide to be prudent with your spending.
Take your time to examine your previous expenses and identify the wrong things you spent your hard-earned money on. Once you are convinced that your spending habit is inappropriate, you should adjust immediately. Avoid impulse buying to save your finances from crashing.
Another thing you must understand about impulse buying as a bad money habit is that it doesn’t matter whether you are a high-income earner or someone who gets a small paycheck; you would face the consequences if you don’t stop your impulse purchases.
2. Shopping For Status
People have different things that give them a sense of prestige and confidence. For some people, it’s shopping. They shop for status and send the message to others that they have what it takes to get what they want.
If this is something you do, you must help yourself right now by quitting such a habit. You don’t need to impress anyone, no matter how pressured you are to do so.
This is why it’s advisable to shop alone instead of visiting the store with friends or colleagues. When you shop alone, you may not feel the pressure to impress anyone or define your status through your purchases.
But when you go on group shopping, you would be tempted to emulate the spending style of others. Even if you have a budget, you will exceed the budget just to prove a point.
This is one of the bad money habits you must avoid. Always shop alone. Even if you are invited by your friends to go on shopping, find a way to exempt yourself. This is one of the best decisions you can make if you want to succeed financially.
3. Racking Up Credit Card Debt
Sometimes, you may be reluctant to pay your credit card balances completely. Make sure you resist this temptation and void racking up credit card debt. This is one of the bad money habits examples many people are guilty of, especially people who use multiple credit cards.
Always pay your balances in full even if you feel you don’t have enough money to cover the expense. As long as you are not suffering from bankruptcy, ensure you pay your credit card debt in full.
One of the main reasons people cannot pay their credit card debt in full is because they have racked up so much debt, and the amount being owed now becomes too much to pay off. Hence, they keep piling up the debt and worsening their financial problem.
If you are dealing with a situation like this, don’t be deterred. What you need at this point is the utmost focus on paying down your credit card debt and making it your primary financial goal. With time, you would pull through.
But more importantly, you can avoid incurring credit card debt yourself by shopping with cash. Don’t always use your credit card to purchase items. Use cash instead because it would limit your spending power and secure your finances.
4. Not Saving Money
If you are not saving money at this point, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Savings habit is vital if you want to grow your income and avoid debt.
One of the common excuses people have when it comes to savings is that they don’t earn enough money. While this is true, you should not let it stop you from saving a portion of your income every month. If your paycheck is truly small, you must find ways to increase your cash flow.
Fortunately, the United States is a country where you can work multiple jobs and increase your earnings. You can also try out freelancing if that’s what interests you.
Remember, you need to plan for your retirement, and you also need to build an emergency fund you can always fall back on when the need arises.
These things can’t be accomplished without savings. Hence, you should create a savings plan and ways to boost your income if there is a need to. Thankfully, there are numerous simple techniques that can help you save money as you go.
Here is an insightful article that reveals some of the best money-saving tips you can start trying now to save money for your benefit.
5. Spending On Your Wants Instead Of Your Needs
Spending your wants instead of your needs is one of the bad financial habits to stop if you want to succeed financially. Always focus on your needs when spending money, and this is why it’s important to create a budget.
A good budget is meant to include only your needs, things you can’t do without; purchases you must make to live your life as it should be.
When you spend on only the things you honestly need, you will be able to live below your means. Your finances would be kept under control because your spending is moderate.
Another good thing about spending on your needs instead of your wants is the fact that you would be able to save because extra money would be derived from irrelevant purchases you ignore.
The Bottom Line On Bad Money Habits
Bad money habits can ruin your finances. Hence, it would help if you learned how to erase them from your lifestyle. Anything that causes harm to your finances should be stopped. Instead, adopt good money habits.
Learn to do things that would sustain and improve your financial life. Manage your money effectively by using a good budget. Lastly, don’t be reluctant to save. It’s a part of the process of sustaining your income.
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