By Ryan Velez
From health to work to just about any facet of life, how you handle your finances is an area full of bad habits to be picked up. Oftentimes, they can sneak up on you without you even knowing that you are doing them, but like junk food or no sleep, their effects pile up over time. A recent Black Enterprise article profiles some common bad money habits that can be destructive, but also show positive results right away when you stop. If you find some of these activities and techniques as a part of your regular habits, you many want to start dumping them now, no matter how entrenched they may be.
Perhaps one of the easiest traps to fall into in your daily life stems from a noble aim to declutter: not checking your financial statements. Maybe you let your bank statements sit on the desk or in your email inbox, whatever your preference. However, it’s easy to miss important details if you don’t take the few seconds to scan things over. After all, how can you say how you are doing financially if you don’t actually look? Mistakes and fraud can also drain your money quick. As a rule of thumb, check your credit or debit accounts once or twice a week.
Another thing that may be hurting your finances is a series of little expenses rolling into one large bill. Coffee, snacks, impulse buys, all these items can become a strain on your budget. Especially dangerous is walking into a store with an aim to only get a few things and ending up with a full basket. Be sure to keep an eye not only on what you are buying but why you are buying it. If you don’t need it, try to do your best to go without, for your budget’s sake.
Similar to the first item, the noble impulse to try and save can lead to you taking part in “deals” that ultimately hurt your money in the end. For example, you may peruse flash sales and similar sites on the prowl for a deal, but forget and end up buying a voucher that expires before you can actually use it. First of all, remember that the endgame of a company or service is to get you to buy, and deals and sales are a means to that end. Just because you feel like you are getting a steal doesn’t really mean anything if you bought something you didn’t need in the first place. The rush of that limited offer or 50% off deal will always be tempting, but cutting those out of your purchases is one of the best things you can do for your wallet.