Quit These Bad Habits to Save Money
There are hundreds of things we do every day without really thinking about them. These unconscious habits create routine and add rhythm to our daily lives. Unfortunately, some of them might be costing us a lot of money, too. If you’re just squeaking by between paychecks or stuck with a stagnant savings balance, take a look at your daily habits to see if there are things you could stop doing that will help you save money. Here are some of the top money-wasting habits and ways to start breaking them:
Smoking – Whether it’s a pack-a-day habit or a less frequent indulgence, smoking is costly – in every sense of the word. The current average price of a pack of cigarettes in the U.S. Is $5.51, with some states charging more than $12 a pack! Multiplied over a year, that’s a lot of money to spend on something that leaves nothing behind but potentially costly health problems. There’s no doubt quitting smoking is tough, but there are so many tools available to make it easier. Give yourself an incentive to quit by saving the money you’d normally spend on cigarettes for something meaningful, like a vacation with loved ones.
Recreational Shopping – Shopping online allows us to make purchases with as little as one click. It’s definitely convenient, but it can also be deadly to your budget, and a hard habit to break. The first step in kicking the habit is to avoid temptation. Take a few minutes to unsubscribe from all the emails you receive from your favorite retailers – out of sight; out of mind. But, the real key to curbing impulse buying is learning to distinguish between wants and needs and letting that dictate your purchasing decisions. To make not shopping a little more fun, download the app Things I Didn’t Buy to record your victories and track your savings.
Procrastinating – Let’s face it. We don’t put off something we enjoy doing. Procrastination usually involves things that aren’t very much fun, like paying bills or getting the oil changed. But you know what’s less fun? When procrastination makes that not-fun thing even more expensive in the long run through late fees or costly car repairs. Put safeguards in place to avoid the impulse to put things off. Set up auto-pay on recurring bills and reminders on your calendar. Tell yourself that a few minutes of annoyance today will help you save tomorrow.
Trips to the Vending Machine – It’s 3 o’clock and you’re feeling blah, so you hit up the nearest vending machine for a soda, some chips or a candy bar (or all three, yikes!) to help you make it through the rest of the day. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all regretted it after the fact. Not only is the energy you get from this purchase short-lived, you’ve also consumed loads of extra calories and spent several bucks in the process. Steer clear of vending machine temptation by keeping a stock of healthier snacks on-hand and staying hydrated and nourished throughout the day to avoid cravings.