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Every action you take in your daily life, big or small, either builds or destroys your financial future. When small actions become habits, then we might have a case of self-sabotage.
Most people are aware of the most common wasteful habits, and they even criticize them in other people, but when you look at the mirror there’s yourself, with room for improvement.
Let’s talk about 5 kinds of habits with a big potential of causing you to waste money, and their corresponding tips for improvement.
5 Habits That Cause You To Waste Money
1. Food Habits
From apparently cheap fast food, thru your daily coffee stop, all the way to fancy restaurants, your eating habits might be attacking not only your wallet but also your health (which is also related to your ability to make and keep money).
Eating good food is a habit that requires more wisdom than it requires money or time, and as every habit, it’s achieved in different stages. Start by incorporating small changes and in a couple of months your belly fat might start migrating to your wallet fat.
Tip: Shop at home: next time you’re about to prepare a meal and realize you need yet another ingredient, get creative and find a replacement in your own kitchen cabinet. If not at all possible, why not come up with a delicious meal featuring food you already have?
2. Recreation Habits
Some recreation habits have the ability to attack your finances in 3 ways: by wasting your productive time, by wasting your money, and by negatively conditioning your money mindset.
A well chosen recreation should be profitable both for the soul and the bank account. The bonus point of a good recreation activity is that you get to interact with like-minded people, increasing your money-making opportunities.
Tip: Ask yourself: “Is this the kind of recreation that the person I want to be in 5 years would choose?”
3. Relationship Habits
To show you love and care about the important people in your life, doesn’t mean you have to say “yes” to every request, neither to over-spend in gifts.
It is, indeed, very healthy for your relationships to set up healthy giving boundaries. Your loved ones would feel empowered once you take money out of the equation and find other ways to communicate how much you care about them.
Tip: Focus on demonstrating your love with encouraging words, lending a good listening ear, and by building common memories thru quality time.
4. Shopping Habits
There is so much money that goes to waste because of emotional, fear-based, and cultural shopping habits. One that might be attacking most modern people is the use of credit cards for most of their expenses. Instead, consider getting a debit card or use cash for your purchases.
Other shopping habits to consider eliminating are: wondering around the mall without purpose, going shopping as a means of emotional scape, late night online shopping, fear-based shopping, and shame-based shopping (your child can cry, but you’re not going to waste money just to avoid a potential shameful moment. Only make sure you feed your kids with healthy food before bringing them to the supermarket).
Tip: List your top 3 life values and turn them into your shopping values. Have them in your wallet as a reminder. Make sure you’re not just giving yourself permission to self-sabotage your finances, but look with mature eyes and go for the more conscious choice.
5. Money Managing Habits
Lack of awareness about your finances, going for more than a week, has the potential of turning into a bad habit of financial obliviousness. Get at least a weekly “money date” (if you’re married, bring your spouse), and get clear about: where your money is, how much transaction fees cost, overdraft fees and conditions, and overall information about the location of your resources.
Tip: Take a trip around your house gathering change and money left in pockets and secret drawers. You might be surprised on how much you’ve found! If you find checks waiting to be deposited, schedule a trip to the bank as soon as possible.
The good thing about habits is that, even if they have the potential of sabotaging your finances, when you work on them you’ll not only be able to keep and make more money, but your entire life would be positively transformed.