Habits can be created and destroyed throughout your life. They cover every aspect of life, from your finances to your personal growth to your health. Building good habits takes more effort and discipline than falling into bad habits, but they’re worth every minute, every penny, every ounce of sweat that goes into them.
Many people fall into poor financial habits, which explains why the average household has well over $100,000 in debt. Finances aren’t taught in school (unless you seek higher education), and if you have poor examples in your life, you won’t learn good habits. Luckily, we know of at least five common habits that you can drop entirely for greater financial success and security.
How much money can you save by dropping your smoking habit? That depends on the smoker, really, but the consensus falls somewhere in the $300-$500 per month range. Even if you’re a “light smoker”, you’re still spending money on a habit that has upfront costs and hidden costs you might not see until years down the road. Smoking alternatives like https://blackbuffalo.com/ can save you money and might even save you from developing smoking-related illnesses, but leaving behind tobacco and nicotine forever is the best choice for your wallet.
Many smokers don’t consider that they’re slowly changing their bodies with their habit. Over time, your most important organs become damaged from smoking. The heart and lungs suffer, becoming less and less efficient in their jobs, and increasing your overall risk for life-threatening health conditions like lung disease or heart disease.
Ultimately, these things cost thousands of dollars. Medical treatments are costly, making adjustments to your living space or lifestyle to accommodate your illness is costly, and sometimes, you’re left with permanent damage that continues to cost money for the rest of your life. It’s time to leave smoking behind. Utilize smoking alternatives, support groups, and everything at your disposal to rid yourself of this destructive habit.
2. Buying Poor Quality Items
You probably don’t think too much about the quality of the items you buy. We subconsciously reach for sale items and things that are “cheap” to save money, but in the end, this has the opposite effect. Buying cheap or low-quality items will cost you more over time than making the investment in a high-quality item to begin with.
Anytime you spend money on something, you should view it as an investment. Ask yourself if the cheaper price is worth having to purchase that item again in a few weeks or months. Ask yourself if you can afford to pay double for that cheaper item, and if you can, ask yourself why you’re not investing in the higher-quality item instead.
You could potentially save yourself thousands of dollars per year by making an investment in higher-quality items. That’s enough to pay off a debt, take a vacation, or finally repair your vehicle. Also, don’t forget to maintain your items once you buy them. It’s easier and more affordable to repair something than to replace it entirely.
3. Not Bundling Insurance
We’ve all seen the ads about bundling insurance, but is there really anything to it? Many insurance providers offer discounts for people who bundle home, auto, and life. This can potentially save you hundreds per month in individual premium costs. Let’s say you’re paying $100/month for life insurance, $125 for the vehicle, and $150 for homeowner’s insurance. If you bundle, you could reduce the cost from $375 to below $300 with the right provider! Even $75 per month can make a big difference.
If you have insurance through a provider you like, see if they offer any bundles you can take advantage of. If not, it might be time to shop around and see if you can get an affordable bundle deal for you and your family.
4. Not Budgeting
Are you following a strict budget? Most people aren’t. In fact, many people aren’t even sure exactly how much they spend on expenses each month. It used to be that you had to balance a checkbook in order to see your balance and expenses, but with online tools, you can see your entire account at a glance.
This is a double-edged sword. On the one side, you get an in-depth look at your expenditures and income, but on the other hand, you don’t have to track anything by hand. This can cause a sort of disconnect between you and your finances.
Following a budget could save you hundreds on unnecessary expenses. Budgeting sets limits, tracks, spending, and allocates income, so you‘re not just buying everything you see.
5. Excessive Spending
At last, we come to excessive sending. This is a problem for many Americans, with consumer debt numbering in the trillions of dollars. Financing, credit, and other options are available to help you “afford” the items you want. Often, the cost of interest payments makes the item even more unaffordable, but we continue to finance things anyway.
Credit cards are usually what get people in trouble. In 2018, the average credit card debt amount in America was about $5,700. That’s a lot of money! More often than not, credit cards are used to buy items we simply don’t need. Excessive spending is a habit you’ll want to ditch right away, before you’re in over your head in debt.
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