K is for Kicking Bad Financial Habits to the Curb

K is for Kicking Bad Financial Habits to the Curb

Bad habits of any type can hinder your life. But bad financial habits can lead to a lifetime of stress and worry. Bad financial habits can negatively affect your short-term and long-term financial goals. Not saving money can hurt now by hindering your options to buy a new car, go on vacation, etc. But it also restricts your options for later, like having a nice home or a comfortable retirement.

Like any bad habit, kicking one to the curb takes a fair amount of practice and patience to succeed. But fixing a bad financial habit now can lead to a happier and more successful life later on. 

Here are a few common bad financial habits and some tips on how to kick them!

Impulse spending/not sticking to a budget

Impulse spending can be one of the unhealthiest “small” financial mistakes one could make. While going on a shopping spree regularly or not sticking to your grocery list at the store feels like no big deal, over time, it adds up. And things that don’t feel like a big deal often go unnoticed until it is too late. Instead, try only bringing enough cash for what is on your list next time you shop. And before you hit the purchase button when online shopping, try sleeping on it and revisiting it the next day. You may find you really didn’t need everything in your cart. Stopping your impulses isn’t always easy but with enough practice, it can become second nature. Think about the future and your long-term goals. Also, find a way to track your spending habits, this can help you review and track where your funds are going.

Using credit cards for everything and not paying the balance.

It can be easy to just charge everything and say you’ll pay it back later. And while this method is inevitable for certain purchases, it is not a sustainable way to treat all of your merchandise. Charging everything to a credit card and living with the balance is a perfect way to amass debt you can’t get rid of. Instead of doing this, save your credit cards for big purchases and emergencies. By only purchasing things you know you can pay off, you can keep your debt down and your credit score up. And when an emergency arises, know that it is a necessary debt rather than a frivolous one.

Not paying into a retirement account.

Saving for your future and saving for retirement are two different things. Retirement accounts are a way to grow your money, while savings accounts are a way to preserve it. And while they are both important, it is essential not to overlook saving for retirement. If your job has a 401(k), you should be making contributions, especially if the company matches. And if not, it is important to put as much towards retirement into an IRA or other type of retirement account to get a head start. Waiting too long to do so will cause unnecessary stress and it will also cause you to lose out on years of compounded interest.

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