10 Habits That Are Ruining Your Budget
I have a confession to make….. I love Starbucks coffee and it is ruining my budget. I know that I shouldn’t be getting a venti iced coffee almost everyday…. but I can’t help myself.
You know how it is, you want a treat or you need a pick me up, or you just want a coffee soooo bad. And it’s only $3 right? Wrong. That $3 adds up! If you stop for a $3 coffee every other day that’s almost $50 a month spent on your coffee habit.
Here are 10 habits that may be wreaking havoc on your monthly budget:
Leaving Small Purchases Out Of Your Budget
Like I just mentioned, picking up a coffee can add up and take a toll on your bank account. If you know that you will be regularly picking up a coffee, then add it into your planned budget. If the budget doesn’t have room for these purchases, you need to stop. Make your coffee at home until you can comfortably add the cost into your budget.
Buying on impulse cannot be budgeted because you don’t know that you’re going to be spending that money until you have that amazing pair of shoes in your hands. My favorite way to avoid impulse shopping is to walk away to “think about it”. Avoid buyers remorse and give yourself some time to really think about the purchase, whether you need it or not, and how it will fit into your budget. Don’t let those salespeople pressure you. I used to work retail and I know the tricks, they don’t want to give you that time to think about it, because most likely once you walk out of the store and don’t have the item right in front of you, you will make the smart decision and pass on the purchase.
Not Saving For An Emergency Fund
This can really put a huge dent in your budgeting plan. Your budget is in big trouble if you don’t have an emergency fund and your washer breaks, or your dog gets sick. These surprise expenses can have a large price tag and not having money readily available will mean that you need to pull money from savings, use your credit card, or go without food for a week or two. None of these are great options, so build an emergency fund. Click here for an easy step by step guide.
Using Your Credit Card Freely
Just because you don’t have to pay for your purchase now doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a part of your budget. It’s even worse actually. You’re not only spending money that isn’t allocated, but you’re adding interest to the cost. And if you have a no rules mentality to your credit card you will quickly see the balance and interest rise. So keep your credit card at home and use it for large, planned purchases or emergencies only.
Using Other Bank’s ATMs
If you regularly use another bank’s ATM, you are definitely accruing fees. The fees may be small but they add up. If you are using an ATM due to convince then consider opening a free account with that bank. Or, try and find a bank that refunds you all ATM fees.
Spending From Your Savings Account
This can be a hard habit for some to break. When you know that you have the money sitting there it is so easy to dip in to make a purchase. But making this a habit will drain your savings big time. Try putting your savings in a different bank, so it’s not as easy to transfer to checking. Making it harder for yourself to access the funds will ensure that you don’t keep withdrawing and your savings can continue to grow.
Paying For Services That You Don’t Use
Gym memberships are the biggest culprit here. You have the best intentions of going to work out, so you continue to pay. There are plenty of ways to workout for free. So cancel any services that you don’t use to get that money back in your pocket. If you cancel this, maybe you can afford an extra coffee a week!
Late fees, like interest, add up. Making a habit of paying late will dig you into hole that is hard to climb out of. Plan ahead so that you can pay every bill on time. You don’t want to pay for all of those late fees, and your credit will take a hit if you regularly pay late. This means higher interest rates in the future, meaning you’re spending ten more money. Stop that chain effect now and pay on time!
Spending More Than Your Income
This may seem like a no brainer, but so many people use credit cards, or pull from their savings to spend more than what they are actually taking in. This negative way of living in the red will definitely catch up to you at some point, so stop the habit now!
Not Tracking Your Weekly or Monthly Budget
I saved the best for last. You need to plan, or at the very least be aware of your income and expenses. Take the time to plan out your goals and your weekly or monthly budgeting to make sure that you aren’t over spending and that you are making the most of your money. Going blind will result in spending too much and not saving enough. I created some great budgeting worksheets to help you get started. Click here and I’ll send you these sheets for free. They help a ton!
Break the habit guys!! Get your finances back on track to reach your goals. Don’t let silly things like coffee and your unused gym membership bring you down. It’s always these small purchases or oversights that make the biggest impact on your finances. Take a look at your bank accounts and see what you can cut, or habits that you can break to boost your budget this month!