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8 Bad Financial Habits You Need To Break

Our financial habits can make or break us. For many of us, including me, there’s at least one financial goal in our list of goals for this year. Whether it’s earning more passive income, saving more or just being more financially intelligent, we all recognize there is a need for change.

As a major part of achieving our goals, it is important to learn the right ways to handle our money and steer clear of the bad ways. It’s easy to fall into overspending on unnecessary things because being frugal isn’t seen as fun or attractive but being actually broke isn’t either.

Here are eight bad financial habits you should break to unlock real financial freedom.

Impulse spending 

A few days ago, on Twitter, I came across someone asking how people make purchasing decisions and of course, the responses varied. Some said “if I want it I buy it” while others exercised a more disciplined approach. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know where I fall with a question like that.

I try my best to not be an impulse spender. I don’t think I am at all. I have the occasional food craving that I’ll yield to but I think that’s about it.

While there is nothing wrong with an occasional drop of the hat buy it should not be your main mode of operation. You’ll almost always end up wondering all your money went and no closer to achieving your financial goals. To stay on track with your yearly goals, start budgeting and planning your spending. You can also opt to track your spending with an app.

Ignoring debt

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been tempted on numerous occasions to completely ignore my student loan debt. I wish it would just disappear. Debtforgiveness anyone? I’d be at the head of that queue. Truthfully this may not be much of a habit if you can relate to the education debt example. You did what you felt was necessary to get you a better paying job and better quality of life. Now you have to figure out a way to repay the debt.

First step, don’t ignore it. Visit the institution/business you owe and work out a payment plan. read your initial contract and do your best to operate within its confines. If you falter on some payments talk with someone who’s been through this before and find out how they made it through. Or reach out to the creditor and explain the situation and modify your payment plan. But whatever you do, do not ignore it.

Bulk buying

Bulk buying is great for stocking essentials(like tissue/soap and tinned goods) however it’s not so great for anything else. Let’s define essentials for context.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary,

 Essential – adjective

 is  “a basic thing you cannot live without”.

With that said it’s time for some evaluation. flip through everything you own in your mind’s eye. Determine the essentials and the non essentials. Then, write down the list of non-essentials you tend to stock up on and make a promise to yourself to stop. You can add it to your list of goals for 2019.

Paying the minimum balance

As an adults bills are inevitable. one bill that can get a little tricky is paying your credit card bill. The mention of a minimum balance tricks a lot of us into thinking it buys us more time to repay. however it actually costs you interest on the remaining sum owed. Every month interest is calculated and tacked onto for as long as you owe.

Unfortunately, many of us fall prey to this. If you’re a credit card owner try as best as possible to pay your credit card debt in full. If paying in full is not feasible for you, pay in larger sums for a planned amount of time. Note, however, never pay just the minimum balance. paying only the minimum balance s far more beneficial to the credit card institution than it is for you.

Not using loyalty programs

Here’s one of my favorites! If you shop at the same supermarket every week, every two weeks or every month you should be taking advantage of their loyalty program if they have one.

Using a loyalty program is one of the few risk free opportunities you have to earn money as you spend. Buying groceries is going to be a part of your life for as long as you live and with loyalty programs you earn redeemable points for every JMD $100 spent (in most cases). If your supermarket doesn’t offer a loyalty program I suggest you find a supermarket that does.

Spending more than you earn

This is a big no-no. Just don’t do it. You don’t need to “look cool” or keep up with the Joneses. You’re great just the way you are and where you are. Spending more than you earn will land you in a lot of hot water with creditors that you just need to be in.It may cost you your peace of mind and nothing is worth that.

Instead, work within your budget and find creative ways to earn more money.

Stop thinking you can’t save

My mom always tells me “as a man thinketh so is he”. I take that to mean, whatever you think about yourself is what you become. It’s no different in breaking bad financial habits. When you tell yourself you can’t you won’t. I’m here to tell you you can. regardless of how much you earn there’s potential for us all to save and earn on our savings with some research and guidance.

Using your credit card as extra cash

Your credit card is not extra cash you earned to spend. It’s actually a very accessible loan. try to remember that every time you reach for it to purchase something. With that in mind, I’d advise using your credit to build your credit. how do you do that? Use your credit card to pay bills you’d typically pay with cash and then use the cash to repay the credit card. this way you don’t spend more than you earn and you strengthen your credit history. you can operate similarly for online purchases. ensure that whatever you want to purchase online you have its cash value in your account. It’s an online purchase so cash isn’t accepted so you’ll use your card and repay it immediately.

Happy saving guys!

Candi

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