So you’ve finally made it: you’ve got the full-time job, a stable living situation, and plenty of time to go spend all that money you’re earning with your friends. While you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor, there are certain things that are just straight up bad ideas, like using credit cards and payday loans to help your finances recover from the weekend. Below you’ll find five spending habits that you definitely need to break:
Using Credit Cards to Fix your Problems
Credits cards are not your savior. If anything they’re the devil in disguise. Instead of using credit, try to keep your spending within the limits of your income. By the same token, payday loans are not your friend either. Both of these options come with high interest and hidden clauses that will come back to bite you on the butt. If you find yourself in a tight spot try to look for alternatives to payday loans and credit cards. By all means get some form of loan if you need it, but be smart about it and make sure you read the terms and conditions.
Always Getting Takeaway
Most people like to start their day with a coffee. While there’s nothing wrong with this, your daily habit can become a spending black hole if you’re always ordering on the go. You might justify this by saying that instant coffee is nowhere near as good, and while this is true, it still isn’t a good enough reason to make that extra stop at a cafe every morning. If your taste buds only accept the finest, freshly made, barista coffee, invest in a quality coffee machine for your home. It requires a larger initial outlay, but will save you some major cash in the long run.
Not Having a Budget
Yup, the dreaded B word. Budgets are necessary, but they don’t have to be horrible. Set aside what you need to pay for essentials (rent, bills, food) and then ‘pay yourself first’.
Obviously you have to pay set amounts for certain things but your other spending habits are quite flexible. You’re allowed to include things like new clothes and nice nights out in your allocations (as long as you can afford them of course), and every budget should contain some ‘loose’ cash that you can do whatever you please with. It’s just about not going overboard. Essentially, come up with a budget that fits your income and lifestyle, and actually stick to it.
Sales Are Not Savings
Just because something costs less than it originally would have does not mean you’re saving money. You’re still spending money, just not as much as you would have been at full price.
Reevaluate how you think about spending. Just because the bag costs $50 less than it did last week, it still costs something and that’s an expense, not a concession.
Just because you’re making money and have it there to spend doesn’t mean you should.
Whenever you get the urge to buy something just because you can, stop and think about what kind of value it actually adds to your life. It’s not that you shouldn’t buy things that you want, it’s just that you should think about whether you actually want it that badly and whether it’ll add function or enjoyment to your life.
These tips may have you calling out the fun police, but if you overhaul your spending habits, your wallet will thank you. And, you’ll really enjoy the holiday or shiny new car you’ll be able to afford as a result!
Photo by Jess Watters on Unsplash