How Bad Habits Cost You
If you find yourself scraping by at the end of each month, then it’s likely that you have bad habits that are costing you money. Credit cards and mobile transactions let us purchase things instantly, often leading to buyer’s remorse. Furthermore, they have long term effects on your financial and physical well-being. If you don’t know where your dollars are going each month, examine these 5 bad habits to help you save money rather than living between paychecks.
5 Bad Habits That Are Costing You Money
1. Cigarettes and Alcohol
We can all agree that smoking and drinking have no positive health benefits. But they are also bad for your financial health. Not only have these two bad habits been linked to cancer and disorders of nearly every bodily system, but they also drain your bank account. The price of a pack of cigarettes varies from state to state, but according to research conducted in 2016, smokers who buy a pack a day spend more the $2,500 each year.
If you frequent bars, you are also overpaying for your alcohol. Add the expectation of buying rounds for your friends, and you could be stuck with hundreds of dollars on your bar tab. In addition to the immediate expense, there are also the long-term medical fees associated with the conditions they cause. Do yourself and your body a favor, and kick these bad habits that are costing you money!
2. Fancy Coffee Beverages
Sometimes it feels as if there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I can’t speak for everyone, but I rely on the caffeine buzz to get me through long work weeks. However, you are wasting your money if you buy sugary coffee drinks. An Accounting Principals’ survey from 2013 reported that the average American spends about $1,000 on their caffeine fix every year. You can save yourself loads of money by brewing it yourself. Tighten your purse strings, and ditch those trendy fraps and caps.
3. Not Comparing Prices
You are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t take time to compare prices. Before grabbing a familiar name brand from the supermarket shelves, take a look at what’s around it. Chances are that there is a similar, generic product for a portion of the cost. They literally contain the same ingredients list. Market research suggests that we don’t buy these household brands because of the quality, but rather from familiarity.
This concept could also save you a bundle when it comes to insurance coverage. You may be over-insured and not realize it. There are websites that can provide multiple bids for you to peruse in a matter of minutes. While it may be easier to accept the first offer, it’s wise to shop around before you make any large purchases. A little time will save you a lot of money in the long run.
4. Buying the Latest Trends
As an extension of the previous bad habit, you should also consider downgraded options when shopping. Ask yourself if you really need designer labels, the latest tech, or the newest vehicle. Unless image is a driving force in your career, you can definitely cut back in your spending with older models of these necessities. If you are really cinching your belt, you can also consider secondhand products. With so many online marketplaces for buying, selling, and trading, you can find some excellent compromises at great prices.
5. Unused Membership Fees
Take a closer look at your next credit card bill, and calculate how much you spend each month in memberships. Then ask yourself if you are using them enough to justify the expense. If you are subscribing to multiple streaming sites, consider eliminating a few or sharing the cost with a friend of family member. If you have access to a community or home gym, cut out the costly health club membership. These small deductions can leave a huge dent in your monthly budget if you don’t keep them under control.
Kicking Your Bad Habits
We all have bad habits, but it’s important to remember everything in moderation. You don’t need to deny yourself every pleasure, but take an honest assessment of your spending habits. Making a few small lifestyle changes can save you a ton of money and set a good example for the next generation. It’s important to get control of these bad habits that are costing you money and not let them control you.
- Ditch The Debt: How to Change Your Spending habits
- Lessons in Basic Finance for Children
- Make Household Budgeting a Family Affair
Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.