11 Habits You Need to Break Before You’re Broke
11 Habits You Need to Break Before You’re Broke BY NILUS MATTIVE for Daily Reckoning
I’m all for treating myself to some of life’s luxuries, but I won’t splurge to the point where it starts to hurt my finances.
Sadly, for a lot of Americans the latter is true.
In fact, the average US adult spends $1,497 a month on nonessential items, according to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll. That’s roughly $18,000 a year on things we can all do without.
The survey revealed that the average person spends about $20 per month on coffee, as well as $209 on dinners at restaurants and $189 going out for drinks with friends.
Survey respondents said they spend an average of $91 per month for cable, in addition to $23 for streaming movies and TV shows. Music streaming services averaged $22 a month, while other apps added $23.
Even the cost of health club and gym memberships was significant, averaging $73 a month, including classes.
One interesting finding was that Amerians make an average of five impulse buys per month – for a total of $109. But, the irony is the majority (58 percent) feel there are other important things they can’t afford…hmm.
The truth of the matter is we all have bad spending habits we need to work on. Today I’m going to walk you through 11 of the worst spending habits that drive financial experts wild.
The good news is that all of these can easily be fixed…
Bad Habit #1: Keeping All Your Money in One Account
I’m always surprised when I hear someone say they only have one bank account. Physically separating your money is the easiest way to set and stick to a budget.
Here’s what you should be doing: 1) Rename your checking account your spending/depositing account. Tie this account to your debit card. 2) Open a second checking account and designate this one to your bills.
Calculate your average bill tally from the 1st to the 15th, and from the 16th to the end of the month, and transfer that amount to your bills account every two weeks. This will stop you from overspending on your debit card because you’ll have already covered your bills.
This two-account setup will save you a lot of time and money by automating your budgeting.
Bad Habit #2: You’re always searching for deals
This might sound counter-intuitive, but searching for sales can sometimes set you further back. Out of the top ten reasons cited for overspending, two include sales: discounted items or “one-time only” flash sales that typically lead to more spending. The expression, I can’t afford not to buy it, couldn’t be more true.
Bad Habit #3: Not Saving “Found” Money
Did a rebate you sent in months ago finally come in? Did someone buy you a coffee unexpectedly?
“Found” money often gets wasted. Anytime you find unexpected money, transfer that money to your savings or bill accounts. You’ll be surprised how much this adds up with minimal effort on your part.
Bad Habit #4: Having Too Many Subscriptions
You sign up for a one-month free trial and before you know it, you’ve gone 6 months without realizing you’ve been paying this whole time. Too many people pay for monthly subscriptions they never use.
Review your credit card statements monthly and highlight any subscriptions you’re not using anymore. Cancel these as soon as possible or mark the next renewal date on your calendar so you know when to cancel.
Bad Habit #5: Keeping Up with the “Smiths”
It used to be you were trying to keep up with the Joneses. Except back then, it was just your next-door neighbor. Now, in an era of social media and 24/7 news cycles, everyone is your neighbor when you turn on your phone.