Updated: Oct 1, 2019
Most of us have bad spending habits that takes away from other more important financial obligations like; adding to our savings, paying down credit card bills/ loans, or pursuing our dreams. Here are tips I used to start replacing these bad habits with better habits. It wasn’t easy, but once my credit card bills began getting lighter and I started seeing an actual account balance instead of a negative sign with pending overdraft fees at the end of every month, baby I knew I found a winner!
Start by tracking your spending habit for the next 1-2 months, this will help you become aware of where your money is going. Using your monthly banking statements and saved receipts will help give you the most accurate figures. Ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” Now is the time to accept that there is room for growth and actually commit to making some changes. This is probably one of the hardest parts but if we are not honest with ourselves, who will be?
Let's Start Adjusting!
Pay close attention to what actions help trigger these spending habits. Something as simple as having a rough day can send you straight to the mall. These type of emotional shopping trips gets us items we really don't need and debt we cannot afford!
One of my biggest triggers was social media. How sad is that! Instead of bringing lunch to work knowing I had more than enough left overs, I was out with co-workers eating at restaurants everyday. Those damn lunch specials were adding up! All because I wanted to be lazy and scrolling through social media all night.
When I realized my trigger for unnecessary spending, I knew i had to do better. I decided to leave my phone in the car when I first got home so I could go in the house and do what needed to be done. It took me less than 15 minutes to prepare lunch and I still had time for my social media shenanigans. That's a win- win for me!
Everyone has heard the myth, “the easiest way to get over someone is to get under someone else”. Well that is the kind of approach we need to have about spending. Replace your bad habit with a new and improved one. As long as you are spending less than you were before you are already on the right track! Remember it only takes 21 days to form a habit.
Know your reasons for wanting better. If you truly have a purpose, then that will be your motivation to stay on track. Take time out and remind yourself why you chose to make these positive changes especially when you are ready to hit reverse on your old ways. Placing sticky note reminders throughout your home, car and office of your goal, whether it’s saving $500 for a vacation or paying off debt to increase your credit score, these reminders will help you think twice and keep you focused!
I made it!
Set daily, weekly, or even monthly goals. Treat yourself when you hit a milestone. (Remember we are trying to do better so don’t go overboard. :-)
Once you have gotten this one under control, it’s time to drop kick another one. Repeat steps 1-5! You are on a roll just hit the gas and keep going!