Can’t seem to keep money in the bank, well, maybe you’ve adopted a few habits that may leave you broke. Being financially savvy is much easier to say than do. And while you may have good intentions and strive to make wise financial decisions, things keep getting in the way - which essentially impacts how fast you grow your bank account. Help is available. Here are seven everyday habits that may leave you broke.
1. Grabbing Coffee on the Way to Work
What are some habits that may leave you broke? Ask yourself, how often do I stop for coffee in the morning? Yes, it’s your pick-me-up, and without your favorite brew, you might never make it through the morning. But if your coffee of choice is a $4 latte, and you stop everyday of the week, that’s approximately $80 a month. You can save a bundle with a $5 bag of Folgers, $2 creamer and a chic travel mug.
2. Too Busy to Pack a Lunch
I definitely understand rushing in the morning, but if you leave the house without packing a lunch, chances are that you’ll spend between $5 and $10 eating out with coworkers. The occasional lunch date with the gals might not hit your pocket hard, but if you go out several times a week, this costly habit can cut into your disposable income. Pack your lunch at night, and then leave a sticky note on your front door as a reminder, or else you might forget to grab it from the fridge.
3. Shopping without a List
For me, making a grocery list is one of the painful aspects of grocery shopping. And like some people, I used to go to the grocery store and buy items off the top of my head. Of course, I ended up buying a bunch of things that I didn’t need, and forgetting the stuff I did need, resulting in a second trip. A list can keep you on track, helping you buy only the things that you need.
4. Keeping Pace with Your Friends
So, Susie bought a brand-new leather jacket and now you need one. There’s nothing wrong with shopping and treating yourself to something special. But ask yourself, why am I buying this item? And, do I really need it? Keeping up with your friends and their lifestyles is a fast way to go broke.
5. Carrying Too Much Cash and Plastic in Your Wallet
Cash and credit cards can burn a hole in your wallet. If you feel the urge to shop, it’s easier to give in to temptation. As a rule of thumb, only carry the cash you need. And rather than keep multiple credit cards in your wallet, only carry one for an emergency - preferably the one with the lowest credit limit.
6. Clipping Coupons You Don’t Need
Clipping coupons is a good way to save money, but if you’re not careful, the opposite can happen. If you go overboard and buy things just because you have a coupon, chances are that you’ll spend more than anticipated. And this doesn’t only apply for grocery shopping. If you receive a coupon for a retail store or a restaurant, don’t dine out or shop simply because you’re able to save.
7. Lending to Friends and Family
Who doesn’t want to help a friend or family member in need? But if there’s a mooch among you, this person may take every dollar of extra cash you have. You know, the person who conveniently leaves her wallet at home, or the one who always says, “If you get this, I’ll get the next one.” Not that you shouldn’t go in your pocket to help, just be careful.
Learning how to identify habits that may leave you broke can get your finances on track. Take a look at your own spending and money habits. What bad habits do you need to break? Any additional tips?