3 financial habits you gotta break right now
But the one good thing about growing up on a tight budget and then struggling to get a job once I graduated is that I’ve learned how to be pretty careful with my money. It’s sort of the one area where I haven’t developed many bad habits.
Managing money is probably one of the worst aspects of adulthood, especially when you don’t have much of it. It gets a lot easier, though, as soon as you recognize some of your less than ideal habits and replace them with ones that make more sense for your budget.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with credit cards, but they aren’t for everyone. They can be a sort of safety net for emergencies or help you splurge every once in a while. But the problem comes in when you start swiping it impulsively without thinking about how you’re going to pay for it later. AKA what I’m afraid I’d do and why I don’t have a credit card.
It’s easy to just say you’ll worry about it later, especially when you’ve had a long week at work and just want to treat yourself. But a few charges here and there can add up fast. Winding up with huge debts will screw your credit score and that can cause you a ton of problems in the future.
Try to be more cautious when deciding when to use your credit cards. Limit yourself to emergencies and times when you’re really in a pinch. Actively make an effort to fix your credit score, too. This article on ‘how to repair my credit score fast‘ will give you some tips to help you out.
Spending More Than You Earn
This pretty much goes hand in hand because credit cards make it super easy to spend more than you make. I mean, I obviously don’t need to explain why this is a problem because we all know. We’re on the same page. I don’t think anyone’s intentionally doing this, but it’s just so much easier to click ‘confirm order’ without checking your bank account or wondering whether or not you should.
If you’ve got a regular paycheck, you should be able to budget properly and only spend what you can actually afford. If you’re a freelancer and you don’t get the same each month, things are a little trickier. That doesn’t mean you can’t budget still, you’ll just have to adjust it from month to month and make sure you’re saving plenty to help you get by in slow months.
It sucks to tell yourself no to something you want, but you know what also sucks? Running out of money.
Your bills and essential living expenses should be your first priority when it comes to saving and budgeting. But there are a lot of people who make their fun fund their first priority. It makes me so anxious to see people who can’t afford to pay a bill just say ‘oh well’ and ignore it. I’ve known people who just let it go to collections for months and dodge the calls while the bill gets bigger and bigger. Please don’t be that guy if you can avoid it.
Ignoring them is only going to lead to late fees and damage to your credit score. Nobody in the history of the world has improved their financial situation by ignoring a bill. Make a plan instead.
Money sucks, but once you learn your bad habits and break them it sucks a lot less.