Poor Money Decisions
There are situations in life that you cannot control and will leave you
in an unwavering financial position. Then there are things that we do
everyday that are poor decisions we make that also leave our financing
in limbo. These are some of the bad money habits that make it hard for
us to get ahead. While reading this you may find that you fall into one
of these categories. If you recognize that you are having trouble, then
you can take steps to turn it around.
Impulse buying consumes your finances and can do it in small increments or with large purchases. It’s important to weigh the value of a want as compared to the money you are spending on it. Take any items that you may want to buy and wait 30 days until you buy it. In those 30 days comparison shop different stores and different brands. You may find a better deal on the item you were going to buy. Ask the retailer if the item is going to go on sale soon, or even negotiate the price using competitor’s prices. You may find out that the item is not that important and that you really don’t need it at all. If you do purchase the item, make sure you use cash. Don’t use a credit card or jeopardize your savings.
Small impulse items you find in a grocery store are easy to justify because they are usually only a few dollars. You aren’t going to wait 30 days to comparison shop for a .79-cent candy bar. Next time you go grocery shopping, add up the amount of all the items you were not planning to buy. You’ll be surprised how all the small purchases really add up. The grocery store is one of the easiest places to trim spending and save some money.
It is important to make a list and stick to it. Use weekly ads to plan the week’s meals and clip coupons. You may not notice the difference for every shopping trip, but the savings are adding up. If you go shopping once a week and just save a few dollars each time, the saving will add up to over hundreds of dollars a year. You may want to try shopping by yourself; it may be easier if you don’t have the kids or your spouse filling up the cart with unnecessary items.
Using and abusing a credit card is a bad habit that leads many people down a road to nowhere. By maxing out your credit cards you are eliminating the opportunity to have to use one for an emergency. If you find that you have to make household and grocery purchases on a credit card, then you need to thoroughly examine your finances.
We have mentioned this before in many of our articles, but paying yourself will relieve a lot of the financial stress that many encounter. Your savings account needs to be there for you to take care of the inevitable bumps that you will encounter in your life. Living paycheck to paycheck will eventually catch up to you and be overwhelming. If you come across extra money or income, don’t be tempted to spend it. Save it or use it to pay down debt.
Many people say that it is hard for them to make changes, even if they recognize their problems. When you find that you are spending more than you make, you need to make a lifestyle change. Search for ways to bring in more income and ways to cut your spending. If your rent or car payment is too high, you may need to downsize. If you want to go out to lunch with friends you may need to order a salad and a glass of water. Lifestyle changes are not fun, but they don’t have to be permanent.
Another bad habit that also involves money is to make excuses for not wanting to make changes. It’s easy to give up and want to file bankruptcy, but there are more options. They may be harder but they will save you and your credit from the long recovery that bankruptcy leaves.
Money is the cause of many spousal disputes. It’s important to recognize problems but not blame each other for your financial problems. You must work together to solve the problem. Finger pointing will not get you anywhere but angry, so calmly discuss the finances and brainstorm ideas to bring in extra income.
These are just a few of the habits that we encounter. There are many more that we have discussed and will continue to write about in future articles.
Webster defines habit as an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary. Now all you have to do is change those bad habits into money saving habits and then it is all downhill from there. You will start to save money without even thinking about it.
Pioneer Credit Counseling is a bonded, non-profit credit counseling agency offering debt management programs, financial counseling, bankruptcy counseling and housing counseling nationwide. Call our friendly counselors today at 800-888-1596 or visit www.pioneercredit.com.
Our accredited credit counselors will help you take control of your financial life and get out of debt faster than you can on your own. We offer a debt management program that will stop the collections calls, lower your monthly payment and provide you peace of mind. Our pre and post bankruptcy counselors provide an easy process for you so you can focus on rebuilding your financial being.
It is our policy at Pioneer Credit Counseling not only to help people get out of debt, but also educate in sound budgeting practices.
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