When it comes to money, we all have some bad habits from time to time. Sometimes they’re learned early in life, and sometimes they’re picked up along the way. Here are 5 habits that you should kick if you need a few extra bucks.
1. Buying snacks at work
If you’re like me, you get a little hungry in the afternoon. That’s totally normal. But if you find yourself feeding quarters into a vending machine or swiping your card at the convenience store every afternoon, you may have an issue. Just spending a couple of bucks a day can really add up over the course of the year. You can buy the same snacks at the grocery store for a fraction of the price. And that’s without coupons. So next time you get that 2:30 hunger pain, jot down a note to hit up your favorite grocer on the way home.
2. Making impulse buys
I’m as guilty of this one as anybody. Whenever I see something I like, I’ve got to have it. If I can afford it (or think I can) it usually gets added to my cart. The other day though, I told myself, “it’ll be here tomorrow,” and I left the store. By taking some time to think it over, I eventually decided it wasn’t a wise purchase. Sometimes, all you need is a few minutes to let it simmer in your brain, to realize it’s not worth it. Try out a “waiting period” next time and see what happens.
3. Not saving money
We probably all started saving later than we should have. Whether it’s for retirement, an emergency fund, or just a fun rainy-day fund we probably wish we’d have started saving earlier. If you save money first, and then budget the rest when you get a paycheck, you won’t even miss that money. This has made a huge difference for me.
4. Carrying credit card balances
If you have a credit card then I’m sure you’ve heard about the evils of using it. While it can get out of control for some people, it can also be a valuable tool for others. If you regularly use your credit card, then I’m sure you’ve carried a balance on occasion. Anyone who’s ever done this realizes what a pain credit card interest can be. Paying off credit card debt can take decades for some people. Don’t be stuck in that hole.
5. Paying big bucks for cable
I saved my favorite for last. I love cable. LOVE IT. I also don’t have it. My cable bill was almost $150 bucks a month when I deactivated it. Now I have HULU (commercial free, $11.99/month), Netflix ($9.99), and SLING TV ($19.99) for less than 50 bucks a month. In fact I could add more channels or a sports package to SLING TV for $5 and still be under $50 dollars a month. Additionally, CBS ALL ACCESS ($5.99/month) or the comedy app SEESO ($3.99) are cheaper options that provide hours of entertainment.