Some spending habits aren’t ideal, but they won’t do too much harm to your wallet. Other spending habits can get you into a lot of financial trouble if you’re not careful. Here are three spending habits that you should try to break as soon as possible:
Using Up All of Your Credit
Credit isn’t an extension of your budget — it’s borrowed money. You have to repay it with interest. So, it’s not the wisest decision to put expenses that you don’t need and genuinely can’t afford on your credit card or line of credit.
Holding onto this bad habit could push you into serious debt. You could struggle to tackle the large outstanding balances. You could max out your card. You could drain your entire line of credit. You can make the transactions now, but you’re setting yourself up for problems later.
Another problem with using up all of your credit is that it can hurt your credit score. Click here to see how is your credit score calculated and how much your credit utilization affects your number. You could be lowering your rank without even realizing it.
What can you do? Essentially, if your budget can’t handle the repayments, you shouldn’t be making the charges. Use your credit wisely.
Practicing Retail Therapy
Another habit that you need to break is practicing retail therapy whenever you’re feeling bored, sad, or upset in any way. Shopping to make yourself feel better will definitely damage your bank account over time. You may get instant gratification from making purchases, but you will also feel long-term dissatisfaction with your credit card bills.
Here are some ways that you can block out the temptation to shop in-person and online:
- Stop going window shopping or walking into stores “just to take a look.”
- If you need to go to the store, make a shopping list, and follow it exactly.
- Unsubscribe to retail newsletters and promotional emails.
- Stop following retailers on social media and block ads.
- Delete shopping apps from your phone.
- Remove your credit card information from sites like Amazon so that you can’t automatically make purchases.
You should also find a healthy and affordable coping mechanism for times when you’re emotional. Going for a walk, listening to music, or calling a friend are easy activities that you can do instead of giving in to the urge to spend.
Strong feelings aren’t the only spending triggers that you have to watch out for. Alcohol can also trigger you to pull out your wallet and spend more than you should. You’re not the only one with this bad habit. Research shows that Americans spent $44.9 billion on drunk purchases in 2019 alone — this included purchases for food, clothing, shoes, accessories, and even furniture.
So, how can you break this habit? Here are some helpful tips:
- Download apps that stop drunk purchases on your smartphone.
- Use website blockers whenever you know you’re going to drink.
- Remove credit card information from websites and apps so that you don’t make automatic purchases.
- Consider slowing down on your drinking. Switch to water or another non-alcoholic drink when you feel like you’re losing control.
You have the power to break these spending habits for good. Your bank account will look a lot different when you do.