If you’re determined to stay within your budget this month and trying to get a better handle on your finances, take action to break some common money-wasting habits.
Many people don’t realize how much they are wasting on random purchases and unplanned shopping trips, and those extra costs may be making a dent in your budget.
Identifying some of those bad habits is the first step towards better financial management.
Here are six money-wasting habits you can break today:
1. Making impulsive purchases at the grocery store or gas station.
You take the time to clip coupons and seek out the best deals in town for food and other household purchases, so don’t negate your efforts by loading up your cart with random purchases at the checkout lane.
Whether it’s a few candy bars or a magazine, the items at the checkout lane are strategically placed for the impulsive shopper. Keep yourself in check by only shopping for items on your list so you aren’t wasting money.
2. Signing up for free trial offers.
Many free trial offers are very tempting and the fine print will outline how many days you have to cancel your membership or trial period without a fee.
Unfortunately, many people forget about that date completely and end up being billed for services or products they don’t really want. Don’t waste your time and money with trial offers that are difficult to keep track of or those that have complicated cancellation policies.
3. Making multiple trips to the grocery store or big box stores.
How many times have you gone to the grocery store to pick up just one item, only to return with a few bags of groceries?
Grocery stores and retail stores use a number of tricky advertising and product placement practices to encourage shoppers to buy much more than they planned. The more trips you make to these stores, the higher the chances that you’ll spend more money.
Consolidate purchases for the week so you only need to make a single trip to any store and aren’t wasting money on extra purchases.
4. Signing up for store credit cards for a discount on your purchase.
Many stores offer enticing rewards for customers who sign up for a credit card on the spot. Even if you’re making a big purchase and can earn big rewards or a discount on a purchase with a new credit card, think about whether you can afford to open up a new credit line.
If you tend to max out your credit cards or have a bad habit of carrying high credit balances, you may end up spending more and wasting money as a credit card holder.
5. Buying things ‘just because’.
How many ‘habit purchases’ do you make on a daily or weekly basis? Whether it’s that daily cup of coffee from the local coffee shop, buying a weekly newspaper that you don’t always read, or picking up food to-go after a long day because you didn’t make time to prepare a meal, those small purchases can really add up.
Consider skipping those purchases altogether so you aren’t buying things on autopilot – and wasting money more often than not.
6. Giving in to emotional spending.
Do you tend to go shopping when you’re feeling bored, stressed, or depressed?
Emotional spending can be a costly habit and can lead you down the road of a full-blown shopping addiction if you don’t keep yourself in check. Break the habit of emotional spending by seeking out healthier ways to manage your feelings.