4 Bad Money Habits to Kick in 2016

in Plan by Lacey Langford, AFC®

The New Year is underway, and I’ve been thinking about changing bad habits 2016.

In honor of the bad habits I’m trying to quit in 2016, I thought I’d go over four bad money habits to kick in 2016. When you’re attempting to improve how you handle money, maintaining bad habits will throw a wrench in the work you’re doing. The bad habit I plan on kicking this year is to quit drinking diet coke or as I like to call it, “the juice.” It’s going to suck because I’m majorly addicted. We’re seven days in, and I’m still mentally prepping myself for getting off “the juice”.

Minimum payments only

If you’ve been only paying the minimum on your credit cards each month, stop this quick. By not paying your balance in full you’re paying way more for the item you charged, not to mention you’ll be paying on it for a long time. Also, don’t forget, carrying a high balance on your credit card can be dragging your credit score down. It’s best only to use your credit card for what you’re able to pay in full each month. If you currently have a balance on your credit card but are unable to pay it in full, try paying as much as you can above the minimum payment. Even if it’s only $10, it will help to pay off your credit card quicker.

Impulse shopping

Buying impulsively can be a tough habit to break. I’ve been there—standing in Target, and everything’s so bright and cheery. Then I look over, and there’s a beautiful gold angel wing dish I MUST have. It will be perfect on my bookshelf. You have to fight the urge just to buy random “stuff”. You’d be surprised by how much impulse buying adds to your bill. Combat the urge by using a list to go shopping or, do what I do, and snap a picture of what you want. Then when you get home, try to find it at a lower price. Or put it on your Christmas or B-day list! Look what I got for Christmas! It is perfect on my shelf, but I resisted the urge to buy it right away. DSC_0022

Not making saving automatic

It’s a big mistake not to always pay yourself first! Take the stress out of remembering to save each month and make it an automatic payment to your savings account. Before you know it, you’ll have money for emergencies.

Thinking about money tomorrow

Break the habit of putting off starting. There will never be the perfect time to start managing your money or building your savings up. One can come up with a million excuses to push off starting until tomorrow. Don’t pull a Scarlet O’Hara. Just begin, and things will improve as you go.

This time next year, I’m going to be writing about how I quit diet coke.

It will take effort, but I plan on staying positive and focused. Also, for a while, I’m probably going to say, “I don’t drink diet coke, I don’t drink diet coke, I don’t drink diet coke” in my head every time I see one, but I’ll get there. This time next year, I want you to be able to say what bad money habits you’ve kicked.