It probably took a recession for many Americans to realize how out of hand their spending had become. It was actually a little shocking to find out how so many people were in serious credit card debt, with seemingly no way out. If there was any good that the recession brought us, then it is to take a closer look at our spending habits. We’ve rounded up some pretty common and bad spending habits that almost everyone is guilty with, and not only that, we give suggestions on how to curb them. Read on and see if you are guilty of any of them, and go on right ahead and learn how to fix them!
1. Going out to the mall because you’re bored– It may not be the mall, it can even be your favorite online stores, but many Americans, in an effort to look for a distraction, get around to just spending and spending. The mall seems to be a worthy distraction because its near, and its filled with many things that can tickle your fancy. The result is you come home with things you don’t need, and a hefty credit card bill to match. Break this habit by discovering other habits. When you feel bored, look for other things at home to distract you. Why not read a book, go out for a walk, or even catch up with a friend whom you haven’t talked to in a while? Your wallet will certainly thank you for it, and you’ll feel more fulfilled than just meaninglessly spending!
2. Grocery shopping without a list– This second offense is the one many mothers are guilty off. Going to do the groceries can already seem like a chore, so moms like to just go and be done with it. What’s worse is when kids come into the mix, they can just grab this and that and drop it into your shopping cart. This kind of shopping can add up expenses real fast, and you can end up with a humungous bill. Avoid this by always coming prepared. Shop with a list, and make this list with your kids, that way they can request for things they would like to pick up. When you stick to your budget, you won’t end up overspending, but you’ll still get the things that you need!
3. Getting credit card after credit card– These days, credit card offers can come in left and right, and it can become so easy to grab them, ending up with a seemingly big budget to go shopping with. However, be warned, credit card debt is no joke, and can take years to get out of! The ideal number of credit cards to keep, and even at that, one can overspend. To curb out of control credit card spending, keep your credit cards away and only whip them out in the event of an emergency!
It may be hard to break these evil habits at first, maybe because they are just our go to actions, and whenever we aren’t quite sure what to do, we turn to them. However, people in debt need to realize this. We got into this mess in the first place because of mindless spending. We are in our present trouble because we perform these bad habits without thought, rhyme our reason. They’ve become such natural reactions for many of us that we don’t even know that they’re wrong, and are causing us to get into more debt.
So whatever it takes, please stop. Take up other habits and hobbies. Distract yourself, but not with more spending please, you know that won’t do you any good now. Instead, be honest in admitting your debt. Also, take stock of what you already have that money can’t buy. You have friends, family and loved ones and those you can’t get with cash or a credit card. Cherish them instead of material things, and spend time with them. Replacing material things with the things that really matter in life is an excellent way to gain perspective and focus less on acquisition. We know you have it in you to get out of debt! Get started today! Good luck!
Sam Briones writes for SafeAuto, covering an array of topics from finding cheap auto insurance to safety tips.