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Changing Spending Habits Part 1

I remember growing up and watching my dad pay the bills each month, he had a notebook that was labeled “Bill’s bills” (his name is it’s funny!) When I went away to college, I did the same thing, except for I didn’t have a fabulous pun to go with it. My dad never told me this is what I needed to do, I learned it by watching him. It’s the whole idea that more is caught than taught. However, often we are not taught, nor do we catch, how to handle our finances. This can cause us to form bad spending habits. So this week I am going to discuss how to change your spending habits.

Here are 5 Spending Habits to Break:

#1: Spending without a Plan. Without a monthly budget your money will simply disappear and you won’t know where it all went at the end of the month. This will cause many people to use credit cards to help finance their spending. With a monthly budget you are able to create a plan before each month and know that you have enough for everything planned for the month.

#2: Paying for Convenience: While fast food is convenient, it can be a budget breaker! Just this week I was having the fight with myself about washing my car at the self-serve car wash (which means I vacuum all the dog hair!) or taking it to a full-service where I just relax. My budget said self-service, but my heart wanted full-service.

#3: Spending without keeping Track: Losing track of money you’ve spent or trying to keep track of it all in your head will come to bite you in the end. This will cause you to overspend and possibly end up with NSF fees on your account. Use a budget program that has an app for your phone and then you can log your expenses immediately!

#4: Making Impulse Purchases: American spend more than $2100/year on impulse buys! Usually this is things like fast food or clothes, but during 2020 it was cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and toilet paper! While these are things we need, make sure you are working from a list and only buying what you need and what fits into your budget.

#5: Spending to Feel Better: 45% of Americans say that they are spending more during the pandemic and 75% of people say that buying something on impulse makes them feel better. This is emotional spending. I realize it’s a stressful time for a lot of people right now and a little retail therapy helps...just ask my new toenail color! But make sure it’s in your budget so that you don’t feel guilty later.

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