[E]ven if you have plenty of money now and can afford to splurge, you should take a look at your spending habits. A job loss, downsizing or unexpected expenses can mean you are no longer able to live the same way as you do now. To tell if you would be in trouble if your financial situation changes, you need to look for three habits that are dangerous.
1. Spending First Before Paying Bills
Some people like to go out shopping as soon as they get paid. They’ll spend money before they worry about what bills need to be paid. While you may have plenty of money for shopping now, it can be a bad habit to get into.
How to Break This Habit: Make a commitment to pay your bills first or at least see how much money needs to go to bills before you shop. Once you discover how much is left over, withdraw that as cash and only spend the amount you have.
2. Delaying Paying Bills because of Spending
You see a cool stereo or a nice pair of shoes on sale, and you really want to buy it even though you don’t have the extra money this week. You mentally start shifting your bills around and decide to pay one next week even though it will be late. This is a bad habit to get into where you take away from the money allotted to bills so you can spend it on non-essentials.
How to Break This Habit: Don’t take your credit card, debit card or any extra money with you when you go shopping. You won’t be able to buy the item now, and you’ll have time to think about your choices before you can go home and return with it to make the purchase.
3. Spending Money as a Reward
Sure, it’s nice to buy yourself something nice occasionally, but you shouldn’t have to spend money to feel good or improve your mood. If you use money as a reward, it is a bad habit that can be costly.
How to Break This Habit: Find non-monetary ways to reward yourself for losing weight or completing a project.
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