Budgeting is something we all say we’ll do, but few of us really truly embrace. After all, it takes discipline to develop better money habits. And with the new year fresh in our minds (and perhaps in some of our resolutions) it’s a great time develop new money habits. But first, let’s help you identify If any of these not-so-great financial decisions sound like you.
Not Knowing What You Spend
We know it sounds simple, but the simple fact of understanding where your dollars go is a crucial first step in better money management. Look at your bank and credit card statements to see where your money goes. If you are a Capital One credit card owner, consider downloading the Capital One Mobile app to get purchase notifications on your card accounts. There are additional tools to help bring additional visibility to your spending habits. Apps such as DollarBird or Trim are all tackling our issues of not knowing where some of our money goes and even making suggestions on better money habits.
Grocery Shopping Without Planning Ahead or Tethered to a List
There’s a reason they are called “impulse buys.” You know what we’re talking about. Those hard-to-resist items that seem to call out your name as you wait patiently in line to check out. An excellent way to manage your money at the grocery store is to build that list ahead of time. They’re even some cool apps such as Our Groceries and ListEase that help to make planning efficient and frankly, fun!
Cash Flow-Out-of-Your-Wallet Issues
Setting limits on how much cold, hard cash you carry around is a very good way to be better with money. Think about those moments when you’ve had more “cabbage” in your wallet than normal. Do you feel the urge to get rid of it on needless items? Resist making that money mistake by leaving only what you need for day-to-day cash-related expenses on you. You might consider depositing that extra cash at your local bank and watch your savings account grow instead.
Subscribing to the “Yesterday’s Luxury Is Today’s Necessity” Belief
Becoming a personal finance pro sometimes means taking a hard look at some of the things you’ve probably grown to love. If you are regularly buying Lottery tickets, $4 cups of coffee, luxury bottled water and food-delivery services, then there is ample opportunity to see some budget boosts if you reduce or eliminate those expenses.
The “It’ll Never Happen to Me” Syndrome
Unexpected stuff happens. Medical stuff. Car stuff. Legal stuff. And stuff costs money. If you are just merrily going through life without setting aside a reserve fund of money for life’s unforeseen issues, you are not being your best financial self.
If you don’t recognize yourself in any of these scenarios, congrats—you are well on your way to financial prosperity. However, if you feel like you’ve been there, done that, then don’t fret. They’re plenty of ways to improve your financial self. But, it can only start when we accept our flaws first.