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Break Bad Spending Habits

Many adults recognize that they have bad spending habits, but like other bad habits, the spending ones are just as hard to break as bad eating, bad sleeping, or even drug habits. These bad spending habits mean that many families with average or even above-average incomes are living poorly because they waste their income. And worse, they are injuring themselves and their families because they can’t save for the proverbial rainy day, and more importantly, for their eventual retirement. But for those who do want to break those bad spending habits, the first step is always to recognize your bad habits. You earn a good income and should be able to save some of your money, but month after month you find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck.

To help break those bad spending habits, there are two steps you need to take:

First: Set goals for your finances Second: Track your current spending. Goals are important because few people will save money just for the sake of building wealth. However, for most families, goal-setting should be no problem. Most families need to plan for retirement, some families need a new car or a new home and others need to plan for their children’s education. Next, on to the tracking stage. With all the modern conveniences we have today, especially the computer, there is no reason to be late paying your bills, miss paying bills, or not have money to pay anticipated bills. Most people fail to use the conveniences and spend their money as it comes in, without having a real financial plan. For two months, try keeping detailed records of how you spend your money. Keep a pen and paper or a small notebook with you and keep track of everything that you spend, whether it’s cash, check, or even a credit or debit card. Gas, snacks, meals, drinks, and other similar items that we spend money on almost every day can account for many dollars over the course of a month. Eating out for many families has become almost a way of life, but for families that are trying to save money, even eating convenience foods at home is much cheaper than eating out on a regular basis. When you shop, whether it’s for school supplies or groceries, make a list and stick with it. Bad habits can be broken, but you must know where you’re misspending your money. Then you can start replacing bad spending habits with good habits by planning and scheduling your spending. Most importantly, you can start saving money for rainy days, vacations, and retirement.

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