It’s incredibly difficult to see how tiny day-to-day spending routines can impact our long-term success. But money is tied to almost all of our decisions, and it’s those minuscule daily choices that can snowball into large financial success or failure. With that in mind, our experts are here to show you the habits that are hurting you financially—and how to break them.
- You’ve got to have it now—so you pay for it later
Many of us whip out credit cards or cash any time we want a latte, a tank of gas, or even a concert ticket—small items that end up costing us big. The ‘gotta have it now, pay for it later’ mentality is beyond tempting, and can lead into serious trouble.
- You haven’t been to the gym this year
Your new year’s resolution was to get Kayla Itsine arms. But it’s October, and you haven’t walked into the gym since you signed up for its costly monthly membership programme. The monthly charge is sucking your wallet, but is it sucking inches off your waistline? If it is not, it could be time to cancel it—and stash the money you’d save.
Experts suggest making a commitment to hit the gym with a friend who will help you put that membership to good use. Or, ditch the membership altogether, and opt for a more cost-effective workout option.
- You don’t think you can (or should) invest
When you’re young and strapped for cash, it’s easy to shy away from investing. Plus, let’s be honest: It seems like we can’t turn on the nightly news without hearing some doomsday prediction about the next stock market crash. You might be led to believe that any excess cash is safer sitting in your bank account than the stock market. “But the truth is inflation is eating away the power of every naira you leave sitting in your savings account annually.
If the stock market scares you, look at the long-term value and risks involved with investing your money—not what the stock did in the last 24 hours.
Then, prioritise investing the same way you prioritise necessary spending. An easy way to do this is by setting up a Pay Yourself First Fund. Aim to set aside 20 per cent of your budget towards investing in your future self. Treat this as a non-negotiable luxury, and realise it’s just as, if not more, important than paying your bills.”
- Eating out regularly
Whiling away hours at a restaurant may be your favorite past time, but eating out often can seriously eat into your budget. Consider that the average cost of a home-cooked meal is much lower than hitting the eateries all the time. But it’s not just fancy meals and take-out that bomb your budget—even happy hour drinks at half-price can add up. If you partake in alcoholic beverages, have a drink at home before you pay for pricey cocktails at a restaurant.
- You spend money when you’re emotional
Financial experts say it’s far too easy to tie your emotions to your spending habits. What does that mean, exactly? You just had a bad day, so you go buy a pair of dress and shoes to feel better. Or, you just got a raise, so you celebrate by going over budget. There are plenty of sneaky ways our moods cause us to overspend. And this can evaporate any steps you’ve taken towards financial health in a snap.
- You’re focused on today, not tomorrow
No matter the habit, it’s sometimes hard to see how it will impact us down the line, so it’s not surprising that retirement is swept under the rug for the majority of people. But what we don’t realise is that retirement gets exponentially harder to plan for the more you put it off. By starting now, you’ll have time to see your small investments grow into a gigantic nest egg.
The time to start planning for your retirement is in your 20s. The next best time is now.
Adapted from www.glamour.com