If you’re stressed about money, you’re not alone. 55% of Americans report that they either break even or spend more than they make every month. Instead of waiting for your money situation to magically improve, take a hard look at your daily habits — you may be sabotaging your finances without even realizing it.
Monkey see monkey do
It’s been said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And while that theory may or may not be true, it certainly does apply to your spending habits. Next time you’re about to order takeout for lunch just because everyone else in the office is doing it, think about how much that daily habit adds up.
Treat yo’ self
The “treat yourself” mentality has gotten completely out of hand. Yes, self care is important. Yes, it’s ok to get yourself a treat every now and then. But is it ok to splurge every single time you see something you like? Not so much. Instead, work those extras into your monthly budget — and then stick to that number.
Sometimes it’s just so tempting to buy all of those fancy donuts you see in the bakery window. But spur-of-the-moment purchases like that, even if it’s just a simple baked good, can wreak havoc on your wallet. Stick to this simple rule: Think about it for three days. If at the end of that time you still want the product, then you can go buy it.
Ignorance is bliss
Some people don’t track their money because they don’t think about it. And some people don’t track their money because they don’t want to know. But guess what — even if you’re not writing down your purchases, that money is coming out of your bank account.
Credit card overload
It can be so easy to put everything on credit — and so tempting. But remember: That money isn’t actually yours. So unless you can pay off that credit card bill at the end of every single month, just don’t use it. Interest rates and late fees can quickly put you in a giant hole — and it’s really hard to dig out.