There are two types of people when it comes to starting and maintaining healthy financial habits: people who think they’ve got it all under control, and others who have no clue what they’re doing. The one thing that both have in common is that they are both guilty of having bad habits that they may not recognize.
According to Ubiquity, a retirement and 401k savings plan provider, here are a few of the most common bad habits in managing your personal finances and how to overcome them.
1. Neglecting to Check Your Account Balances
Regardless of whether you live paycheck-to-paycheck or make six figures a year, it is essential that you keep a close eye on your account balances as often as possible. So often people are forgetful of subscriptions they’ve signed up for (especially those that begin with a free trial just long enough to make you forget to cancel) or surprise transaction fees and are unaware of the impact on their balance.
Unfortunately, many of us have been tricked into believing that it is inappropriate to discuss our finances. This has bled into our individual lives, leading many to feel most comfortable when they are in the dark regarding even their own money. As long as they are aware that they are getting paid regularly, there is seemingly no need to check often, if at all. You must fight the appeal of “ignorance is bliss” as you work toward your financial goals.
2. Complacency with High Spending
For those who experience some level of financial stability, it is easy to become complacent with excessive spending. Especially when you can maintain frivolous spending behaviors while paying bills and putting a small amount of funds into a savings account, you can be blinded to how you are truly doing yourself a disservice. Capping the amount of money you intend to put into savings can make sense for one-time trips or specific budgets such as a new car fund, but in general, it could be working against you.
Reducing the amount of money you spend in certain areas of your lifeand instead diverting it to your savings account is in your best interest for your future and in case of emergency. You can adjust your habits by:
- Limiting the frequency with which you dine out
- Saving or investing tax returns
- Carpooling to reduce spending on gas
3. Adapting Your Retirement Savings Plan
You are in no way required to develop one strategy for your retirement plan and stick to that alone. Life changes constantly, and you are free to adapt your financial habits to your circumstances. For example, if you have had any major life-changing events such as having a child, purchasing a home, or getting married, review your current retirement plan and determine that it is still doable for you.
Give yourself the mercy of adopting healthy financial habits now instead of waiting until it’s too late. No matter what your financial conditions, you can become more in charge of your financial growth.