Bad money habits are nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone is brought up differently and under different circumstances and it is no wonder we all develop very different money habits along the way: some of these are good habits, others not so much.

But it is our money habits that define us and our financial situation. If you are the type to spend your pay check before it even comes in, or take on lots of loans, you are very different to someone who puts a certain amount away in savings each week and budgets carefully.

These bad money habits aren’t the be all and end all. In fact, they can lead you on the path to good financial control.

What are Bad Money Habits?

How long is a piece of string? When it comes to bad money habits, there are plenty to choose from. We are going to take you through 5 really common ones to see if you recognise yourself in any of them:

  1. Spending more than you earn: This is an easy one to fall into, especially if you are used to a certain way of living and aren’t willing to cut back. You will find yourself in a bad financial position very quickly doing this.
  2. Ignoring your bills: How we all wish we could do this one. You see the envelope arrive, you throw it out of sight, and you try and forget it’s even there. Surely, if we never even open it then it never existed, right?
  3. Maxing out credit cards: Some people use their credit card like free money. Just tap and go! Unfortunately, you have to be able to pay this money off, and with interest too, so tapping isn’t the best solution. This money will add up fast and you will find yourself unable to keep up with the payments.
  4. Not keeping a budget: It doesn’t have to be detailed, but if you don’t know what incoming expenses you have and the outgoing ones, it is harder to plan for a rainy day and make sure you aren’t overspending on things you can’t afford. A budget is a great way to oversee your finances and track everything. Use an online budget calculator to help you easily track your income and expenses.
  5. Impulse purchases: This one is so easy to do. You head to the shops for lunch and come home with 10 shopping bags under your arms. Oops!

Recognise yourself in one of these common bad money habits? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. So, your next question is, how exactly do these bad money habits lead to good financial control?

Recognition

The first step is recognition! You know you have a problem and you know you need to get on top of it. By reaching this step you are already starting to take control of your finances. This is often the hardest step. People, quite rightly, don’t like to see the bad in themselves, and you have most likely had these habits for years. It can be a big thing turning around and realising they need to be broken.

Make a Plan

Your next step is to make a plan about how you can move forward. Make a list of your bad habits, and write how they are affecting you and your life. They may mean you have no savings, have put you in debt, or just making you unhappy with your choices. Once you know what you need to change, you can make a plan to change it.

Good Money Habits

Finally, you can start subbing out your bad money habits for good ones. Putting money into savings each month and skipping a few social events. Writing a budget and tracking your spending. Chopping up your credit card and only using money you have. Knowing your bad habits, it is easy to flip these on their head and create good ones from them.

How can bad money habits lead to good financial control?

You have been there, you have done that and you have put yourself back on track. Now, you are less likely to find yourself back in this position again. Once you get in control of your finances, you are more aware of your bad habits and how they were affecting you, which will help keep you in good financial control.

The important thing to remember is that if you ever find yourself falling back into bad habits, you need to recognise this, and get yourself back on track as quickly as possible. Your bad habits have now turned into good habits and put you in control. This is a position that will stay with you for life.

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