First off, happy Monday! I know it's not always the most pleasant of days, but hey, the sun is shining and I had a cup of coffee earlier. Life can't get much better. Today's blog, we will discuss the importance of changing spending habits. A lot of the time, we can't seem to figure out where all of our money is going without making a budget, or at least writing down what we have spent through each week and month. The lovely folks from getrichslowly.org had a great article this morning about changing spending habits and how to do it. Think about it, we all have bad habits. I chew my fingernails, am a bit of a slob and sometimes I'll go weeks without showering (one of these is false). In the same way, we can also have bad spending habits, and need to find ways to break them. I even heard one time that it takes at least 30 days to break a bad habit. It's a process. Here's a few ways you can change your bad spending habits, or improve on the ones you have already!
Identify the habits
Makes sense, doesn't it? We need to figure out what habits are bad when it comes to spending. The article says we have a cue, a routine and a reward. I'll use my Starbucks consumption as an example. My cue is needing a cup of coffee. My routine is coming here nearly every day to get a cup of coffee while spending about five dollars each time and my reward is a nice tasty cup of java and sometimes a cookie. You may be losing money in certain areas but not able to pinpoint where it's going. Identifying the habit will take you one step further towards kicking the habit!
Look for rewards
Why have you created this spending habit? For me, I tend to think that mine is due to the fact that I want a cup of coffee because of the caffeine benefits, AKA not getting headaches. Now, when I think about it more, I can brew my own cup of coffee (and make my own cookies) and save tons of money per year by not going. What I do miss out on is social interaction with people from day to day. Now, I think that it's a fair compromise in spending a little money in order to visit with people. Am I spending too much? At the moment, I probably am because I go every day. Maybe if I went every other day, it may make my spending a bit easier.
Isolate the cue
Figuring out what triggers the cue is key. If it's a certain time of day, need you have or other factor, it's time to change that cue. It won't seem natural at the beginning, and many times it will feel awkward. If you want to change the spending habit, you must do something different to get rid of the cue. In my case, if it's something where I think I need to be social, maybe I need to find other places to be social without spending money. I know for sure once my next job starts, I'll have a different routine. Chances are I won't be working remotely every day.
Seriously, you should check out the article. It's totally worth it and you may find yourself needing to change some spending habits!
Do you have any spending habits that need to be changed?