Everyone has their bad habits. Mine is food. I’m a major foodie and the thought of trying a new restaurant makes my soul proud.
Recently I was the latest victim of the Sugar Factory, a restaurant in downtown Chicago adorned with candy that seems to be the place for all the celebrities to visit. This is what my bad habit got me:
Yes, a whopping $27 for each of those drinks and then another $15 for that banana split. What was I thinking?
Fortunately, this doesn’t occur very often. Usually, when my cravings for some good food hit, I just go in the kitchen and whip me up a mini feast. Thank goodness for having a family that cooks, or I would be so broke.
There are so many other bad habits besides food that will have you paying a pretty penny. Actually, if you think about it, almost everything you enjoy comes with a hefty price tag.
Realizing your bad habits is the first step to getting it under control. Are any of these bad habits costing you money?
Bad Habits That Cost You Money
I’m not going to say much about smoking because this is more of an addiction that isn’t easily suede by how much you can save if you quit.
Your average smoker spends about $2000 per year on cigarettes, if you’re a heavy smoker then you can double that. That’s literally a paid off credit card or a nice start to your emergency fund.
Everybody knows at least one person who uses alcohol as their therapy of choice, it may even be you. No, I’m not referring to alcoholics.
When you happy you drink.
When you’re sad you drink.
When you’re heart broken you drink.
When you’re upset you drink.
Whatever it is there’s a valid reason to drink. We’ll just say their emotional drinkers.
Then you have your partiers. Drinking is already an expensive hobby as it is, but then to go out twice a week for overpriced drinks that can cost you $100-$200 easily.
Hold up! That’s between $400 – $800 a month, and I’m not even going to say what a year is.
Can you imagine how much money you could be making if that money was invested?
If you find yourself an emotional drinker, I suggest prayer, it truly changes things and if you are a partier I suggest you figure out your priorities and have a seat.
3. Fast food
Yes, I’m guilty. I have four kids and I don’t feel like cooking at times.
Do you know I can buy my kids a happy meal, they eat it in the car and by the time I’m in the house and ready to sit down and relax they have the nerve to be saying they hungry again.
I could have just cooked a meal from the beginning to ensure they would be full or at least they would be able to get seconds.
You can never go wrong when cooking unless you can’t cook. Why else do you spend hundreds a month going to the grocery store if you’re just going to let the food go to waste?
And on top of that….
That’s why there is this wonderful invention called the crock pot. Throw some ingredients in there go about your business and when you get home it’s done. Magic!
Much like fast food eating out frequently can do some real damage to your finances.
When we go out to eat we know we should be prepared to spend at least $50. That’s almost half a week’s worth of groceries.
So now we try to limit it to celebrations.
What’s the first thing that came to mind when you read “caffeine”?
I have a few family members that are faithful to their morning Starbucks runs. A tall coffee runs about $3 so that’s $15 per work week.
If you are anything like them I think it’s about time you invest in a Keurig or at least go to McDonald’s instead. Their coffee is only $1 and you can get any size.
6. Staying in Debt
You may be thinking you’re in debt and you will just pay the minimum and throw a little extra at it when you can.
You may not be aware of this but the longer you wait to pay your debt off the more it’s costing you.
Interest is continually accruing so try doubling up on your payments and throw as much money as you can towards your debt to get them paid off faster.
Just because your monthly car payment is less than your take home pay doesn’t mean that you can afford it.
That is why I am still rolling around in a 2010 Honda Civic with four kids.
You can afford something when you are able to pay cash for it. And I’m not ashamed to admit I’m not ballin like that yet, but I will be.
So why is it that people feel the need to get a different car by taking out another car loan or lease every two years to impress people they don’t even know.
Excuse me! Are you going to pay me to impress you? O, you’re not, didn’t think so.
The more expensive the car the more expensive the maintenance.
8. Overdrawing your checking account
At Chase every time you overdraw your account over $5 they charge a $34 insufficient funds fee. I don’t know about you but I don’t have $34 to be giving anybody, especially for a $6 mishap.
Usually, this occurs when you have a habit of spending without really verifying or balancing your account.
But then there are some of you who will intentionally allow your account to be charged an Insufficient fund fee.
When I worked at Chase I had a coworker who would intentionally allow her account to be overdrawn because she knew the bank would pay it although they charged $34 for each item. Her total for insufficient funds fees was an unbelievable $500.
The fact that she thought this was ok was quite disturbing but who am I to judge.
Please make sure if you have bills coming out or you plan on making a purchase to first check your accounts to verify that you have enough funds.
9. Putting others first
I’m naturally a giver so saying “no” is sometimes hard for me, unless it’s my mother of course. That’s a joke.
I have found myself allowing individuals to borrow money when I know good and well I wouldn’t be seeing that money again.
Having a giving heart is most definitely an admirable quality, but when it starts to become a consistent thing to the point you are giving away your savings it’s time to evaluate what’s the purpose in your giving.
Sometimes we give to overcompensate for how we may feel or to make ourselves appear more valuable. Don’t get me wrong we are all valuable but it often doesn’t come in the form of money.
Find other ways to give of yourself, it can be as simple as a piece of advice. Your money is something you have earned.
So make others earn it as well. Start putting yourself first and then when you are truly in need you will know.
10. Convenience Stores
As you know every gas station is attached to some sort of convenience store, rather it’s a 711 or a Circle K.
How many times have you went to the gas station for gas only and end up spending $10 on junk?
You ran inside to either pay for gas or to get a fountain drink but glanced over at those chips on the way to the counter which just happened to be next to your favorite little Debbie cakes.
And don’t let you really be hungry you will be bold enough to even try a hot dog or some other edible catastrophe. (well that’s mainly for you men, I don’t know too many ladies willing to take the risk)
I’m guilty of this also. But I had to decide is it worth me paying $2 for a bag of chips when I can go to Walmart and get a Family size for the same price.
So remember those convenient stores ain’t so convenient.
11. Keeping up with the Joneses
This is a good one. I have seen some academy award performances from people pretending to be something they just aren’t, to the point I’m questioning if it’s real.
You have to drive the BMW, Mercedes, or Audi, and you have to rock the latest in fashion MK, Polo, and D&G. But you live with your parents, behind in your house payment, or can’t loan someone $20.
Is it really worth losing your identity behind some brand names to impress strangers you don’t even know?
I know some of you will say I do it for my job or to remain relevant.
Well, I would advise you to find a new career or some new friends.
You can only keep up for so long.
12. Driving carelessly
I must admit I’m heavy on the pedal, I speed when I’m in a hurry and I speed when I’m not in a hurry.
I actually recently got my first speeding ticket (Thank you Jesus) rushing to get to the movies before the movie started. $150 ticket and an increase in my monthly insurance payment.
Then one Sunday after leaving the grocery store my daughter was bugging me for her candy so I turned around for 3 seconds when I turned back around a car had slowed down to turn into their driveway I went to put on brakes but I couldn’t come to a complete stop before slightly rear ending them. Of course, she had to call the police and claim she had an injury.
So what did that do?
Increased my insurance once again now I’m paying 40 dollars extra a month which is an extra $480 a year.
Be careful when you are driving and parking. I’m pretty sure you don’t have money to be throwing away because you decided to try to get away without putting money in the meter knowing it will cost you $15 if the meter man catches you.
Yea I tried that too!
But I have learned my lesson.
I am not saying you can’t wear name brand clothing or enjoy you a glass of wine. Just be aware of what you are spending your money on and determine if it is truly worth the cost. I will NEVER stop being a foodie but at the same time, I’m not going to go find a new restaurant to go try every weekend either.
No one is perfect and we can all save by changing or scaling back a few of our habits.
What are your bad habits? How much do you spend on them?
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