A famous quote from Warren Buffet goes like this “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.”. If you want to achieve financial independence instead of living paycheck to paycheck, then it is time to heed this quote and break some bad money habits!
Getting rid of bad habits is not easy, but if you start recognising what these habits are and how they can affect you, you are one step closer to taking control of your financial situation! Here are 4 bad money habits you should break:
1. Spending carelessly
Nights out, expensive coffee or online shopping are some common things that we often spend on without thinking, but they can add up really quickly. Impulse buys not only make you feel guilty afterwards but they often end up costing the most since you did not plan it ahead of time.
Non-essential spending will reduce the amount of money you have left for essentials, like paying off your mortgage or credit card debt. To tackle this, you can choose to treat yourself once in a while instead of making it a habit. Remember to plan for these purchases and set aside some money for this in your budget!
2. Not tracking your expenses
Tracking your expenses can seem like a tedious task, but it is crucial for budgeting and saving more of your income! If you do not track your expenses, you can easily miss out on gym memberships or subscriptions that you do not need anymore but are still paying for monthly!
Try using an app to help you with tracking your expenses and budgeting. This will help you to identify what you are spending on and decide which to cut back on, to make the most out of your income.
3. Spending more as you earn more
Spending more as you earn more, also known as lifestyle inflation, often occurs when a student becomes a working adult with a full-time job. Things like boutique gym memberships and expensive meals that used to be luxuries can now easily become necessities with a greater income.
However, many end up trapped in a vicious cycle of spending and end up living paycheck to paycheck. To tackle this, be conscious of what you spend on by establishing saving goals you want to achieve. Instead of making big purchases all at one go, make slow gradual upgrades to your lifestyle.
Alcohol, gambling and cigarettes are common vices that people use. However, they can quickly eat up your savings and leave you in debt if you are not careful! Since they are not purchased in large quantities, we often fail to realise the huge dent they make to our savings.
Avoid mindless spending by tracking your expenses, budgeting and following the 50-30-20 rule. Ensure that you have set aside enough money to be spent on essentials and use a maximum of 30% of your income for non-essentials.
If you’re just starting out in your career and want to learn how to build your wealth instead of squandering it away, join our FREE Personal Finance 101 webinar “From Zero to FIRE: Practical Approach to Financial Freedom for Youths”! Featuring Ivan Guan, who is the founder of the blog SGMoneyMatters.com.