In a world where we need to take care of our needs or get the things we want, spending becomes definitely unavoidable hence, it becomes a habit. This is because we most times spend so naturally that we do not even know when we do.
Spending becomes a habit when we are greatly influenced by what is going on around us. In the society we live in, people are always trying to meet up with societal standards, maybe our belief in charity or our own personalities.
Spending habit is difficult to overcome because of the strong urge we’ve already created for them. Some people don’t even realize when they are going overboard with this spending habit.
It is so unfortunate or rather confusing that most people don’t know how they are spending their money. Some people tend to mistake a bad spending habit for a good one and vice versa.
I once listened to an interview by the famous pop star, Akon in one of his interviews where he spoke about spending habits. He believes that you shouldn’t be spending a million dollars on a particular product when you don’t have up to ten million dollars in your bank account.
Some people may consider this a good spending habit whereas others might beg to differ.
It is kind of tricky for a lot of people to know and practice good spending habits. For some, they simply can tell what a good spending habit is from a bad one?
This article has put together 16 examples of good and bad spending habits to guide you and help you know when you are spending the right way.
Examples of Good Spending Habits
Here are eight (8) examples of good spending habits:
1. Save before spending:
A lot of folks are found guilty of this. Most people are ready to spend more than what they earn even without saving therefore, they end up running into debt. Before you spend, think about tomorrow with such a thought you can save. It is very unwise to spend without saving.
When you set something aside in your savings account, you are keeping your financial goals on track thereby escaping any future eventualities. A proper savings account helps you spend within your means. If you are a person who saves before spending then you are practicing a good spending habit.
However, how you save also matters. Take, for instance, your paycheck is $1,000 for a month, your budget for the month is $500, and you can set aside $300 for your savings while the remaining $200 for emergency purposes if that isn’t included in your budget.
Unless you want to run into debt you can decide to spend before you think of saving which is not advisable.
2. Have a budget:
A good spender has a plan on how he decides to spend his money. When you have a record of how you spend your money on a monthly basis, it keeps you in check with what is going on around you so you are not taken by surprise by the turnout of events.
People who fail to have a budget on how they intend to spend their money often have some emotional crisis when they spend this money. But with a budget, you already know where your money is going and whether it is necessary or not.
A budget helps you to spend more rationally.
3. Evaluate your purchase:
Sometimes we are just eager to buy some unnecessary things even if they are included in our budget. It is likely that we are in a place like Target and we are tempted to buy that little beautiful plant that is not included in the list.
We get tempted to buy things without evaluating them. If you always evaluate your purchase, check the right time to go for it, and stick to your shopping list when you go shopping there.
4. Compare prices:
One thing about a planned purchase is that; it gives you the opportunity to compare prices. Sometimes we may plan to buy toothpaste for maybe $16 dollars on Amazon but when compared to Target it could be sold for $12, with a planned budget of $12 we are quick to go for Target which has a discount price, saving $4.
When you compare different shop prices on a particular planned budget, you are keeping your spending good.
5. Checking your spending:
This is another example, I always have this habit of crossing checking the things I purchase to see where I went overboard or not. My friends may call me a weirdo but it is my way of giving my financial life balance.
When you don’t track your spending you may not know when, where, and how you are spending badly. Always try to check on the things you spend money on.
6. Cutting out things you don’t use:
There are some things we pay for that we barely need or use them. An example is unused subscriptions like some memberships we signed for. When you cancel a subscription it doesn’t mean you can’t get it back, but at the moment, you don’t need it.
There was a particular time I subscribed for my Netflix plan and for some months I was not using it, but my money was going for that subscription.
When you identify with some membership you signed for such as gym or spa or some home subscription that you don’t use again it is best to cut them for the moment.
7. Not spending more on credit cards:
Sometimes some people prefer to use cash over credit cards more often which in a way is good but when you are in a habit of not spending more on credit cards, you are keeping your spending good. Sometimes, you are even likely to get a reward on your spending through your credit card that way you know you are keeping your spending good.
Also Checkout: 9 Tips to Aggressively Pay off your Credit Card Debts
8. Spend within your limit:
If you are the type that is comfortable spending within your space on exactly what you need and can afford rather than want without being influenced by what is going on around you, then you are spending well. Aside from creating a budget, it has to be realistic, set within your limits and earnings, and not in a way that you will end up in debt.
Examples of Bad Spending Habits
We are sometimes guilty of this kind of spending habit without even knowing we are, though some people know and tend not to care until they run into a financial situation.
How do I know am into bad spending habits? Here are eight (8) examples of bad spending habits:
- When you don’t have a plan that tells you where, when, and how your money is being spent, you just decide to go on a shopping spree because your paycheck just arrived. You lack a proper budget that tells you what to do with your money, how to allocate your money, or what is necessary.
- When you fail to separate needs from wants. You just decide to buy this or that because you saw it online and it interests you or you saw it with a friend and you think it is cool to have. You are purchasing it too! Well, that is a straight way t go broke.
- As married couples, you don’t know what the other is spending on especially when it is a joint account. You don’t know or care if the other person is spending within the budget or limit set aside for the month. When you are not in a spending agreement or financial journey with your spouse, spending can be done recklessly.
- How you use your credit card: some people are good at carrying over the balance of the previous month into another month not knowing that in cases where people are trying to maximize their reward card points by paying off their card monthly. Those who rely so much on their card and carry a balance over to the next month are only losing money in interest rate.
- Unnecessary spending: there are people who find it quite interesting in spending money unnecessarily especially on convenience that they can easily get at home. Imagine grabbing dinner on your way back from work and the amount you would have saved preparing it at home wouldn’t have cost much as spending it outside. Some amount we spend on little conveniences when put together at the end of the month can amount to some serious money when saved.
- Going on a shopping spree: imagine going to target without a list or shopping on amazon for fun, trust me you may end up ordering too many things without you realizing the amount you are already spending and its effect on your account. When you don’t have an idea of why you want to shop or you go out to spend on things without a list that’s quite bad. With family people, it could be very dangerous to go out spending without having at least a written down list of what you want.
- Failing to compare prices: when you don’t compare the shop prices but you simply go ahead and place an order on Google when you might get that particular item sold at a discount rate on Apple is unwise. Sometimes, you can even check when the site is running a discount or a sale promo. Some people don’t even know when to buy stuff so they don’t bother to compare shop prices.
- Spending over your earnings: the effects of this kind of spending can’t be over-emphasized because it’s a fast way of going broke. Spending above your earnings can only lead you to debt upon debt because you will have too many things to sort out with money. You spend over your earnings when you don’t plan your budget within your earnings.
The spending habit you adopt or practice goes a long way in affecting your financial life either positively or negatively.
Working on your bad spending habits can be difficult but it is better to try than become financially crippled. You could start by eliminating those areas above you are found guilty of.
Learn to curtail those excessive spending. Know when to purchase and when not to go for a particular purchase.
Florence is a personal finance writer, who is passionate about helping others attain financial freedom. She covers topics from side hustles and debt payoff to investment and retirement.