When you have no money it hurts, it hurts a hell of a lot!
Have you ever thought about why some people always seem to be broke and others seem to have an abundance of money?
There’s actually no magic behind this. It really boils down to discipline and how you handle your cash and spend money.
You see everyone has a background and depending on what you saw as a child and how your parents related to spending money shapes your own destiny.
That’s a hard pill to swallow but its the truth.
Some people have bad money habits and some people have good money habits.
Just because you may have a bad relationship with money does not mean the end for you. You have the ability to change your situation.
There are probably a ton of mistakes that you are making right now that are keeping you broke.
This is not a criticism of you personally but merely a reflection of some changes that you need to make to your lifestyle.
So let’s begin by looking at some bad spending money patterns that you already have but probably aren’t even aware of.
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12 Spending money patterns that are keeping you broke
1. You don’t have a budget
Having a budget really is make or break for your finances, I can’t stress this enough.
Without a budget, you can’t see where your money is going or what it is doing for you.
You need to be able to know immediately if you will be able to make it financially until the end of the month or if things are going to get tough.
Having a budget allows you to see potential pitfalls before they happen.
Just think about the times that you have gone into debt without even realizing it. If you had a budget at the time you could probably have avoided at least 50% of this.
If you don’t already have a budget, it’s never too late to start. Take a look at how to create your first ever budget.
You can get a copy of my FREE budget worksheet towards the bottom of this post.
2. You don’t stick to your budget
If you already have a budget that’s great but do you actually stick to it?
It’s pointless having a budget on paper if you never take the time to look over it or rejig it each month.
Revisiting your budget each month is important because expenses change.
Your income may even change especially if you are self-employed or have irregular income.
I challenge you to keep on top of your budget and take it more seriously from now on so you can make some better money choices.
3. You emotionally spend
We’ve all been guilty of this at some point. We’ve had a hard day, so we feel that we deserve a treat.
It could be that new top you’ve had your eye on or that new fancy restaurant that you want to eat at but can’t really afford.
Whatever it is, it’s important not to spend money just based on what you are feeling. Feelings change all the time. It’s not a great business model to follow.
Doing this is detrimental to your finance.
You need to be honest with yourself and recognize emotional spending for it is so you can ditch it asap.
4. You buy things you can’t really afford
Can I afford this?
Do I really need this?
These are 2 really important questions that you should always ask yourself before you make any type of purchase.
Firstly you shouldn’t be buying things that you can’t afford anyway because if you can’t afford it then you are heading into debt.
The second question is the one that we are not always honest with ourselves about. Do you really need it? Be honest.
If you can’t afford it you have no business buying it.
You either save up towards it IF and only if you really need it or you buy a cheaper version that you can afford.
Spending money on things that you don’t really need is not wise.
If you feel that you do need to make a purchase then I would highly suggest you use Paribus.
Paribus is great for keeping track of any purchases that you make online.
Once you make a purchase they will keep track of it and it the price drop they will help you to get a refund on the difference.
Paribus is not just good for clothes, you can also use it for booking hotels and if order a package and it turns up late you can also be compensated for that too.
Oh yeah, its free to use so you have nothing to lose and money to gain.
5. You want to keep up with the Joneses
Trying to keep up with the Joneses can only lead to one thing and that is bad debt.
Most of us have this really bad money habit and it comes down to how we feel about ourselves on the inside.
Why do you always feel you need to have the same things as your friends or your next door neighbor?
I’ll let you into a little secret. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with the Joneses because the Joneses have an unlimited supply of cash.
I could be wrong here but I’m guessing you don’t have that same kind of resource.
If you want to know how to stop spending money, stop following what the Joneses do and stick to your budget.
Remember this spending money post by pinning it to your favorite Pinterest board!
6. You don’t pay yourself first
Paying yourself first simply means putting aside money into your savings or as an emergency fund.
If you don’t have an emergency fund yet, you can learn all about why it is so important for you and your family here.
Sometimes we focus so much on trying to pay our bills and buying more “stuff” that we feel that we can’t save or even have the ability to save up for anything.
The truth of the matter is that you must make saving a priority if you want to reach financial freedom.
Sure you have to make sure your bills are paid and I’m not saying for a moment that you should sacrifice paying bills on time but saving money should not be an afterthought as it is for many of us.
Paying yourself first is really important. The amount that you pay yourself to begin with is not as important as getting in the habit of doing it and having the discipline to continue doing it.
You can always increase your savings on a month to month basis at any time.
You can also take part in a money-saving challenge which will help you to stay focused. Take a look at the challenge here
7. You buy things on a whim
I used to buy things this way all the time. I would go to the mall to do my weekly food shop and the clothes shop next door would catch my eye.
I would always tell myself that I was just browsing and wasn’t going to buy anything but I always bought something. ! convinced myself that I needed it or that it was too good of a bargain to pass up.
I was in debt but I couldn’t stop.
If you are buying things on a whim you need to stop.
The cash envelope system can help you with this problem.
I use the cash envelope system now and it has helped me in leaps and bounds to become more financially stable.
You must build up the resistance to say no to yourself sometimes. There is nothing wrong with this.
8. You’re a habitual overdraft user
This used to sum me right up.
I had a wonderful overdraft facility at my bank that I would consistently abuse.
I used it so much that it became normal to be overdrawn. It felt like my own money.
Except it wasn’t.
Every month I had to pay a fee for the privilege of going overdrawn and on top of that, I had to pay an interest rate.
It’s not a good idea to keep using this facility especially if you are doing it unnecessarily.
I never worked on trying to pay it back and to be honest it was the furthest thing from my mind because I didn’t feel it was costing me money each month.
It was, and that was money that I could have been saving up instead of wasting.
If you are using your banks’ overdraft facility this way I advise you to clear it as soon as you can, it’s doing nothing for your financial health.
9. You think you have to spend every dollar you make
Are you guilty of this? I know many people are.
We get paid $3000 and month so we plan to spend $3000 a month.
This is the wrong way to do things.
You should actually put some of that money away for savings or your emergency fund.
What happens if your boiler breaks down tomorrow or your car needs repairs?
If you don’t financially prepare for this then it means you plan to go into debt.
Think before you spend unnecessarily.
10. You don’t know how to use your credit card
If you have a credit card, you must know how to use it properly.
It can’t just be another form of access to cash for you.
If you want to win with credit cards learn how to use them properly.
Every credit card does different things, so know what benefits yours has.
Some are great for cash back. Some will penalize you if you withdraw cash and some will allow you to borrow for free as long as you pay it back in full by the end of the month.
If you feel that you need a credit card, make sure you know its benefits BEFORE you start using it.
11. You think you are financially invincible
It’s easy to think that when you are in your 20’s money doesn’t matter.
You can gloss over your credit rating, you can borrow whenever you want and pay it back when you feel like it.
There seems to be “free” cash everywhere.
This is a lie. You are being watched and tested on every credit purchase that you make.
Your credit history follows you so you need to be smart about it.
ANYONE no matter their age can end up in debt. Be careful about what you are spending on because no one is invincible.
Debt has a sneaky way of spiraling on you.
12. You have no financial goals
You need goals for everything, no matter if it is your health, fitness, your career or money.
Without goals, you can’t track your progress and have nothing to aim for.
Your goal could be to have $1000 in your emergency fund by the end of the year. It could be that you want to have a much-needed family holiday, buy a house, or buy a new car.
Whatever it is you need goals in order to stay on track and achieve the prize.
If you want to clear your student loan then you need to have goals to help you attain that.
Goals keep you focused always remember that.
BONUS 13. You just don’t make enough money
Sometimes we just don’t make enough money to cover all of our expenses.
When this happens the only thing we can do is to revisit our budget to see if there are any additional costs that we can cut.
If not then perhaps its time to look at trying to get some extra income.
You may not want to do that but it doesn’t have to feel like a burden trying to make some fast extra cash.
Here are some ways to make extra cash
1. Use eBay to your advantage
Sell items that you are no longer needing on eBay. You can also make buying and selling on eBay a job.
I used to do this a few years ago with pushchairs.
It was a great way for me to make a little bit of quick extra cash.
2. Make some savings using Ebates
Ebates is a great way to save money through purchases that you were already going to make anyway.
It’s easy and free to start. All you need to do is to download the Ebates app, shop as you usually would online then wait to see the cashback roll in.
It’s a no brainer! You can sign up here
3. Look into transcribing
Transcribing is a great way to make extra income for your family. You can earn up to $60,00 a year by doing this.
There is a massive market for it right now and the earning potential is HUGE!
If you’ve never heard of transcribing or want to look into a little bit more you can take try out the free mini-course here
4. Meal planners are your friend
Use a meal planner to cut your grocery costs. Platejoy is a great way to do this.
By using a meal planner you will be shopping with only the food list that they gove you so no more food wastage.
The thing I love about Platejoy is that you have the ability to tailor your meals according to your preference.
If you don’t have much time to prepare meals, they will provide meals for this.
If you need to cut your costs, they can do that
If you want low sugar or healthy meals they can do that.
It’s so easy to start and it’s risk-free because you can try it free for 10 days. If you decide that you love it you can use the discount code GET10 to get $10 off your purchase.
It’s a fantastic way to save money on meals. Try it out here.
5. Give Ibotta a try
Ibotta is a couponing app that gives you cash back for doing certain things.
If you make a purchase on a particular product then provide proof of receipt to Ibotta you get to earn some cash back.
The great things about Ibotta is that you can use it in addition to any other couponing that you already do.
This makes it attractive to many users.
To get started you simply download the app on your phone.
Once downloaded open up the offers tab to see which products are being promoted.
There are many ways to earn money through Ibotta so its not just through making purchases.
Final thoughts on spending money
It’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you unintentionally make bad money decisions, we’ve all been there.
The main thing is that you learn how to stop spending money so that you can become debt free and make better financial choices.
Start today by putting together your budget plan and being much more conscious about the points listed above.
We all have to start somewhere.
Today is a great day to start making better choices.
- Good money habits that can improve your families lifestyle
- How a family meal planner can save you time and money