ATM :: 5 money habits you must get rid of

By: CreditVidya | New Delhi | April 14, 2015 5:02 pm | Financial Express
Bad financial habits getting the better of you? Do you constantly berate yourself over your money habits? Those quirks you develop sometimes can become lifetime companions paving the way to financial ruin, if not worse. If you don’t recognize bad financial habits in time, you run the risk of losing a lot of money and damaging your Cibil score in the process – a bad Cibil score means you will not have access to credit when you require it.

Here is a list that can serve you well:

1. Not budgeting your spend

A simple way to control your expenses is to start budgeting your spend. There are some mandatory payouts you need to make in a month, but what about your other expenses? Is there a scope of cutting your spend there?

When you make a budget and mark out categories there, you will find there are places that you are overspending. More often than not it is in categories such as entertainment or shopping. Tracking your expenses over time will show you the problem areas after which you should make a few conscious decisions to cut down on unnecessary expenses.

2. Going overboard with the credit card

As easy as it is to use your credit card, it may lead you into a debt trap that is not easy to get out of. Many people give into the temptation of buying things they cant afford by using their credit cards. As a result they are unable to make repayments on time. Credit cards are the most expensive form of debt as the annual percentage rate of interest on them is as high as 36-40%. Credit cards should therefore never be used to fund your desires. On the other hand, if credit cards are used judiciously each month, and repaying the outstanding amount in full, it may lead to a stellar Cibil score.

3. Dipping into emergency funds

Financial planning wisdom suggests that every person should have an emergency fund that should see him through at least three to six months. If you have created an emergency fund and dipping into it now and then, it will be of no use to you when an emergency really crops up. Therefore make it a conscious habit to put in a bit of your earnings away in an emergency fund each month. If you get a bonus or a monetary gift sometime, make sure a large share of it is directed towards this emergency fund. That is called being prepared for a rainy day!

4. Buying things to make yourself happy

There are a lot of businesses out there that are making money because you like to binge. This is not to deride the fact that India is called a “consumption” led economy, but give it a careful thought. Do you buy things to uplift your mood, or just because you are bored? If that is so, you are perhaps consuming mindlessly to make yourself content, and sorry to sound philosophical, but material things cannot buy you happiness. Do buy yourself a nice thing or two once in a while, but make it habit to save more than you spend.

5. Waking up late

As bizarre as it sounds, waking up late can also have a negative impact on your finances. Imagine the number of times you have switched off that alarm button and gone back to bed and before you know it, there’s barely enough time to get to work! Now rewind and think what would have happened if you had not  hit the snooze button on your alarm. In that extra hour that you would have gotten maybe you could exercise to give your day a jump start, do some long pending reading or get started on your plans to learn a new skill.

All these activities can directly or indirectly lead to a higher income. So instead of getting that coveted hour of sleep, fill in your morning hours with these activities and guess what, you will feel more productive than ever before. And as they say, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!”

Bad habits are not easy to get rid off, but with a bit of hard work and conscious efforts you can indeed get rid of them, especially when they are impacting your finances. If you have empathized with one or more of the above mentioned points its time for you to make the effort now! It may be painful for you to make these changes in the immediate short term, but inculcating good financial habits over time will lead to you saving more money over time as well as maintain a healthy Cibil score.

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