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The Hidden Cost of Bad Money Habits

We all have those bad money habits that we secretly indulge in – a little splurge here, a missed payment there. But have you ever stopped to consider the hidden costs of those seemingly harmless decisions? Interest and late fees can add up quickly and leave you with hefty debts to pay.

​​In this blog:

  • What are bad money habits?

  • The truth about impulse buying

  • Pro tip: pay attention to your thoughts

  • Keep the future in mind

  • Beware of fees!

  • The power of habit tracking

  • Stay above the sand

What are bad money habits?

Let's face it, we all have our fair share of bad money habits. 

Whether it's treating yourself to a new outfit or going out for drinks with the gang, it's easy to justify your spending habits with the classic "treat yo self" motto.

Bad money habits can be considered anything that doesn’t bring you long-term happiness. Think overspending on stuff you don’t need, not saving enough and relying too heavily on credit.

They’re like that one friend who always says "let's split the bill evenly" but somehow always orders the most expensive item on the menu. 

Action

Take a moment to think about a recent purchase that you regret. How often does that happen?

By being aware of your bad money habits and making small changes, you can start saving more and building a healthier relationship with your finances.

The truth about impulse buying

Impulse buying is a psychological phenomenon that affects us all. It’s the unchecked desire to buy something, often without considering its practicality or necessity. 

Why do we do this?

There are a lot of reasons. We may succumb to emotional triggers, social pressure or marketing tactics which we’re constantly bombarded with. 

For example, a sale or a limited-time offer can create a sense of urgency and that triggers us to buy something so we don’t lose out on a deal. 

Similarly, if we are feeling stressed or anxious, we may turn to shopping as a form of temporary relief or distraction. It's essential to recognise these triggers and learn to control our impulses to avoid regretful purchases.

Pro tip: pay attention to your thoughts

When it comes to managing our finances, one of the most important things we can do is pay attention to our thoughts. 

They can help us understand why we’re spending money on yet another pair of running shoes.

It's easy to get caught up in the moment and make decisions without considering long-term consequences. But if we take a step back and really think about what we're doing, we'll be better equipped to make smarter financial choices.

Action

The next time you make a purchase online, pause and ask yourself if you really need it.

Being mindful about anything in life is worth it.

Keep the future in mind

That daily coffee run may seem innocent enough but over time, that $5 a day will add up to a whopping $1,825 a year. 

That's a lot of dough for just one small pleasure. 

And let's not forget about those online impulse buys or the snacks that always seem to find their way into our shopping trolley.

Note

Our brains are wired to seek immediate rewards and pleasure, and we often prioritise short-term satisfaction over long-term goals.

By exercising self-control and delaying gratification, we can develop a sense of discipline that will help us stay on track and work towards our long-term goals

And hey, if you can survive on instant noodles and tap water during university, you can certainly survive without a daily coffee from that fancy café down the road.

Beware of fees!

Bad money habits can be costly – especially if you’re making them on a credit card.

Watch out for the sneaky charges that can add up over time – interest, late fees and penalties for not paying on time. 

It's like a game of financial whack-a-mole, where every time you think you've tackled one problem, another one pops up.

The power of habit tracking

We know we shouldn't be spending all our money on takeout and vintage t-shirts, but damn, it feels good in the moment. The problem is, it often catches up with us when we’ve made zero saving progress.

Sorry, house deposit. 

So, to break free from the hold of your Peter Pan complex and start adulting, it’s time to track your spending

Yes, it's boring, but understanding how much money is going where is half the battle.

Tracking one habit in particular is a great place to start. Self-awareness is the first step to change.

Stay above the sand

We know, managing your finances isn't exactly the most thrilling activity on your to-do list. But as much as we'd all like to stick our heads in the sand and ignore our money, taking control of our finances is actually pretty darn important.

It's the difference between living pay cheque to pay cheque or having a bit of wiggle room in your budget. Plus, having a handle on your money gives you a sense of empowerment – you're the boss of your wallet, baby! 

To summarise, bad money habits have a way of catching up with you. Both in the present and long-term.

Alert

They can increase your debt, hurt your credit score and eventually cost you more money and hold you back from your bigger goals.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.

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