It’s no secret that our spending habits have a significant impact on our financial well-being. Positive habits like spending less than you earn and paying your bills on time can set you up for financial success. On the other hand, poor spending habits often lead to financial stress, instability, and debt.
Below, we’ll cover four everyday spending habits to avoid if you want to get out of debt and get ahead financially.
Spending Too Much on Housing
According to the 2019 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 20 million American renters are “overburdened” by their housing costs. The survey defines this as paying over 30% of monthly income towards rent.
With such a high percentage of monthly income locked up in housing costs, many Americans struggle to get ahead financially- as there is simply not enough left over to tackle debt, save money, or work towards other financial goals.
One way to avoid becoming overburdened is to do your best to keep your rent or mortgage cost 30% or less of your monthly income. Finding affordable housing will be more challenging depending on where you live. Still, it is essential to keep housing costs as low as possible to have money left for your other expenses.
Using Credit Cards Excessively can lead to Debt
Overspending on credit cards is a habit to steer clear of if you want to avoid debt and get ahead financially. However, credit cards can be helpful tools to build credit if used sparingly. The trouble with credit cards lies when they are consistently used to overspend on non-essentials and are not paid off in full each month.
If you do find yourself with credit card debt, there are ways out of it. For example, you could look into debt consolidation services which may help you pay off debt sooner while also saving on interest.
Have you ever gone into a store for just one thing and left with a cart full of items? If this sounds familiar, you may be impulse spending.
One way to curb impulse spending is by creating a shopping list before you go to a store and not deviating from the list. If you want to make an unplanned purchase, a helpful trick is leaving the item but adding it to a “24-hour list”. If 24 hours pass and you still want the item, you can go back and buy it. Odds are you will forget about it minutes after leaving the store.
Paying for Subscriptions That You No Longer Use
A simple but effective way to create some wiggle room in your budget is by canceling any recurring subscriptions that you no longer use. These could be things such as gym memberships, streaming services, or apps. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t utilized the service in 2-3 months, it’s probably time to cancel and redirect the money elsewhere.
Our financial success largely depends on the quality of our financial habits. It is crucial to start regularly practicing healthy financial habits while limiting the patterns that hold us back if we want to get out of debt and accomplish the financial goals that are important to us.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."