“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” –Maria Robinson
Take a moment to think about this quote. Ask yourself how it relates to you and your personal finance habits. It’s not always about beginnings. Sometimes it is about endings – ending old ways of doing things so you can start building your ideal life.
Here are some common money wasting habits you might have right now.
1. Buying on impulse – If you have a budget and know how you have targeted your spending each month, this one is easy. If not, now might be the time to set up a budget. Start simple. Follow the easy steps in my budgeting article. If you need help with setting up your budget, get the help you need.
2. Stop paying for things you can get for free, or things you can get for much less – You probably think you never do this. Ask yourself, are you paying for:
Bottled water – Buy a filter to attach to your kitchen and/or bathroom faucets – or get a water-filtering pitcher. Lunches out – One trip a week to the market, and you can get all you need for lunch for the cost of 1 or 2 days of eating lunch out. All the latest gadgets – Wait at least 6 months or more when the latest smart phone or electronic gadget hits the market. The prices are likely to drop significantly.
3. Buying designer name brand clothing – Go for knockoffs, if you like wearing labels. Or better yet, find a thrift store or consignment shop in upscale neighborhoods. You might even find authentic brands for 1/4 of what you normally pay.
4. Getting a new car every 2-3 years – Cars lose value the moment you drive them off the lot. That means you can drop thousands of dollars as soon as you turn out of the dealer’s lot. Maintain your existing car. Or if you have to change, go for a slightly used one. Remember to choose brands and models that hold value.
5. Paying for gym memberships and equipment – If you haven’t been to the gym or used that equipment for 3 months, get rid of it. If you decide to get serious about getting fit, start with walking, running, or get a cheap DVD to use at home.
There are more you can probably think of on your own. Why not make your own list.