Harmful Household Spending Habits You Need to Stop
Our household spending eats up a major portion of our income. We spend money for food, clothes, fuel, and shelter on a daily basis — all essential for our survival. But we also buy things on a whim, because that really nice piece of furniture will look just amazing in the entryway. We buy this popular brand of detox drinks because you can apparently lose 7 kilograms in just 7 days. We charge everything to our credit cards because it’s more convenient to swipe than to walk a few paces and withdraw money from the ATM.
Not everyone realizes that these seemingly insignificant buying decisions can cultivate bad household spending habits as well. Some even consider getting a cash loan just to appease their impulse purchases. We fail to realize that by spending our money this way, we are actually losing more. Here are some examples of harmful household spending habits that you need to quit ASAP. Which ones are you guilty of?
Not Having a Household Budget
If you don’t have a monthly household budget, there’s no way to find out whether you’re under or overspending. There’s no way to know how much money you have and how you’re spending it. In short, you don’t have a sense of control of your money.
Without a household budget, you don’t have a financial foundation. This can mess up your efforts to save money and meet financial obligations. Having a household budget prevents stressful situations. You can set priorities when it comes to expenses and be educated about your spending habits. Most importantly, you can cut money waste.
Not Having a Grocery List When Shopping
Heading to the supermarket armed only with your wallet is hazardous to your budget. Meandering through the aisles and picking up items that catch your eye is the surest way to overspend and buy things you don’t really need. And the more time you spend inside the supermarket, the more time you waste trying to determine what else you have to buy that you actually need.
The next time you do your grocery shopping, have your shopping list ready and set a maximum time to complete it. An hour should be enough, especially if you know your way around the store. It will help if you list down your items by the order they are arranged in the shopping aisles. This way, you don’t take a detour to check what else is new at the imported chocolates section. Also, take only cash with you since using cash helps your budget in saving money. Bringing extra cash or your credit card will only tempt you to spend more than what you originally planned.
Not Paying Utility Bills on Time
Pay your bills as soon as they come in. Don’t waste money paying for late fees and charges. You may think that they don’t amount to much. But if you add up all those unnecessary charges, it’s enough to pay for a month’s cable TV subscription or your monthly internet plan. It’s a significant money leak. You need to get these bills settled as soon as possible so you can determine how much in your monthly budget you still have left.
Ordering Takeout Food Often
Did you know that it’s possible to eat your way into debt? You can complain all you want about the exorbitant price of gasoline these days, but can you honestly complain about the price of last night’s dinner at that posh restaurant in town? Those lazy weekend afternoons where no one can be bothered to whip up something in the kitchen? They make you reach for the phone and order pizza, burger, and fried chicken instead. If you will compute all the money that you spend on takeout or delivery, you will be surprised at the figures. Instead of going for takeout, why not schedule a simple dinner once in a while and follow our tips on eating at restaurants without spending too much.
Making Purchases Out of Convenience
This is why you devote time to do a quick inventory and see if you’re running out of supplies. The next trip to the supermarket, you’ll be able to buy all of them without forgetting anything. Last minute purchases at the neighborhood convenience store are usually more expensive compared to buying them in advance from the supermarket. Buying something online instead of going to the actual store makes you spend more on administrative fees, shipping, and handling. When you call your favorite fast food place for a meal delivery, an extra amount is charged to your credit card, and you also pay for delivery charges.
Buying Only Brand Name Products
If this shampoo does a good job of cleaning your scalp and repairing your damaged hair, you really don’t need to buy that shampoo which is ₱200 more expensive just because your favorite celebrity is using it. In fact, you don’t need to buy only designer products when there are more affordable but equally effective ones available. Imagine all the money that you can save if you will go for the less expensive choices.
You probably think dry cleaning doesn’t cost a lot of money. But if you send clothes to the dry cleaners quite regularly, it really does add up. If your clothes don’t have a label that says ‘dry clean only’, you don’t have to dry clean them. More often than not, you can just hand wash with soft detergent and cold water. Just let them air dry, and that’s it. To further save money, make sure to check your clothes’ tags before buying. If it says ‘dry clean only’, leave them and move on to a different one.
Checking Flash Sales Online
Opening an email that has Big Sale! on the subject line, or going to your favorite shopping website when you’re feeling upset or emotional, is a bad idea. Before you know it, you’ve already spent a few thousand pesos on a set of pots and pans which you will never use, or a pair of shoes that will just gather dust in the closet. These ‘amazing’ deals are almost always too good to be true, so don’t be duped into thinking that you’re saving hundreds of pesos. Remember that you don’t save money by spending money.
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