Upon analyzing your debt and coming up with a plan to decrease it, you’ll probably find that some of your money habits are costing you. Here are a few money habits that hurt more than help you and alternatives to those habits.
Carrying Credit Card Balances
Carrying a credit card balance is most likely one of the biggest culprits costing you money. Having a high interest on debt that you only make monthly payments on can cost you thousands of dollars in interest along with taking a very long time to pay off. Instead, use every bit of extra money that you can in order to get rid of your balance. Also, prevent your debt from piling up by paying off your balance in full each month, whenever it is possible.
Many people put off saving for retirement which will catch up to them when they reach retirement age. A little motivation and planning can help you add to your retirement savings. The more you can picture yourself at that time, the more real it becomes and the more inclined you are to save.
Be sure you are shopping around for monthly services including: insurance, phone, internet and cable. Check prices once a year to make sure you are not missing out on savings. Keep a list of the company’s name, your account numbers and your monthly payment amounts to make comparing prices easier and clearer.
Observe your habits when it comes to cable and your landline. There are many free and cheaper alternatives that you may be able to switch to based on your observed habits. You may be able to drop your landline and use your cellphone or refrain from using your landline service for a month here and there.
When it comes to your TV, switch to basic cable and drop premium channels. Many companies now offer bundles where you can bundle all of your services together which may save you money based on your specific habits. Or, use YouTube, Hulu, Netflix or Redbox to watch your favorite shows. Also, check out phone plans that offer unlimited text, data and calls or use free internet phone services through services such as Skype of Vonage.
Lastly, be aware of your small habits such as getting a bite of fast food or getting a latte every morning. Although it doesn’t seem like it at the time, it can end up costing you at least $1,000 a year. Also, be sure you have an emergency fund and check websites for coupons before going shopping.
Observe your spending habits and where your money goes. Be creative with your choices and don’t be afraid to shop around.