We all want to be rich. We spend hours upon hours looking for the next best thing that will put us on the path of wealth and riches. But, do you know what’s really making you poor?
It’s those little things that happen every day that we don’t think about. Those small mindless purchases while scrolling through our Facebook feed. Those times you grab a coffee on the way to work or buy that morning pastry because “you deserve it.”
I’m not saying you can’t treat yourself to your favorite things but at some point, you have to think about the big picture. And, in this case, it’s your bank account balance!
It’s these things, little by little, over time that is really making you poor.
In this blog post, we’re going to talk about 12 things or habits that are keeping your bank account low and your wallet empty!
1. Not saving for retirement
You need to provide for your future, and that includes investing in it today so you have something when the time comes! Investing just a small amount of money now can add up with interest over time into a nice nest egg by the end of retirement age! And if you’re not sure what or how much you should be investing in, start with contributing a little more to your 401k and work your way up to a more substantial investment.
2. Taking on too much debt
You make $50,000 per year and spend $55,000. That’s a problem! Even if you have the best of credit or can score some interest-free cash from your bank to help with expenses, it will catch up to you eventually.
It’s hard to get by these days with credit card debt. Stop digging that hole deeper, because it will be harder for you to climb out of the financial hole than if you had never gotten in one at all! Cut back on your spending so you can pay off what you owe more quickly or just stop using your cards altogether.
It doesn’t matter how much money is coming into your account every month; what matters is how much money goes out. If you’re spending more than you earn, then your financial situation will never improve because you’ll owe interest on the unpaid balance and have nothing left to pay it down with.
3. Eating out every day
Eating out every day is a HUGE money waster. It’s just not worth it to spend $15 every time you want to eat something. If you’re looking for healthier options, there are plenty of recipes online that you can use to make your meals in bulk and save tons on food costs. You can also cook large batches of things like rice, pasta, and beans to create a lot of flavorful dishes that can last you for the whole week.
In addition to the cost of food, eating out every day can be expensive for your health. A lot of restaurant meals are full of salt and fat which is not good for you on a daily basis. Eating at home will save you money in the long run! It’s also better for weight loss because it lets you control the portions.
4. Paying for an expensive phone bill
Another thing that’s making you poor is your phone bill! If you’re on a contract, make sure to pay attention and keep track of how much data and minutes are being used each month. It’s very easy to go over your limit if you don’t know what it is or aren’t paying close attention which can cost you a lot of money. If the price is too high, shop around for an alternative carrier and make sure to read up on all the contract details before signing anything.
5. Not budgeting
The other thing that’s making you poor is not budgeting! If it sounds like a lot of work, there are many tutorials online to help walk you through the process. You’ll be amazed at what your money can do if you start paying attention to where it goes each month and then make adjustments when needed.
6. Keeping up with the Joneses
Another thing that’s making you poor is keeping up with the Joneses. It might be easy to get caught up in what your friends are doing and forget about how much money it takes for them to do those things. Everybody can’t afford everything they want which leaves some feeling like there isn’t any way out of their situation. You have to learn to be content with what you have, and when you’re in the position to do better you’ll be glad you made the sacrifice.
7. Driving an expensive car
Many people go into purchasing a luxury vehicle without thinking about the expenses that come with it. Some luxury vehicles require a lot of upkeep like expensive oil changes, premium gas, and large monthly payments. And if you’re not careful with your money or don’t have the funds to maintain it, then it’s going to be a problem.
8. Not having an emergency fund
Many people are living paycheck to paycheck without a savings account. If you’re not careful, then it’s easy for your money to get eaten up by small emergencies that come up in day-to-day life like an unexpected car repair or even the cost of getting sick and having no health insurance.
9. Paying for subscriptions you don’t use
Cable TV subscriptions are one of the most expensive expenses that people have and often it’s not something they use. What do we mean? In many cases, people only watch a couple of channels, yet they’re still paying for the channels that they or their family members don’t even watch!
The problem is further compounded by bundling: many cable providers offer discounts on packages of channels rather than letting you pick what channels you want, so you might be getting a discount upfront (although not as big as it seems) and then being charged more per channel after the introductory period is over.
Apart from cable TV, there are other subscriptions like news magazines, gym memberships, streaming services, and many people don’t realize how much these subscriptions are costing them. So, in order to save money this year try cutting back or canceling any subscriptions that you no longer need or use.
10. Not on the same page with your spouse
Believe it or not, there are many people who are married that are not on the same page financially. That doesn’t mean that they are poor, but it does mean there is a difference in their perception of money.
If you want to make sure this isn’t happening in your relationship, then get on the same page with your spouse. That means talking honestly about where all your money goes and how much debt each person has or carries per month. It is less stressful when you both have a common goal in mind and work together to reach it.
11. Buying things you don’t need
This is a no-brainer, but the truth of the matter is that we all do this from time to time even though we know better! You may not notice it at first, but the months will go by and you’ll soon have a pile of items that you don’t need or use. The key here is to buy only what’s necessary and what will make your life and living space easier or more enjoyable in some way.
It is really easy to get into debt or make your finances worse if you are not mindful of what you’re spending money on and how much. It can also be hard when both spouses have different ideas about where the money goes each month, but it’s always easier for everyone involved to just agree on a plan and stick with it instead of constantly arguing about it.
The next time you have the urge to buy something, think very hard about whether or not you really need that item and if you will use it frequently enough for your purchase decisions to be justified. Changing these 11 things will help save money which can then go towards other things in life like traveling with family!
You’ll thank yourself for making these small sacrifices in the long run.