It’s the second half of the year and it’s that period when a lot of people review their yearly goals/resolution. Some of us may have decided to save more, invest more, have additional streams of income,etc. Whatever your money goals are, here are 10 bad money habits you need to avoid so as to achieve your financially goal faster.
1. Spending first, then saving what is left: I have over flogged this point but this is so important that I have to keep repeating it. A lot of people say, oh AKAglue I have been working for xx years but I have been unable to save/invest. The reason you are unable to save is because you are trying to save what is left after spending. the right way is to save first, then spend whatever you have left .
2. Not having a budget: A budget shows you how much to spend on each expense category. With a budget in place, you see how much money you are bringing in and where they are going to. If you do not have a monthly budget, you are most likely not going to be financially afloat. Budgeting is not a difficult task, see my post HERE on a practical family budget.
3. Buy now, pay later: A lot of people live pay check to pay check. Even before their monthly salary comes in, they have already expended all of it. Except you have a hang over your finances, I do not encourage buying on credit. Over the course of the year, you realise that you work just to service your debt. Do not buy items that you are banking on your next salary for it’s payment.
4. Buying on impulse: A lot of ladies are guilty of this, me inclusive. Someone comes into our office with this shoe that we love, meanwhile we do not need another black shoe because you have 5 other pairs of black shoe. We coo and aww over the shoe, and gbam we buy it. Most times we even buy them on credit. Before you buy an item, think through it. Learn to differentiate your want from your need. You may want the shoe but you do not need it. Impulse buying is emotional buying. Avoid the temptations and be a master over your emotions.
5. Living above what you earn: Eating out on a daily basis/dining out on a weekly basis, expensive spa treatment, luxury holidays, expensive jewellery etc. While it’s ok to indulge in them if you can afford it, but for those that cannot, try and reduce all these personal vices so as to live within your means. Don’t try to impress anybody and be real to yourself.
6. Deeping into your emergency fund: Personal financial planners always suggest that you have funds that can see you through a period of 3-6 months. I however advice 6 months. Yes we should not anticipate rainy days but these things do happen. I have heard so many stories of people that went to work only to find out that they cannot log into their system. If you have such funds, you should not be deeping into it no matter what unless it is for it’s purpose.
7. Leaving all your money in your checking (current) account: A colleague of mine woke up one morning to see debit alerts to the tune of N1 million. While it is not security wise to leave all your funds in your current account, it is also not financially wise. You tend to over spend when you have all your money on one account, also your money is lying idle. I like having my money working for me. So move some to either a savings account, or a fixed deposit or invest it in the money market by buying treasury bills or in a mutual fund.
8. Not diversifying your investments : Always ensure you diversify your investments so as to spread the risk. A lot of people have lost tons of money by investing in only one class of investment. A lot of people have all their investments in the stock market. Also, even within the stock market, do not place all your funds in the same class of industry. e.g Having all your stock within the banking industry. Spread your investment across stocks, treasury bills, bonds, mutual funds etc.
9. Falling back frequently to quick loans: There are so many institutions that give out quick personal loans. They seem attractive because you do not need to present a collateral, but then their interest rates are usually high. While it maybe ok to fall back on them in times of great financial need, one should not fall back on them all the time.
10. Thinking that more cash will bring more financial freedom: More money does not necessarily mean more happiness . You may be earning more but be in debt because of poor money habits. However, while you strive to increase your earnings,be grateful for where you are, make the right financial decisions and increase your net worth no matter how little you earn. If you are faithful in little, much more will added unto you.