How to Break your Bad Money Habits

There are many out there who have let their money stretch, maybe a little too thin, while trying to make ends meet or there are others who just have not taken strong control of their personal finances who may have picked up some bad money habits along the way that are proving to cause some serious problems in the check book. 

Generally, when there are bad money habits that are keeping you from being able to dig out of debt or being able to save, you need to take a firm grasp of the situation and self-impose some limitations in order to get your financial house in order.

The first good step if you are having issues with credit cards is to go to a cash or debit card only system.  Switching to having to use real cash or money straight from your checking will make the purchases more ‘real’ and tangible rather than the intangible nature and feel of using credit sometimes.  Once you get into a system where you are using cash for everything, not only will you not be adding to credit/debt and paying it down with monthly payments, you will also gain a greater appreciation of the real world cost of things that you are buying, and it will cause you to be a more frugal and better consumer. 

The danger of credit is that for some it can diminish the important decision making process of valuing your money against what you are using it for.  Making yourself pull out some bills every time you buy something rather than swiping your credit card can give that tactile sense of putting a real value on what you are paying out. 

Another great tip in trying to break some bad money habits is to impose some limitations on yourself regarding the immediacy of impulsive spending.  The switching to cash method discussed above is a great way to do this, but there are other ways to do this as well, such as if you are making a large purchase, do not make the purchase impulsively the first time you go into the store.  Force yourself to go home, think it over for another 24 hours or couple of days.  If, after that time period, you still feel like you want and need to make the purchase, then go ahead.  But the time you have set aside in between has allowed you to properly think about and weigh the value of the purchase and its necessity.

Many bad money habits revolve around people not thinking about and valuing money as much as they should.  Being creative and imposing some limitations to slow yourself down and trying to really think about and value money, should help you to curb some of those credit card and impulsive buy issues.  Remember that usually you can wait a day to make that purchase, but you want to make sure you really want it and need it, so allow yourself the time to properly think it over.