What habits scare your money away
Are you happy with the amount of money you have? Start by checking how much you’re “supposed” to have saved:
- By age 30: the equivalent of your annual salary
- By age 40: three times your income
- By age 50: six times your income
But in reality, the average savings account balance for 35-year-olds and younger is $11,200, for those in the 35-44 range – $27,900. Perhaps it’s time to change the situation for the better. And the first thing on the agenda is getting rid of the habits that hurt your finances.
Bad money habit #1: Negative thinking
Negative self-talk can take many forms:
- It may seem grounded: “I’m not good at math and statistics, so I should avoid attempting anything with numbers.”
- It may be downright mean: “I’m useless.”
- It may be a fear-based fantasy: “If I try, I’ll fail.”
- Or it may feel like realistic self-appraisal: “It didn’t work out the first time, so it’ll never work out.”
But if you get stuck on negative thoughts, it can result in decreased motivation and overwhelming feelings of helplessness. This is not the mindset that sets you up for success.
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Bad money habit #2: Procrastinating
If you always tell yourself that you’ll do it later, when is “later”?
If you postpone fulfilling your commitments, at least have a date and time attached to it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself knee-deep in debt and wondering how you managed to waste all this time. Something as simple as putting off paying your bills or making unjustified purchases on credit can be a stepping stone to financial ruin.
To break the habit, stop telling yourself that the future will take care of itself.
Bad money habit #3: Hanging out with toxic people
You don’t need to be extreme and cut ties with anybody who is not highly successful. But it’s important to recognize draining, unsupportive, and difficult people in your life and see if they hold you back.
Those who are blissfully unaware of how they impact those around them are not worth stressing over. So, protect your time and well-being by limiting your exposure to toxic people.
Bad money habit #4: Being afraid to take calculated risks
When people talk about risk-takers, they tend to describe daredevils and high rollers — this is not what this point is about. Once again, don’t take it to the extreme. Success is not about leaving your comfort zone for good and risking everything on one venture.
Safety is a good thing, and that is why it is important to take calculated risks. For example, take steps to live courageously by:
- Trying something new
- Starting over
- And most importantly, learning from your mistakes!
Bad money habit #5: Living an unhealthy lifestyle
“The greatest wealth is health.”Roman poet Virgil
Unhealthy lifestyles can be a huge barrier to success. It then creates a vicious circle of unhealthy behaviors and high levels of financial stress, which are mutually reinforcing problems.
You may not be able to do a complete 180 right away. Start by identifying what you can directly control and calculate the potential savings from quitting the habit.
And the next time you’re tempted to go with the unhealthy choice, remember that poor health and financial difficulty go hand in hand. Invest in your health!