I always like to read about what people indulge in, especially as, for the most part, we do not spend a lot of money on indulgences. However, recently, our spending has been creeping up. The balances in our bank accounts are not quite as healthy as they should be on paper, and I know there’s a very good reason for this. I seem to have acquired three bad money habits, which I need to rectify sooner rather than later.
I buy a lot of books. I’m a massive fan of reading, and am an incredibly fast reader, so do get through quite a lot of reading material. I mainly read fiction novels, good thriller novels or suspense ones. I read a lot of the police drama ones, where a detective and sidekick are trying to find a killer before they strike again. I have a lot of books in our house, the majority of which I have read [side note, I need to do a sort out of books to take to the local charity shop soon]. I am very guilty of buying books for my kindle often, as they sound good and it is almost too easy to buy, with one click on the button. As I do not have to enter any payment information to do this, it doesn’t seem like I’m spending, even though I am! Even those 99p ones add up quickly if you buy enough of them.
How to fix this: I need to use our local library more. We have a fantastic library in the centre of town and it has a big variety of books that I could choose from. Both me and my husband are avid readers, and we should make use of this incredible resource that our town is lucky to have. This would then support our local library and keep it open, plus it would mean that we both spend less on books.
I succumb to fast food when I’m tired and cannot be bothered to cook. This one I am really ashamed of, and it seems to be happening more often as of late. When I get home from work, even though I have my lovely meal plan and all the ingredients in the house to make the meal of the day, there are some days when I cannot face cooking at all. In fact, the last thing I want to do is to begin preparing a meal and getting it all sorted. The then dreaded takeaway websites are searched for and before I know it, we’ve ordered something and are waiting for it to be delivered.
How to fix this: I’m going to try and do more preparation on the weekend and try freezing dishes ready so that they can just go into the oven. So, when I then can’t be bothered during the week, I’ve got an almost-ready make meal but it’s homemade and full of goodness. Watch this space!
I have a bit of an obsession with decaf lattes from a well known coffee chain. I seem to be going more regularly. I do try and limit it to a couple a month as a treat, but lately it seems to happen more often. Now, I have read the Latte Factor post that exists in the personal finance blogging world and I know how that can add up. I don’t have one everyday, far from it, but I am aware that I am perhaps spending more than I should be at this particular chain. Especially because when I go in for a coffee, I inevitably get something on the side too, whether that be a panini or a cake, which then boosts the price even more. They’re just so good!
How to fix this: make this a treat again. The more often you have something, the less special it becomes. I ned to get back to once or twice a month, so that it becomes a treat again rather than a regular occurrence. I have coffee at home, which although isn’t as good as it doesn’t come with the lovely warmed, frothy milk, it is a fraction of the cost and the taste is almost the same.
These three bad money habits that seem to have slipped into our routine lately, which are bumping up our budget. Not massively so, but enough to make a difference when I look at our overall spending for the month. And it is mainly my fault, not my husband’s! I am the guilty party with these. In fact, combine a good book with one of those decaf lattes, and it would be a good day. However, over the next few months, I’m going to try and reign these areas in; I’m not going to cut them out completely as I think in the long run that would be counterproductive, but definitely cut down on the lattes!
Have you got any bad habits with money? What do you do to minimise these?