Small Habit Adjustments Can Make Huge Financial Differences
For many, it can be extremely difficult to save money and stay on top of finances. There are so many different ways and places one can spend money that balancing your checkbook is no longer as simple as comparing your bank statement with an actual physical checkbook. You need to compare your bank statement with your Amazon order history, other websites you order from, iTunes, and the receipts that you remembered to specifically ask for because most places don’t automatically give them out anymore. For the other 30 transactions you don’t have a receipt for, you have to hope you remember what they were so you know they aren’t fraudulent. Unless, of course, you decide that all that work isn’t worth it, which makes life far simpler, but harder to keep track of finances. Let’s talk about three ways you can change your habits to make a big difference in your finances.
Become an Impulse-Shopping Survivor
Impulse purchases are often a total waste of money, and people experience buyers remorse for impulse purchases far more often than for purchases that are better thought-out. So how do you beat impulse purchasing? Make a habit of considering a purchase for at least 24 hours before making it. If, after 24 hours, you still feel like the purchase would be smart, then it’s a lot likely to be. Some people say that this only works for big purchases, but I’ve noticed this helps me save money in all sorts of situations. For example, if I am out and about for work during lunch and want to pick up food instead of going back to my office and warming up the food I brought, I usually regret it. However, if I plan to go out the next day to get lunch because I’ll already be out, I have plenty of time to think about it and decide whether the money would be well-spent. This applies to everything in life. As an added bonus, this is a fantastic go-to excuse to get past pushy salesmen.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
It’s almost absurd how much cheaper prevention is than treatment. This applies to not only your health and the health of your family, but we’re also talking about your home, your car, and anything else major in your life. Changing your oil is a lot cheaper than replacing something that broke because you didn’t change your oil. Running shoes and tossed salad are a lot cheaper than heart surgery or diabetes treatment, and yes, exercise and healthy dieting can go a long way in preventing most heart disease and cancer. Living healthier can be difficult (depending on how bad your current habits are), but it is completely worth it. Properly maintaining your vehicle, even though tires can be expensive, can keep its value up higher, make it last a lot longer, and prevent much more expensive issues from needing to be fixed. Case in point – getting your car realigned is usually $100-$150. Replacing two tires, two calipers, two rotors, and two brake pads because they all got worn down much faster than they should have added another digit onto that price.
Use Your Employment to Your Advantage
Most employers have a plethora of discounts and savings at a bunch of different companies as benefits to their employees. You should be aware of what these discounts and savings are and take advantage of any that make sense. Some of the most common ones are cheaper cell service through a certain carrier, but they can be with certain auto repair shops, restaurants, and even technology companies like Microsoft, HP, Dell, or Lenovo. If you are thinking (at least 24 hours, right?) about a purchase, check what company discounts your employer offers to see if one will help make your purchase cheaper. I used to work at a company that not only had their own gym on campus but also offered a great deal on a membership at a very nice high-end gym downtown. This deal saved me a lot of money while I was there. Employer discounts and savings may also include special deals on getting an IRA or life insurance policy through a certain credit union or bank, and those can make a huge difference throughout your life. Don’t discount the discounts; they can be very valuable to you.