Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Personal Finance: Habits that leave you broke

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By Babajide Okeowo

Most times we wonder how fast we run out of cash. This could be down to some bad financial habits that you need to do away with in order to build up your finances.

 

 Using shopping as entertainment

Perhaps, you know people with compulsive shopping habits. Maybe, you are one of them. Spending creates a high that’s addictive and can severely damage your budget and the financial security of your family. Build a better habit: Try a spending fast. Remove your name from catalog lists, stay out of stores and hang out with friends whose idea of fun doesn’t include shopping.

Paying a premium for cable

Cable prices are going nowhere but up. How many channels do you watch at a time? Most importantly, how many hours do you spend watching the Television? So, why pay almost N20K for Premium bouquet? Free and cheaper alternatives make experimenting worthwhile. But will you get out of your rut and try something new? Build a better habit: Before trying a change, record your viewing habits for a week or two to see how and if you’re using the services you currently have.

Living without an emergency fund

If you don’t have an emergency fund, your life is a high-wire act with no safety net. Emergencies are inevitable. Life is full of them. Build a better habit: Make a commitment to change. Write down your pledge and put it where you’ll see it. This will allow it to reinforce your resolve. Keep the change at the forefront of your mind and tell yourself continually, “I can do this.” Commit and watch your savings build. If necessary, take on a few hours of extra work each week, whether it’s overtime at work or watching a neighbour’s dogs.

Buying retail

Have you heard of the maxim, “the more, the merrier”? Paying retail markup is like setting a match to a pile of cash. Smart buyers find ways to avoid doing that. For example, a new car’s value drops fast the minute you drive it off the dealer’s lot. So, buy something gently used instead.

Being scared to invest

Safe investing is important. But there’s safe, and then there’s too safe. Keeping all your money in no-risk accounts means inflation will rob you of spending power slowly but surely.

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