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Better Habits for Better Finances

better habits for better financesMaybe New Year’s Resolutions aren’t your thing, but you still want to make improvements in your life. Simply altering bad habits into good habits can make a big difference, especially when it comes to personal finances. If you are looking for how to get rid of debt, adopting some of these habits can help you on your way. Here are some better habits to try in the new year for better finances.

Better Habits to Save Money

If your 2014 finances did not receive the glowing report that you wanted, try making small adjustments in your financial habits. This will help you see results but not feel overwhelmed. Saving small amounts of money across your budget will add up and help you get rid of credit card debt.

Dine at Home. Enjoying dinner out on the town can be a great time, whether it’s celebrating an anniversary, avoiding the kitchen or having a new culinary experience. Limiting the amount of times you dine out can do wonders for your finances. Instead of having a bad habit of eating out whenever, set a monthly budget for eating out as a better financial habit.

Brown Bag Lunch. Similarly, stop spending all your money on lunch! If you cut back to eating out once a week, you could save anywhere from $25 to $50 a week, depending on your habits.  To make this spending habit even better, convince your coworkers to do the same. Start a soup club and share tasty lunches together.

Buy Used. There is a vast world of used products just waiting to find their next owner. Everything from cars to clothing to furniture can be bought used, in good or great condition. Used furniture may not initially have the look you want,but use the money you saved initially and invest in some paint or hardware. Thrift stores range from Salvation Army to more chic boutiques. Get in the habit of trying to buy used first, and purchase new as a back-up plan.

Wait to Spend Big Bucks. The thrill of buying new appliances or cars can be very exciting. This bad spending habit may have gotten you into trouble in the past. Before jumping into a major purchase, try and wait to buy. You may find a better deal elsewhere or you may get the seller to give you a sweeter deal. Finally, you may realize you don’t actually need it! Make it a habit to take at least one night before investing in large purchases.

Review of Better Habits

Old habit: dining out frequently. Better habit: budgeting monthly for dinners outside the home.

Old habit: buying lunch everyday. Better habit: buying lunch only one day.

Old habit: buy everything new. Better habit: first look for used items, then buy new.

Old habit: impulse shopping for big ticket items. Better habit: waiting, researching and thinking through a major purchase.

Whether you have to get rid of debt, are trying to save for a major purchase or need to start an emergency fund, small habit changes can serve a role in the process. Attempting to change your spending habits in little ways may ensure success over drastic changes. So, try one or try them all and start your better financial habits now. If you want more ideas on reaching your financial goals, check out this previous blog article on  How to Save Money for a Goal.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Michelle

Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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