You might be a master strategist when it comes to mapping out your savings - but Julius Caesar was master strategist at one time, too. And look how it ended for him. The problem - emotions got in the way. Ah, those pesky emotions! They can make us feel all sorts of things from love to lament - to just plain broke.
Here aresix costly habits that are destroying your savings strategy...
6 costly habits to keep away from your savings
- Impulse buys
You’re standing in line at the grocery store with your entire grocery list having materialized in your cart. And then you see it: Kate Middleton is pregnant!Again. With triplets. Hmmm... sounds unlikely, but your curiosity is piqued. It’s something you could verify at the tips of your fingers through your smartphone, but then again - the magazine is sitting right there. So you pick it up and add it to the cart. Ah - it turns out she’s not pregnant withthree heirs to the throneafter all. Argh, she's not even pregnant.
- Retail therapy
To help settle your woes over the fact that you’ve just been bamboozled out of $5 while standing in line at the grocery store (again), you decide to go on a shopping trip! “Just to get what I need” you promise yourself. Oops! You end up coming home with $300 of stuff - all charged to the card (and unless you pay that balance off in full before the end of the month, it will work out to much, much more).
- Fitting in
Friends! Friends will make you feel better. Unfortunately, those friends with whom you share your entire wardrobe, your secrets, even your morning lattes - you don’t exactly share the same budget. So when they say they’re going to get manis and pedis followed by drinks on a patio in some part of town you can’t afford, you should be graciously refusing. Instead, you reluctantly agree - and end up having to dip into your savings just to join. If it makes you feel any better, they’re probably just as poor as you.
- Generosity overload
You give the best hostess gifts. You always surprise friends with thoughtful birthday treats. When a friend is getting married or having a baby, you throw the shower! Of course, you can’t afford any of these things, but you just can’t help yourself. Unfortunately, your kindness is killing your credit.
- Morning coffees
Okay, it’s a new day - and time to start fresh. What better way to start fresh than with a fresh cup of coffee? So you walk to the coffee shop at the end of the street and order yourself “the usual” - which the barista already knows since you’re there every single morning (and afternoon...). With thecoin you’ve spenton overpriced javaover the past three months, you could have bought yourself your own luxury coffee maker three times over, a year’s supply of fine coffee - and may have even had enough left over to hire your own barista.
- Revving up
You have a few errands to do close by. You could walk - but walking’s hard! And you’re tired. And there are bugs outside. So you rev up your engine and put the pedal to the metal to drive the six blocks it would have taken you to walk. At least your hair is bug free. Too bad you have to refill your gas tank. The regular stuff this time, please - not premium!
Kill the habit
Shucks - and you were doing so well on the road to financial freedom. But those precarious impulse buys, the bouts of retail therapy, trying to fit in with friends, daily morning coffees, and driving absolutely everywhere may have been holding you back. Time to take out the ol’ pen and pad again! Let’s start a new strategy: If you can figure out practical means of cutting out (or at least minimizing) these habitual savings destroyers, you’ll have no problem mastering your financial goals.