When it comes to personal finance, our habits can really make or break us. When we're able to adopt positive financial habits, the benefits are endless: a better credit score, less financial stress, a bigger savings account balance . . . Unfortunately, many of us have also taken on financial habits that could actually end up hurting us. Here are three financial habits you might want to consider breaking.
1. Spending more than you want to earn rewards points
Provided they're used responsibly, rewards credit cards can be an awesome thing. However, if you find yourself using a credit card just so you can get more points, you might be in for a world of trouble. One way you can break this bad habit is to only use your rewards card for regular, monthly expenses. Let's say you decide to leave your card at home and only use it to make payments on your phone bill, which you then pay back in full every month.
2. Ignoring your bills
Coming home to a big pile of bills is a drag, there's no doubt about it. But tossing them onto the coffee table and ignoring them for weeks on end can have terrible consequences for your financial well-being. Whenever you find yourself faced with a bill, do with it immediately. While it might be a bit of a struggle at first, over time you can get the rewards of having less financial stress.
3. Cycling your debt without fixing the real problem
While having a lower interest rate can help solve short-term problems for you, if you do it all the time you could be avoiding the possible problem. In fact, it might even be keeping you from coming to terms with the behaviors that are forcing you into a state of debt. Building a budget could help you uncover ways to cut back and save.
For most of us, changing our behavior isn't as simple as turning off a switch, so it may take a lot of time and effort. Starting is the hardest part but, I can assure you, it gets easier with time.