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Three Tricks for Creating Good Money Habits
It is never easy to break a bad habit but when it comes to money, I find it even more difficult. Here are a few tricks I am using to help me create some better money habits.
There are always expenses that I know are coming up. Things like Christmas and birthdays come every year but yet every year I always find myself unprepared for these expenses. This often means that I either dip into savings to pay for it or that I take money from other areas to pay for it. I am now putting aside a set amount of money every month for these things. To make sure I can’t cheat, I am taking this money out in cash every month. This also helps ensure that I don’t overspend and I have the money available when I need it.
Getting Into the Habit of Saving
While I have a fairly significant amount of money in my emergency savings account, that account has decreased rather than increased over the past year. I also do not routinely save for retirement. My goal is to get my emergency savings account to $5,000 and to begin setting aside at least $50 per month for retirement. Getting to this goal means making saving a monthly habit. So after all necessary expenses are paid each month, I am making myself set aside money to save. It is sometimes not much now but getting myself into the habit of saving monthly, even if it is $20, is important.
Proper Budget Tracking
I have a budget but I have a hard time sticking to it. There is usually at least one area every month where I overspend. A part of the reason why I have issues is because I do not track my spending on a regular basis. I sometimes do not track my spending for two weeks and it sometimes even goes as long as a month. My goal is to track my spending on at least a weekly basis and compare my spending to my budget weekly as well. When I do this, it helps me identify problems before they get out of control and helps me identify common overspending issues.
I have not been entirely successful in these areas yet but I am continuing to work on it every month. Breaking bad habits and establishing new ones takes time and persistence.