7 Healthy Spending Habits

by Traci K. on July 30, 2010

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Healthy habits in any area of your life are a great thing to cultivate. Switching your bad spending habits for healthy spending habits can do you a world of good, not to mention your wallet. Like anything else, it can be very hard to make these types of changes, but once you do they become good spending habits that will stick with you for years to come.

  1. Follow your budget: When you follow your budget (even if you occasionally go over) you are building healthy buying habits. Following your budget helps you keep your financial life on track for whatever goals you have in mind.
  2. Ask “Do I really NEED this right now?”: Impulse purchases are part of life, and sometimes they can even be a good thing. Particularly if you find a necessity at a great price. Impulse purchases should always be something you need and shouldn’t completely destroy your budget. Unless it’s a necessity for life (food, medical, shelter), if you just can’t afford it then don’t buy it.
  3. Eat at Home: The more you eat at home, the more you’ll save. Eating out should be an occasional treat once or twice a month. If it becomes a regular outing, then eating out has become a habit and no longer a treat.
  4. Take your lunch and/or coffee to work: We all know how quickly the morning coffee can add up. If you’re still budgeting for the morning coffee and lunch from the vending machines or nearest takeout, make it a point to bring your lunch. If you really can’t make something, try a frozen Dinner. Our local Wal-Mart has Banquet dinners for $0.98 each and Healthy Choice and Smart Ones meals from $1.00-$3.00 each at normal price.
  5. Use Alternate transportation if you can: Gas prices seem to skyrocket every summer and they really haven’t gone back down very much from the large price hike several years back. If you’re going somewhere close enough to walk, or public transportation is an option try utilizing those methods at least once a week.  Or you could try using a bike! You’ll save on gas and car maintenance and you’re helping cut carbon emissions too.
  6. Ditch the Plastic: Credit cards can make a lot of people tend to overspend. Use credit cards only when absolutely necessary and take them while traveling for emergency use. Credit cards are a great way to rack up high interest long term debt, so treat them accordingly.
  7. Become an avid Bargain Hunter: Why buy full price when you can find a similar quality item for less? For some of us, this is like a very addictive game! My husband and I like to compete when we are bargain hunting to see who can find the best price. I knew a gentleman at the company I used to work for who was going on a trip to Puerto Rico during the summer. I literally listened to him call two competing car rental companies and bounce their quotes off of each other and ask for a better deal. He got the weekly rental price down to about a third of the original quote after an hour or so of haggling. I was impressed!
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