A famous philosopher once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Now, Aristotle may have hit the nail on the head when he said that, but the fact of the matter is that excellence is not the only thing that habits can lead to. Bad habits, when left undeterred, can also lead to ruin, whether it’s physical, emotional, or even financial.
Here are 4 costly habits that are keeping you in debt, without you even knowing!
1. Buying expensive coffee
Affordability is relative, but to a typical American middle-class, there should be nothing affordable about a $2 cup of coffee. After all, almost nobody buys coffee just once. What may seem like a $2 single purchase will eventually spiral into a weekly or even daily habit, costing hundreds of dollars over the course of the year. That’s probably why it came as no surprise when a CNBC report in 2017 revealed that Starbucks had earned $5.6 billion in one quarter alone. Talk about too much coffee.
2. Eating out too often
There’s nothing wrong about eating out every now and then with your friends and family, after all, eating together is a great way to bond with your loved ones. But if you’re eating out more than two or three times a week, then maybe it’s time for you to reassess things a little bit. According to a consumer report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends over $3000 a year on dining out. That’s almost $58 a week on food, and that doesn’t even include groceries.
3. Keeping up with the Joneses
Do you follow the latest trends? Are you always updated with what everyone is doing or buying? It’s normal to want to keep up with the Joneses, but you have to keep in mind that if you’re already spending hours just scrolling through social media, it’s not healthy anymore, both for your mind and your wallet. You don’t really need that new bag when you’re got a dozen in your closet, right? And do you really have to get a brand new phone? You just got yours earlier this year.
4. Forgetting to budget
Not everyone likes budgeting, that’s true, but basic budgeting skills are a must if you want to get out of debt and stay there. If you’re always forgetting to budget, you’re probably also forgetting to account for the things that you’re buying. What did you spend an extra $500 on again last month? If you don’t know the answer, then it’s time to whip out your pen and paper and start budgeting properly.
Learn how to take control of these five costly habits and you’ll certainly see an improvement in your financial life.