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Breaking Bad (Financial) Habits

Everyone has a bad habit of some kind, including everything from compulsive shopping to smoking or drinking a bottle of wine a little too often (ahem!). But what you may not know is that your bad habits are hurting your finances.

Sometimes it’s obvious that your bad habits have an impact on your finances, while other times the financial impact of a bad habit might be hard to notice at first. But everything you do in your life, including giving in to your habits, has an effect on your finances.

Here are just a few common habits along with some ideas of how to break them.

Compulsive Shopping

I used to suffer from this bad habit and now I’m still paying for the toll it took on my finances. My compulsive shopping habit landed me in about $10,000 worth of high-interest credit card debt. While I still overspend on shopping now and then, I’m doing much better than I used to at controlling this habit.

To control my shopping habit and save money, I have learned to avoid temptation. I don’t look at sales catalogs anymore when they come in the mail. Instead I just throw them in the trash or recycling bin. I’ve also unsubscribed from almost all sales emails and notifications, and I only save coupons I get in the mail if I actually need something.

I’ve also learned to avoid online window shopping, as most of the time this turned into real shopping when I found something I liked. Taking my credit cards out of my wallet and deleting the stored payment information from my favorite online retailers has also helped.

 Going Out to Eat

Man I love going out to eat. Going out to eat with my friends typically makes up the majority of my entertainment budget and is what we do as a group most often. But going out to eat on my own (or ordering in) is especially tempting when I’m really busy and I feel like I don’t have the time or energy to cook. What this really is though is an excuse. And I hate excuses!

I definitely won’t be stopping this bad habit entirely, but I will try to take advantage of money saving ideas when I do go out to eat.

Financing Everything

When I was at my worst, I used my credit cards for every single, tiny, miniscule purchase. I put every purchase on credit because I never knew how much money I had (or didn’t have) in my bank account at any one time. I also knew I had to buy groceries and such to live, but I didn’t really know what I could afford. There are plenty of people who do put every single purchase on credit with the intention of building up reward points, but that certainly wasn’t the case for me.

To solve this one, I took all the credit cards out of wallet so they weren’t an option when I went to pay for things. As I said before, I also deleted the stored payment information (my credit card) from online retail stores I liked to frequent.


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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.