Who doesn’t love a great discount or offer? How difficult is it to say no to a sale or that incredible pair of sneakers or a great jacket that just got slashed off? We’re all too familiar with the convenience, temptation, and joy that come with making a great purchase. But there are several habits that, while great for instant gratification, aren’t a good idea when it comes to long-term financial health and your credit score.
Now that the new year is rolling around, it’s important that you commit to breaking out of certain spending habits and behaviors that could be affecting you negatively. Here are some to look out for:
1. Not budgeting effectively
To be fair, budgeting is a vital life skill that a lot of us weren’t taught when we were younger, making it incredibly difficult to abide by as an adult. One of the biggest commitments you can make to yourself and your future is to budget more effectively and realistically. It’s not realistic to expect yourself to save 50% of your income when you have to manage utilities, debt, and personal spending or expect yourself to live like a hermit. Be flexible but firm, sticking to a maximum spending amount and minimum saving amount.
2. Impulsive or emotional purchases and buying
Many of us cope with our emotions through buying things or spending money on food and other indulgences. Once in a while, it’s okay to do so and treat yourself, but making it a regular habit is damaging to your finances. You don’t want to make it a norm to spend money every time you feel down, elated, excited, or nervous. Not every new job interview warrants a fancy outfit; not every date requires a new dress and not every bad day requires an expensive bottle of wine. Planning your purchases is another important practice because impulse buying drives you into debt and financial stress as well.
3. Piling on more credit card debt
Another grave mistake that we’re all too familiar with is using your credit card for everything, from milk to shoes. Budgeting will help you set aside money for groceries, utilities, rent, and other needs, and your credit card should be used responsibly. After all, it’s not just the spending that’s important to think about, it’s also the interest you’ll have to pay eventually. The more debt you accumulate, and the longer you take to pay it off, the worse your credit score.
4. Failing to make payments on time
Bills and expenses require payments. Mortgage, energy bills, water and gas bills, car payments, loan installments all need to be paid on time, otherwise, you’ll receive late fees and charges that will also affect your credit score. Each of these late payments will show up on your credit report and affect your credit score, making them necessary to avoid.
It’s important that you also address negative items on your credit report and work to reduce them. Get in touch with us for fast credit repair services in the USA, and benefit from credit counseling in order to build healthier habits for your future.