It’s the end of the month, it means it’s time for you to check your bank account and to try to assemble the puzzle pieces (aka receipts and account activity) so that you can review how much you’ve been spending throughout the month and how much you will–hopefully–be saving. To your chagrin, you’ve spent more than you’d expected. You begin to question yourself – where did all my money go?
Here are the 5 habits that might sneakily break your bank which you might be unaware of.
1. Ignoring the small purchases
Small purchases are the ones that you always fail to notice but can add up quickly. It could be the chewing gum you picked up when you are at the checkout counter or the coffee you bought on your way to work. It could also be the Q-tip you brought home from Daiso or the app you purchased on your iPhone. The amounts may seem insignificant that you go “Nah, buying a RM4.25 Oreo McFlurry won’t hurt my budget“, but if you are spending regularly on the small purchases and do not keep track of these spending, you will end up wasting a lot of your hard-earned cash. Simply be mindful or ask yourself this one question when you are spending your money can easily help you avoid the unnecessary buys.
2. Always picking up the tab
I get it. You want to come across as someone who is generous to your friends so you buy them dinner all the time. Maybe you’re the leader of your crew or maybe you’re the well off one in your gang so you feel the need to foot the bill for every evening sessions at the bar. You might think it’s OK to do that once or twice a month and it’s not gonna cost the earth. But being too generous can actually cost you a lot especially when you are paying for a big group. If you plan on cutting your spending, it’s all right to tell your friends about your decision. Even if you’re not strapped for cash, you still can let your friends know you want to go Dutch, and this is not gonna make you seem stingy or vulnerable. On the other hand, you don’t have to say “yes” to every dinner invitation or yum cha session. Trust me, your bank account will thank you.
3. Cafe hopping
With the rising number of hipster cafes opening each year in Malaysia, it is no doubt cafe hopping has become Malaysian’s new favorite indulgence. Whether you are looking to satisfy your coffee cravings or wanted to add another aesthetically pleasing photo on your Instagram, going on a cafe hopping adventure can quickly eat into your budget. Well, to be honest I’m guilty as charged (though not for the Instagram part). Coffee has been a huge part of my life and I love spending time in cozy cafes where the smell of the coffee and sound of gentle chatter fill the air. However, I realized the regular pilgrimage to my favorite coffee shop can wreak havoc on my wallet. Instead, now I make my own coffee and take time enjoying my cup of happiness every morning at home. It’s just as good.
Procrastination is the thief of time. I’m certain you have heard of this before. But procrastinating can also mean losing money and it can cost you big time. Think about not making credit cards payment on time, you can easily find yourself paying more money down the road with all the interest and late fees, not to mention hurting your credit score. What about delaying your savings and investments? A delay of just a few years can cost you thousands of ringgit. Remember, the more time you will have to compound your money, the more returns you will get in the long run. So, get a grasp of your time management and focus on your goal. Your future self will be grateful for what you have accomplished today.
5. Neglecting special offers and not comparing prices
People constantly grouch about the crazy workload and the tight schedule that chew up their time, and you’ll often hear “I’m so busy!” or “I don’t have time” from either your family, friends, colleagues or even strangers. Being busy gives us the perfect excuse for not spending enough time to look at the things that we buy thoroughly. This often means we are not paying attention to the offers and discounts or comparing prices when making purchases that can easily score us the best deal and get us the most value for our money. This bad habit can secretly prevent us from saving a couple hundred bucks every month, whether it’s on your groceries, travels, services or other goods. Take time to do some research on the things you plan to purchase by using comparison and deals-finding apps or sites like Fave, SmartShopper or Trivago. There are plenty of options in the market.
So, do you identify yourself with some of these habits? Comment down below and share your experience with us!
Image from Stocksnap.io