You get up every weekday, head to work, and put in your best effort. You do this every week, and you get paid at the end of the month. You pay your bills and then suddenly find yourself with nothing left. Your buddies call, invite you out to drinks and a movie, and you have to decline. There’s no cash…at least not until the next payday when the whole cycle will repeat itself.

Money Habits

(mnplatypus / pixabay)

Sound familiar? If it does, then rest assured you’re not alone.

This endless cycle of working with very little to show for it is not a good scenario, but it’s a common one.

Why does this happen?

It’s extremely disheartening and often leaves you wondering what the point of your job even is. This state of being is known as subsistence, and it’s terrible. What’s the point in doing all that work if you can never enjoy what you bring home?

Most likely, you’d think to yourself, “Maybe if I were paid more, it would be easier,” and while this is partially true, it’s not the solution. Whether you’re paid minimum wage or a six-figure salary, you can still find yourself in this position.

The key issue is not how much you make but how you manage what you make. Your money habits will determine how much is spent and how much is saved from your monthly income. If you have bad money habits, your money will disappear faster than you can log into your online bank. But with a little self-control and planning, you can get your finances on track and make the most out of your income.

Money Habits You Need to Drop

Let’s look at some of the most common bad money habits that people fall into. After all, the first step in fixing a problem is identifying it.

1. Not Knowing Your Finances

Do you know what you owe in debt? Do you know exactly how much all your bills come to? Do you know how much you earn each month to the penny?

If the answer to any of these is “no,” then this is your first problem. If you want to get anywhere with your finances, you have to know what they are. Take some time to go through all your accounts and locate exactly what money you pay out every month. Keep an accurate list of all outgoings like:

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Household bills
  • Credit Card/Loan payments
  • Insurance policies
  • Subscriptions and services

This will then tell you what money you have to spend every month, which can be put aside. Everything you have leftover will be money you can budget for food expenses, savings, and entertainment. The most important thing to remember with a budget, though, is that you must stick to it.

2. Living With Debt

There are so many ways to find yourself in debt these days. Some debts are inevitable – such as mortgages – but others we willingly take on, like credit cards or loans. While it can be handy to have a credit card, living at the bottom of your credit limit is a good way to waste all that support.

Any debt with an interest rate will, naturally, cost more the deeper you are with it. Paying 16% of a $10 balance will only cost you 16 cents, but if your balance is $1,000, that amount becomes $16.

To prevent this situation from getting out of control, it is advisable to pay off more than just the minimum payment option. If you have a budget in place, you will know what extra money you have. Devote that to paying down your high-interest debt quickly.

3. Not Putting Anything in Savings

When you have a lot of bills, you can allow saving money to become a low priority. It’s tempting not to want to spend any leftover money on something you want.

When your bills and other essential payments are sorted, the best thing you can do for yourself is to parcel out a percentage of the remaining amount for savings. This may mean you have to deny yourself an extra takeout meal or a night out with friends, but even as little as 5% of your remaining amount can add up over time.

If you find yourself beginning to clear out outstanding debt and having a little extra over, you can put this money directly into savings. The same applies to any salary raises you may receive from work. After all, if you never had the money before, you certainly won’t miss it!

4. Not Planning Ahead

All too often, we react on impulse, especially when making purchases. Deals exist in the world to lure us into spur-of-the-moment purchases, and these are the most dangerous kinds.

If you have been considering a new TV or other large purchase for a while, then take the time to do your research and determine how it will affect your overall budget. If you can’t afford it now, figure out how you can start saving to purchase it later.

You should also make sure that you plan for maintenance expenses. Preventive measures like regular oil changes and tire rotations for your car are often ignored until they turn into an emergency. Make sure to add these to the budget.

And finally, prepare for the future by keeping a “rainy day” fund. Fender benders, car engine problems, and home maintenance issues are unwelcome, but they are inevitable. You can keep them from being catastrophic to your finances if you’ve been setting a little aside for them all along.


It’s distressing how quickly our income flies back out of our banks. Sometimes it can even feel like the whole world is organized to keep you poor. But the truth of things is that you can be in control.

The key is to take some time to understand your money and your needs and to use a little self-restraint. By dropping the money habits above, you’ll be able to build a financial safety net for yourself and those dependent on you.

Want to fast track the whole money-saving process? Get in touch with a financial health coach who can advise you on the best ways to overcome old money habits and build new ones that directly contribute to your wealth. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to wait until you’re old and retired to enjoy money. Savvy money management habits now can allow you to enjoy wealth and financial freedom earlier in life.