I suffer from many bad habits. I know you don’t think I’m perfect, by any means, so this should not come as a surprise. I am not perfect, and my bad habits are numerous. One of my worst bad habits is my addiction to routine. I am so thrown and crazed when things do not go exactly my way, every single time. I’m trying to work on that, what with four small kids that really like to see if they can throw me. I also bite my fingernails. Not all of them and, okay, I don’t bite them. I pick at them. Strangely, just my thumbnails, but still. I do it, and I’m not proud of it.
It makes it impossible for me to take one of those standard Starbucks-in-front-of-the-Denali-logo on my steering wheel pictures. It also means I can’t take one of those sweet photos of my husband and I holding up our cocktails on the beach or in front of the setting sun in a mock toast since you can see my thumbs in these kinds of pictures – and it is not pretty. I could go on and on about my bad habits. They are plentiful. However, you have your own so I know you get it.
Some of the worst habits we have in life are the ones that have to do with the way we speak to ourselves and think, and the way that we view and handle our finances. I know that I have bad financial habits, and I know that I need to break some of them. Do you find yourself in the same boat? It’s easier than you might think to break a habit if you merely put forth the effort. Let’s take a look at a few of the worst financial habits in our lives, and let’s fix them.
Stop Placing Blame
This is never easy for anyone to hear, but here we go regardless. You have got to stop blaming others for your life issues. I mean, honestly. It’s not my fault you are in a bad place financially. It’s not your second grade teacher’s fault, or your mom’s or your dad’s. Sure, we might all encourage your bad habits and make them seem like great ideas, but you are a free thinker perfectly capable of telling all of us to shut up, sit down and suck it up while you go about your business of doing the right thing financially. You are in a bad place because of you. Now stop being your own enemy.
Stop Being Negligent
I’m negligent with a few of my financial means. For example, my husband absolutely hated the fact that I never balanced our check book. I mean, I hardly write checks, but we both use our debit card multiple times each day. This means we have more than a few receipts that need to be written down every day. I don’t have the time for that, so sometimes it’ll be months before I get around to it. He’s a banker, and when he caught onto my habit, he took over the balancing and told me that I’m a banker’s worst nightmare.
Hey – he married me (insert happy face here…because he married me and because I managed to get myself completely out of doing that job in much the same manner I suspect he tries to get out of doing laundry by putting everything in the wrong place all the time until I become frustrated and tell him I’ll do it myself).
Stop Being Negative
I don’t like negative thoughts, and I work really hard to make sure my thoughts go back to happy and positive when I feel negativity coming on. I’m not always good at it, but I’m getting there. I believe that I tend to overspend and overindulge in things in life when I’m in a negative place. I feel that I’m worth it, I deserve it and that I need something that will make me happy. So, when I’m negative, I shop and I’m willing to bet many of you do the same thing. If we refocus our energy and start thinking positively, perhaps we can all get ourselves into a better state of mind that allows us to stop ‘treating’ our bad moves with impulse purchases.
Stop the Comparison
Comparison is the very simple thief of joy. I don’t know what genius mind spoke this, but yes. I can compare myself all day long to Angelina Jolie and feel like crap that I’m not a millionaire with power and fame and wealth. Or, I can compare myself to me from a year ago and feel pretty darn good that I have all that I have, and all that I’ve accomplished. There; now I’m not trying to buy a mansion or a Ferrari and live beyond my means since I’m not comparing myself to anyone else.
I know it’s difficult with social media. Try hard to be happy for those in your life and those how have accomplished their dreams and their goals. Being happy for them means you’re less likely to be envious of them, which means you’re less likely to go out of your way to live beyond your means and create even more negative financial habits.
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