No matter how much you try not to, you probably make a few mistakes with your money. Maybe you go a little over-budget when you’re shoe shopping or maybe you splurged a bit more than you should have on your last vacation. It’s never a bad time to decide you want to be a little more financially secure and responsible, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Here are a few simple ways you can kick bad money habits in 40 days.
Give Up Smoking
No, it’s not easy to give up something so addicting. However, for the sake of both your health and your wallet it is important that you do. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $5.98, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids – it’s nearly double that if you live in NYC. If you smoke one pack every day, you spend $240 every 40 days. That’s more than $2,000 per year you could save. In fact, if you put that cigarette money into your savings account each day, you would save that each year to apply to your retirement or emergency fund.
Get Rid of Debt
You know that getting rid of your debt is a great way to save money, but you need to do it the right way. Many people think that paying off small balances first is the way to go. It’s not a bad idea, but it’s a better – and more cost-effective – way to get rid of debt by paying off your high interest debts first.
Use Your ATM
Yes, it might be more convenient to use a foreign ATM the next time you need quick cash, but the truth is that it’s going to cost you far more to use it. If all you need is $20 and you use your debit card at a foreign ATM, it will cost you anywhere from $2 to $5 dollars extra. It will cost you that much for any transaction, but doesn’t it seem silly to pay a quarter of what you’re withdrawing just to get access to your cash? If you cannot find your own ATM, head to the nearest convenience store or pharmacy and buy a pack of gum for a dollar and use your debit card to get cash back at the register. A $1 pack of gum is a much cheaper fee than anything your ATM will charge; and I’m willing to bet that gum tastes far better than a foreign ATM receipt.