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Every day we make hundreds of decisions: what to wear, what to eat, where we go, what we do, what we buy, and more. Our learned behaviors play a large role in how we make these decisions: some we learned from family members, some we learned the hard way, and some are just how we learned to do it on our own. Some of these behaviors are alright and some are not great. Today I’m going to look into some of the behaviors I’ve seen or done and how they cost you money.
1. Not Taking Care of Yourself
It is important to go to all your medical appointments, psychiatric appointments, therapy sessions, AA/NA meetings, Weight Watchers meetings, etc.-however you go about getting the care you need. This may cost some money how but it will save you so much overall.
It’s expensive and goes against Number 1.
3. Drinking Excessively
See Number 2.
4. Illegal Behaviors
In case you are unfamiliar, court fees and legal fines are expensive. Having limited job options can be expensive. Not having a driver’s license is expensive. Pretty much all the consequences of illegal behaviors are negative. So don’t speed, steal, gamble, or worse activities because the end result is not going to be pretty or cheap.
5. Spending Money You Don’t Have
Put the credit card down and repeat after me: “If I can’t buy it with cash, I can’t afford it.” Repeat this statement until you believe and live it. Rinse and repeat as needed.
6. Impulse buying
A lot of times we are presented with offers designed to make us spend money. This includes radio ads, commercials, internet ads, emails, magazines, stuff in the checkout lane, and even the things placed on endcaps. My personal weakness is the email ad. Thankfully I signed up for Unroll.Me and now I get a single email every day that’s got the handful of sales emails I’m still signed up for. I’ve found that doing it this way shows me all the sales at once makes me less inclined to buy anything.
7. Shopping Without A List
First of all, if you do not know what you want when you go to buy, you’re not going to be satisfied. This not only applies to grocery shopping, but also to other purchases. I know that when I don’t research purchases I want to make, I end up buying something that isn’t really what I want so I end up buying a different version. It’s exhausting and expensive, so just don’t do it.
Caring For Your Stuff
8. Not Doing Routine Car Maintenance
If you ignore routine maintenance on your car, you’re going to need to buy a new car. New cars are expensive, but repeatedly buying crappy cars is even more expensive (see #9).
9. Buying Cheaply Made Items (Frugal vs. Cheap)
Think about this for a minute: Would you rather buy a $50 pair of sandals that will last you 10 years of constant wear OR a $5 pair of sandals that will last you about 25 wears? It’s more expensive in the long run to have to replace several cheap items than to invest once in well-made items. For example, I wore the same pair of Chaco’s Sandals for 5 years until my dog ate the straps (see #10). They cost about $70 and I seriously wore them probably 1,000+ times by the time they got retired.
10. Store Your Items Properly
This is not limited to storing your groceries, but also books, movies, electronics, exercise equipment, clothing, and more. Like the example I provided in Number 9, if you have dogs that like to chew, don’t give them access to things you don’t want to be destroyed.
What behaviors have you ignored that cost you money?