Growing up, you may have been surrounded by people, including parents, grandparents, teachers and others who had bad money habits. Perhaps they lived beyond their means and tried to keep up with the Jones' by spending money on things they couldn't afford. Instead of saving for retirement or an emergency, their insecurities got the better of them. They had to prove they could afford an expensive car or piece of jewelry, when in fact, they couldn't. Was this worth it? Probably not.
What if you could let go of the bad money habits they may be killing your finances today? What if you could learn money habits that would set you free from the bondage of financial ruin? Money is paper and coins used as an exchange to purchase goods. It's also energy. If you feel desperate and helpless around money, you'll draw to you financial situations that make you feel desperate for money. And you'll continue to have bad money habits.
Isn't it time you broke the cycle of money problems within your family? You can be the one to develop money habits that can make you content and satisfied so you can have a strong financial future. You can also pass this information on to the young ones within your family and help them to develop a great financial mindset. Read on to discover the 10 deadly childhood money habits and how to break them.
Ten Deadly Childhood Money Habits
1. Leasing a car to have a new one every 3-5 years.
Do you need a new car every 3-5 years? Leasing a car comes with a price, including hidden fees and restricted mileage. If you go over, you need to pay. Not to mention the fact that what you consider a minor scratch may be seen as a major repair to your leasing company. Perhaps it's better to buy a car, take care of it, and save the money you'd spend on leasing a car every 3-5 years.
2. Living beyond your means.
If you're trying to keep up with family and friends who wear the latest fashions and drive the latest model car, you may find yourself in thousands of dollars of debt. Ask yourself "why" you buy the material things you buy. If you're spending money only to impress people, you may want to take a step back and examine your self-esteem and self-worth. You can't get these from a boat or house. You develop them from the inside out. The illusion you've created is costing you, big time. Get to the root of your money spending habits. Journal your thoughts and/or speak with a counselor. Stop living beyond your means and know that you're worthy no matter the car you drive.
3. Not saving a portion of your monthly income.
Some experts tell you to save at least 10 percent or more of your monthly income. Not doing so may put you in a major financial bind. Review your money spending habits to see where you can cut back. Take that money and deposit it into a savings and/or money market account. You may even consider buying stock, even if it's one a few shares. It's never too late to save.
4. Using a credit card when you don't have the money to pay.
When you don't have the money to pay for something, don't buy it. If you use credit cards to pay for things you can't afford, your credit card debt will add up, fast. Give the plastic a rest and pay cash, if you can. And while it may pain you to say "no" to your children when they want the latest toy craze, it's in your and their best interest. Besides, children often get bored with toys, which end up collecting dust or broken. Let them pout and stomp their feet. They'll get over it and you can be at peace knowing you have the funds to pay for things that matter, like putting a roof over your family's head and food on the table.
5. Loaning money to others.
While it's nice of you to want to help others, don't overextend yourself because your brother, sister or friend needs money. Loaning people money when you need the money to pay bills isn't a wise idea. Plus, those you loan money to may expect you to do so all of the time. Take care of yourself, first, and then seek to help others when your finances are stronger, but set boundaries.
6. Ignoring an employer's savings plan.
Not taking advantage of your employer's savings plan is a good way to kill your finances. Whenever you have the opportunity to contribute to a 401(k) or some other type of savings program, do it. Make sure you put the maximum amount you can into the plan because your employer may match it dollar for dollar. It's like getting free money.
7. Refusing to make extra payments on credit cards.
The average American household has credit card debt of $15,000 or more. Depending on your APR (annual percentage rate), you're paying more for your purchases. Instead of paying for interest on charges, make double payments, if you can, and pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible. If you can't make double payments, pay at least an extra $20 or $50 on your bills. The sooner you pay off your balances, the sooner you'll be free of chokehold of credit card debt.
8. Overdrawing on your checking account.
Do you write bad checks? Not only will your bank charge you high fees, but you may face civil and criminal penalties, depending on the number of bad checks you write within a given period of time. Before you buy anything, make sure you have the enough funds to cover your purchases. If you don't have the money, right now, don't write a bad check or use your debit card. Instead, save for whatever it is you want so you can pay cash, or if you want, write a check or use your debit card. This better money habit can save you money on your credit cards in the long run.
9. Forgetting about an emergency savings account.
The most common bad money habit is not having an emergency savings account with enough money saved for at least one year - two years is better. Should you lose your job or an investment doesn't work out as you thought it would, you may not have enough money to support you. Instead of buying something you don't need or want, take the money and open a savings account. If you're not sure what type of savings accounts you want or what your bank offers, call or stop in and speak with a personal banker. They can help you choose the best savings plan for you, and you won't have to worry or panic about how you'll pay for an emergency.
10. Having a "lack" mentality.
When you were growing up, the money beliefs and thoughts the people around you held may have infected you like a virus. Of course, being a kid, you didn't know it. For example, if you heard phrases such as, "I'm always broke, Money doesn't grow on trees, and I'll just charge now and pay later!" You may want to delete these and other self-defeating bad money habit phrases from your mind and replace them with new money habits, such as, "Abundance is my true state of being, My part-time job is managing my finances, and I accept all that is good into my life." Get rid of your "lack" mentality once and for all.
Create New Money Habits
Get rid of bad money habits from your childhood. As an adult, you can choose to develop better money habits that will leave you feeling safe and secure. Keep in mind that when you were growing up, your parents, grandparents, guardians, and others did the best they could with their finances based on the information they had at the time. They also did the best they could to teach you about finances. However, now that you know better, you can do better.