Money Bad Habits You Can Break
 

If you are in debt or have little savings, you may be able to blame your money bad habits. These behaviors can keep you from getting ahead. Fortunately, by understanding your shortcomings, you can work to break the cycle and get on the track to financial security. See if you have any of these common financial bad habits.

1. Ignoring your credit reports.
You have no excuse on this one. Getting a credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies is easy and free. AnnualCreditReport.com provides this to all consumers once a year. You should order your credit report and check it for errors. Fixing any errors can help you get better interest rates on loans, protect you from identity theft and even land you a better job. Banks, insurance companies and even employers use information from your credit reports to determine your financial worthiness.

2. Refusing to use a budget.
You may say you don't want to use a budget or it seems too hard to keep track of everything, but this attitude will end up costing you money. A simple budget can be easy to maintain with a little practice. You will then be able to plan for big expenses and can keep track of the little ones that can add up. A budget will also help you see where your money is going and help you decide where to cut back.

3. Using credit cards to get the perks.
It may seem like a good idea to charge that purchase to get the airline miles or to save another 15%. But if you are racking up huge interest charges on a card that has a high rate, you are doing yourself no good. If you are paying off the balance each month, this may make sense. When you carry a balance, however, you will end up paying more in interest than you are saving with the perks.

4. Not having an emergency fund.
You should always have some money put away for those unexpected and sudden expenses. Thinking that you will just charge it is not the way to go. Ideally, you should have an emergency fund of at least three to six months worth of living expenses.  But even a small amount of money put away for a rainy day can make a big difference.

5. Making only the minimum payment.
This habit can set you back years when trying to pay off your debt. Always add at least a little extra when paying your credit card bill. If you can send a large amount in, that is even better. If you are finding it difficult to find extra money to add to your minimum payments, consider working an extra part-time job or decrease your expenses. Not only will you pay off your debt faster, but you will save a considerable amount in interest charges.


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