Find yourself struggling, living paycheck to paycheck. Regardless of how much money you make, it isn’t enough. Well, you are not alone.
According to LendingClub Corporation, featured in PR Newswire, “in June 2022, 61% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck”.
Thankfully, the amount earned may not be the problem. You may save more than you could ever imagine with a few minor tweaks.
Allowing the ability to save each month to put away into saving, pay down debt or invest. Below is a complete list of 10 Spending Habits Keeping You Broke.
1. Paying for Name Brand
From clothes and shoes to food at the grocery store, paying for name brands is likely to cost you more than buying generic or store brands.
A brand name can come at a high price for designer clothes. Instead of paying a hefty price for a designer purse or shoes, it may be wise to look for a lesser-known brand to save.
However, name brand doesn’t just stop with fashion.
Using generic brands when shopping at the grocery store, purchasing baby diapers, or even getting medicine can save you money, especially over time.
There are always different options for buying most store items, name brand and generic. Going generic will save significantly over time.
2. Buying Groceries then Eating Out
Another spending habit keeping you broke is buying groceries then eating out every day of the week. Doing this every once in a while may be fine. However, doing this often can lead to a significant waste of money.
We’ve likely all been in the position where we throw away groceries because they have spoiled. Although, it may not seem like much: a cucumber, a tomato, or a bag of rotten cheese.
However, over a year, it can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of food thrown away.
3. Overpaying for a Car
A car is a liability for most people since it depreciates over time. Since most cars will lose value over time, the resale value will likely be less than the amount paid.
Doing thorough research before purchasing a car should indicate if the vehicle may hold value in the future. Some vehicles hold value better than others.
Knowing if a car holds value is essential if you later want to trade it in for something else. There are many reasons to trade in a vehicle.
Possibly, no longer afford the large car payment. Looking for a vehicle with better gas mileage or may purchase a vehicle too big and want to downsize.
When owing more than a car is worth, it is hard to trade in since you will likely have to give the dealership money to get rid of it or have them tack the payment onto the next vehicle purchase.
If you are unwilling to pay, you may get stuck with a vehicle you no longer want—[Read also: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Bought My First Car].
4. Buying Outdated Appliances
Outdated appliances may seem cheap upfront, but they will likely cost you in the long run.
Old appliances are energy suckers and may increase the monthly electric bill and cost you more over a long period of time.
If buying an outdated appliance is the only option due to budget restrictions, then researching and reading reviews may help get a deal that saves in the long run.
Important things to research is the amount of energy it uses, its size, and the features you want.
Furthermore, check the reviews to see how others customer’s liked the products and also help discover any issues they have encountered.
Look for Open Box Deals
to get affordable modern appliances.
Buying used appliances may not be the best route to go.
Buying cheap used appliances has a higher chance of breaking or dying completely and costing more in the long run.
5. Daily Habits
Another daily habit keeping you broke is your daily habits and addictions.
Although, at the time, it may taste good to have your morning cup of coffee. Having your daily cup of coffee at a local coffee shop can cost around $6 daily, that alone costs over two grand a year. Then there are cigarettes. It is an addition that is harder to cut than coffee.
According to TabaccoFreeLife.org, if smoking one pack per day, then the smoker spends around $1,916.25 per year on cigarettes.
Alcohol is another expense that may be keeping you broke. Alcohol can get costly when drinking craft beers or expensive wines. Alcohol can also add up when sipping on it regularly.
Spending money on visiting the local coffee shop, smoking cigarettes, or drinking alcohol can cost hundreds or even thousands per year. These are just a few habits that cost us financial peace.
Therefore, determining our bad habits and only indulging occasionally is an excellent way to save. Furthermore, splurging on occasion can make consuming it more special.
6. Using a Credit Card
A credit card is great if you can pay the balance monthly and control how much you spend.
The problem with credit cards begins when paying off the balance in full is impossible due to only being able to pay the minimum balance.
Therefore, not being able to pay your credit card off in full each month causes interest to accrue.
Credit cards also become expensive when individuals max out credit cards and can only pay the minimum. Being in this position will become costly with interest.
Be extremely careful when opening a credit card, and always know exactly how much is on the card.
Always have a cash reserve that can pay off the entirety of the card if and when needed. [Read also: Smart Money Moves to Start Young]
7. Skipping the Dollar Store
The dollar store is a great way to get what you need at an affordable price and is usually cheaper than the retail chain stores.
Dollar store purchases that may save you the most include cleaning supplies, soaps, office supplies, party decorations, and personal hygiene products such as toothpaste, deodorant, hair ties, and mouthwash.
It’s a great way to score good deals on needed items around the household.
8. Impulse Buying
Going into a store for one thing and coming out with bags full of items may indicate a habit of impulse buying.
Impulse buying is a quick way to spend money on things you may not want a week, month, or even a year down the road.
It may be a candle perfect for a nightstand, the cutest top, or a pillow you can’t live without. Only to find that candle forgotten under the sink, the blouse pushed to the back of the closet, or the pillow later replaced with another.
Most of the time, impulse purchases are a feeling of excitement. Therefore, buying things you don’t need and only want at that moment.
If you find yourself a victim of impulse shopping, below are a few tips to help the next time you go to the store.
- Ask yourself do I need this or want this
- Leave the store and give yourself three days. If you still remember and have a strong desire to purchase, then go back and buy
- Have no-will power? Then, have only cash on you when shopping. Just enough for the items on the shopping list.
9. Not Shopping Around for Big Purchases
When looking for a new television, refrigerator, or patio furniture, it is always a good idea to shop around.
Find and compare all big purchases with similar ones and analyze the different specifications, customer reviews, and photos.
Make sure reviews are from verified purchases and not individuals receiving free products or paid to give reviews.
The reviews will indicate if the product has been a good or bad experience for others. Verified customers usually give a fair and honest insight into the purchase.
Photo’s from consumers are a great way to see different angles of the product. Furthermore, it may indicate the actual condition the product comes in.
Professional photos are designed for the products to sell, and sometimes the product’s quality looks better in the photos than it is in real life. Therefore, customer photos may give a more realistic idea of how the product looks.
10. Buying Cheap Quality Products
Buying cheap quality products may end up costing more in the long run.
Products that lack quality usually don’t last long. Therefore, spending more on products that are likely to last a decade or longer may be wise.
If you want something to keep for years, buying quality products is the way to go!
Read reviews when looking at products that you believe are cheap quality items. Reviews usually highlight flaws, if it works efficiently, or states if the customer is happy or returning the item.
If looking at buying products on discount, determine if the products have defects, are priced down due to high returns, or possibly just not in demand.
A product discounted because it’s not selling due to it being out of trend may still come in good quality, just not a popular style.
In conclusion, living paycheck to paycheck is a widespread issue in America.
If you are looking for ways to get ahead financially, then possibly living below your means is a good start.
By avoiding these 10 spending habits, such as paying for name brands, buying outdated appliances, impulse buying, and not shopping around for big purchases, you may save more than you could ever imagine with a few minor tweaks.
Determining your spending habits that keep you broke is crucial. Being able to cut back on bad financial habits allows you to save and invest in your future financial peace.
Full List of 10 Spending Habits that are Keeping You Broke
- Buying Groceries then Eating Out
- Overpaying for a Car
- Buying Outdated Appliances
- Buying Coffee from the Coffee Shop Everyday
- Buying Name Brands
- Using a Credit Card and Not Paying it Off Monthly
- Skipping the Dollar Store
- Impulse Buying
- Not Shopping Around for Big Purchases
- Buying Cheap Quality Products
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Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.
Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.
When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.
Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!