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7 Bad money habits you need to break to achieve financial freedom

We all are guilty of having at least one bad money habit. The trick is overcoming these bad habits and creating new, good ones. In order to overcome the habits, we have to first identify what they are. Below is a list of 7 bad money habits. 

Summary of blog post:

  1. Impulse buying
  2. Not drawing up a budget
  3. Paying unnecessary fees
  4. Not saving for emergencies
  5. Keeping up with the people on the internet
  6. Eating out excessively
  7. An over-reliance on credit

1️: Impulse buying

We all love a good shopping spree, but impulsive purchases can drain your bank account faster than you think! Before buying anything ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" Wait 24 hours and see if you still feel the same way.

During those 24 hours, take a moment to reflect on whether the item will truly add value to your life or if it's just a fleeting desire. Consider the long-term consequences of the purchase and how it aligns with your financial goals. This simple pause can help you make more mindful and intentional choices with your money.

It's also helpful to identify any triggers that lead to impulsive buying. Are you more likely to make impulsive purchases when you're feeling stressed or bored? By recognizing these triggers, you can find healthier alternatives to cope with those emotions, such as going for a walk, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in a hobby.

You'll be surprised how many unnecessary items you'll avoid! 


2: Not drawing up a budget

Creating a budget and sticking to it might seem tedious, but it's the foundation of financial success! Start by tracking your income and expenses, then allocate your money wisely. A budget is your best friend and an essential tool you'll use to become financially free.

Remember, a budget is not meant to restrict you or make you feel deprived. Instead, it empowers you to make intentional choices with your money and work towards your financial goals. It gives you control over your finances and helps you prioritise what truly matters to you. So embrace the power of budgeting and watch as it transforms your financial life.

Download your FREE, customisable budget template here. MOKU Lightbulb

 3: Paying unnecessary fees

One of the biggest culprits when it comes to draining your bank account is the accumulation of sneaky bank fees and subscription charges. These seemingly small charges can really add up over time and take a toll on your finances. That's why it's crucial to take the time to do some research and find a bank that offers no or minimal fees. By switching to a bank that aligns with your financial goals and values, you can avoid unnecessary charges and keep more money in your pocket.

Another step you can take to improve your financial health is to cancel any subscriptions that you no longer use or find essential. It's easy to sign up for various subscriptions and forget about them, but they can quietly eat away at your budget. Take a close look at your monthly subscriptions and evaluate whether each one is truly worth the cost. If you find that you're not getting enough value from a particular subscription, don't hesitate to cancel it. Downgrading your subscription plan for services that you still find useful can also help you save money in the long run.

Read: Gym, cellphone and insurance contracts: what you need to know

 4️: Not saving for emergencies

Life is unpredictable, and emergencies happen when we least expect them. By having an emergency fund, you'll be prepared for whatever comes your way! Start small by setting aside a portion of your income every month. Over time, it'll grow into a safety net that gives you peace of mind. 

Read: Emergency fund: Why and how you should start

5️: Keeping up with the people on the internet

Comparison is the thief of joy, and it can also wreck your financial health! Don't fall into the trap of trying to outdo others or living beyond your means. Focus on your own financial goals and celebrate your progress. Your bank account will thrive, and so will your happiness! 

6: Eating out excessively 

Getting take-out has become increasingly easier. Think Mr D and Uber Eats. Especially with load-shedding, there are times when you may find that you don’t have a choice because it clashes with the time you would be cooking. However, buying take-out can end up costing you much more than what you can actually afford. 

7: An over-reliance on credit

While using credit can be useful to build a credit score and is essential for making big purchases like a home or car, an over-reliance on it can just lead to overwhelming debt. 

It’s very tempting and easy to over-use credit. This can be in the form of retail or store cards, credit cards etc. The number one financial rule you should follow is not spending more than you earn. 

If you don’t have the money to buy it-especially if it’s something you want and don’t need-do not buy it. 

If you find that you are using credit to buy essential items like groceries or electricity, you might be over-indebted. 

A sign you may be over-indebted is if more than 50% of your salary goes towards financing your debt. 

If you are over-indebted, don’t lose hope! There is a way out. You don’t have to keep maxing out your credit cards or using a loan to pay another loan. You can go under debt review at Meerkat. 

We’ve successfully helped thousands of South Africans like you gain control of their finances and eventually become debt-free!

How does debt review work in South Africa?

Once you’ve applied for debt review (debt counselling), one of our expert Debt Counsellors will first assess if you are over-indebted. They do this by conducting an assessment based on your income and expenses. 

If you are, they will draw up a restructured repayment plan that can end up saving you up to 50% on your monthly debt installment!

They achieve this by negotiating the interest rate on your loans with your creditors. 

Once a Court Order is approved for your restructured repayment plan, creditors can no longer harass you and your assets like your home and your car will be protected from repossession. 

Want to know more? Let’s chat. 

Fill out the contact form and we’ll contact you about debt review. 

Contact me about debt review >>

Let's break free from these bad money habits and pave the way for financial success!

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