1. Charging everything to your credit card. You run the risk of paying additional charges (High Interest Rates and Penalty Fees) each time you charge to credit. Also, it’s more tempting to spend when you shop with a credit card.
2. Spending more than what you can afford. When you have cash, it’s too easy to find ways to spend it. Before buying anything, ask yourself, “do I really need this or do I just want it?”
3. Not following a monthly budget plan. If you’re really serious about making some changes in your finances, create a budget plan suitable to your situation.
4. Not saving money. Do you set aside a portion of your monthly income for emergencies? If not, it is most likely that you’ll be spending every cent of your earnings on other things without something for the rainy days. Aside from building up your savings account,you should have a separate personal fund easily within reach for emergencies.
5. Buying expensive gifts. When giving gifts, most of us have the tendency to spend lavishly. Realize that you don’t need to be extravagant just to make someone feel special. Be creative. There are a hundred ways to make someone feel happy and loved without spending a fortune.
6. Not cutting-back on costs. Some people overlook small savings. Ask yourself, do you try to cut back on your electricity bills? Is it possible for you to subscribe to a lower cable plan? Are you paying too much on your long distance calls? Do you always eat out? How much do you spend on your personal luxuries? Find practical ways to minimize your monthly expenses.
7. Spending too much on bargains. Just because an item’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Everyone is prone to buying on impulse when they see an item sold at a discount. But no matter how cheap you think it is, if it’s not in your plan to buy it then it’s not a necessity. Don’t buy it.
8. Not comparing prices. Shoppers have the tendency to grab the first offer. However, merchants sell the same items at different prices. If you don’t compare shops, chances are you might be buying something at a more expensive price. Don’t be on the rush. Shop around and compare.
9. Not asking for a better deal. Do you purchase without even negotiating? The retailer is most likely to give up the item at a lower price, if you only ask for it. Don’t be afraid to haggle. There’s really nothing to lose if you ask for a discount.
10. Not recognizing the problem. Some people may think that they’re effectively managing their finances. But taking an objective look at your spending habits and lifestyle can make a big difference. When you realize that there is a problem, be determined to make changes.
*What’s your worst budgeting habit?
What’s your personal tip on smart shopping?