Yes, we’ve all been there. Promising ourselves not to do “X” any longer when it comes to our finances. As the New Year kicks in, the temperatures begin to rise and the buzz for Spring and Summer fun takes priority, we are back to our old habits. Yes, time travels that fast.

Let’s try something different this upcoming year, especially if our old ways aren’t working for us. There’s really not a need to share how important it is to make a real commitment to yourself so let’s just dive right in to 15 Financial Habits to Leave in 2015. Wave goodbye to them really fast and hard. While some of these won’t be easy they are certainly necessary.

  1. Stop saying you can’t do better financially. As adults most of us are aware of what hurts us when it comes to money. If you need examples here you go: Spending your bill money, shopping when you really haven’t planned for it, Vacationing because you found a sweet deal online BUT it’ll take your bill money, maxing out your credit cards and the list goes on and on. You get my drift right?
  2. Saying you’ll create a savings stash at income tax time. Do you really believe that will happen? Moving right along.
  3. Only making the minimum payment on debt balances, when the reality is you can pay more if you choose to sacrifice one dinner out per month, one hair-do, etc. Be relentless and unapologetic when attempting to get out of debt. Tell your friends you can’t do brunch for a month or maybe even a year. Whatever it takes right?
  4. Shopping for non-necessities when you shouldn’t. A great question to ask yourself is, “Do I really need this NOW?” To become more intimate with your finances another option is to ask, “Does this purchase move me closer or further from my financial dreams?”
  5. Using bill money to go on vacation. If bill collectors are knocking on your door and ringing the phone off the hook when you return from your “experience” that wasn’t a vacation it was a mishap. Embrace saving for those precious moments.
  6. Spending more than you earn. The goal is to spend significantly less. Here’s why (you deserve to go on vacation). Hence #5.
  7. Ignoring your bills. They are there, we made them, we have to pay them. Not only is it frustrating to have to answer calls from creditors, it can also affect you long-term from a credit score point of view. It’s just not worth the hassle or drama. Payment history carries a huge weight on your financial future.
  8. Using your credit cards like it’s FREE money, It’s not. As with many things, cc’s are to be used in moderation and strategically. Every item doesn’t require a swipe.
  9. Making saving hard. If this is not your area of reward, pace yourself. If you currently have nothing saved, work on getting $100 in the bank and keep it there. Grow it consistently. The goal is to simply “start.”
  10. Saying you live paycheck to paycheck. Do you really or have you grown accustomed to saying that? Know your numbers, study your numbers, and have an accurate account of your inflow and outflow.
  11. Complaining about your income. There’s always more that can be made to increase your bottom line. A part time job or side hustle to gain more cash are both great options. Are you willing to make the temporary sacrifice?
  12. Having your credit ran after being denied. In many cases being denied for credit of any kind is a red flag that there is more work to be done on your end. This will allow you to earn the best rates and deals. Practicing patience helps in this area.
  13. Consuming to find Contentment. Buying to bring happiness never works. Retail therapy is not real therapy.
  14. Blaming your parents, spouse, or friends for the reason that you’re not on a healthy financial track. This is a simple one. As adults we make our own choices.
  15. Knowing better and simply not doing better. Personal finance tools and resources are at your finger tips. Your one job is to commit to the process.

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What financial habit will you leave in 2015?

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The Finance Bar is a personal finance suite helping women and couples achieve financial wellness through coaching, education, and an innovative learning hub on wheels. Creator Marsha Barnes is a Certified Financial Social Worker, Official FICO Brand Ambassador, and was named the 2018 Best Money Expert in the Net-Worth Category.

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