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3 Tips to Change Bad Financial Habits

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You don’t need a crystal ball to look into your financial future; you just need to know your habits. Think about it. These are actions that you do every day, so much so that you know you’ll be doing it again tomorrow.

But if you let your bad habits run rampant it can lead you to debt, overspending, and unpaid bills. It takes commitment to change them, so here are some tips to help you get underway.

Identify your negative habits

If you want to change your habits you can’t go in blind. This is because if you are not aware of what you are doing wrong then it can be difficult to change your habits. So to change your bad financial habits you’ll need to analyse your finances and recognize the existence of the problems that are caused by your habits.

So ask yourself, do you overuse your credit cards? Spend without tracking your finances? Are you in overwhelming debt? Do you struggle to pay your bills on time? Do you buy unnecessary things? Do you live well beyond or outside your means?  Knowing these is the first step to bringing about change.

Know your triggers

Like a car needs an ignition to start, habits are often set off by triggers. There are five categories which they generally fall under time, location, other people, emotional state and immediately preceding the action. If you find that you are doing something every day over and over again then there is normally a trigger for it.

For example, you may smoke because you just drank coffee or alcohol. In order to root out your trigger you need to ask these questions when you find yourself engaging in your habit. What time is it? Where are you? Who is with you? What happened before hand? What is your emotional state? Once you’ve asked these regularly you’ll be able to spot patterns which can lead you to identifying the cause of your habit.

One habit at a time

Have you ever been on a diet but were disappointed because you weren’t getting results fast enough? Changing bad habits is similar to this, you can’t expect changes overnight and be disappointed because it’s taking longer. Trying to tackle everything all at once isn’t realistic and leads to higher chances of failure.

It’s important that once you’ve identified your bad habits to replace them with healthier ones. It takes repetition and commitment to build replacement habits, so take it one habit at a time. Start by taking on a 30 day challenge where you implement one habit steadily and consistently. If you take on more habits it can decrease your chances of success, but once you’ve succeeded with your first you can work on the next.

Changing your bad financial habits can take time and effort, but with commitment it can be achieved. So use these tips to help replace your bad money habits with healthier ones.

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