I made a lot of mistakes in 2016 when it came to my money – earning it, saving it, and also investing it. Although I have come a long way from that person that maxed out her credit card almost every month to buy shoes and clothes she could not afford, I still have a long way to go. These are the bad financial habits that I’m leaving behind in 2016:
1. Not finding the best deals:
I did not always bargain or do the research needed to find the best deals. This was because I didn’t think doing much more research would make a difference in the price (and other times I was pretty lazy). I know better though, money is money, and every dollar counts. I am not saying you should spend 4 hours on the phone trying to reduce your phone bill by $5 – that’s hustling backwards. But it’s important to bargain and do the research to find the best deals. This could apply to clothes shopping, utility bills, credit card rates, even mortgage rates. This is especially important when you own a business. You could find save money by finding better deals in form of fees for your tax preparer, accountant or lawyer.
2. Giving up free money:
Believe it or not you can actually get money for free! Most of the time getting free money will not be in form of cash and it might mean having to make sacrifices, but this is not always the case! In 2016 I did not take full advantage of my employer contribution plan and maximize my RRSP contributions. This essentially meant I was losing out on free money. In 2017 I will definitely be dropping that bad financial habit.
Other ways that you could take advantage of free money are cash back credit cards (be sure to check out for those with no annual fees), employer discount programs, and if you’re still a student make sure you’re looking out for scholarships at your university.
3. Not planning ahead:
Not planning ahead meant that I spent way more than I should on Uber, take out etc. I was lazy and procrastinated a lot so I did not always make my lunches the day before work or give myself enough time to take the train. This led to me using Uber quite a bit ( and it really adds up!) In 2017 I aim to plan ahead and be more organized so that I can save more money.
4. Not reviewing money goals and my progress:
In 2016, I did not always take the time to review my finances to see if I was making progress. What’s the point of setting goals if you’re not going to measure your progress? It’s important to regularly review your bank statements, budgets, and your investment portfolio. This is important to find out if you’re on track with your goals, find out what you’re really spending your money on, and also to make sure there are no errors on your statements (this happens more often than you think).
Which bad financial habits are you leaving in 2016?