Breaking Bad (Financial) Habits

Everyone has a bad habit of some kind, including everything from compulsive shopping to smoking or drinking a bottle of wine a little too often (ahem!). But what you may not know is that your bad habits are hurting your finances.

Sometimes it’s obvious that your bad habits have an impact on your finances, while other times the financial impact of a bad habit might be hard to notice at first. But everything you do in your life, including giving in to your habits, has an effect on your finances.

Here are just a few common habits along with some ideas of how to break them.

Compulsive Shopping

I used to suffer from this bad habit and now I’m still paying for the toll it took on my finances. My compulsive shopping habit landed me in about $10,000 worth of high-interest credit card debt. While I still overspend on shopping now and then, I’m doing much better than I used to at controlling this habit.

To control my shopping habit, I have learned to avoid temptation. I don’t look at sales catalogs anymore when they come in the mail. Instead I just throw them in the trash or recycling bin. I’ve also unsubscribed from almost all sales emails and notifications, and I only save coupons I get in the mail if I actually need something.

I’ve also learned to avoid online window shopping, as most of the time this turned into real shopping when I found something I liked. Taking my credit cards out of my wallet and deleting the stored payment information from my favorite online retailers has also helped.

 Going Out to Eat

Man I love going out to eat. Going out to eat with my friends typically makes up the majority of my entertainment budget and is what we do as a group most often. But going out to eat on my own (or ordering in) is especially tempting when I’m really busy and I feel like I don’t have the time or energy to cook. What this really is though is an excuse. And I hate excuses!

I definitely won’t be stopping this bad habit entirely, but I will try to take advantage of money saving ideas when I do go out to eat.

Financing Everything

When I was at my worst, I used my credit cards for every single, tiny, miniscule purchase. I put every purchase on credit because I never knew how much money I had (or didn’t have) in my bank account at any one time. I also knew I had to buy groceries and such to live, but I didn’t really know what I could afford. There are plenty of people who do put every single purchase on credit with the intention of building up reward points, but that certainly wasn’t the case for me.

To solve this one, I took all the credit cards out of wallet so they weren’t an option when I went to pay for things. As I said before, I also deleted the stored payment information (my credit card) from online retail stores I liked to frequent.

What are some bad habits you have? How do they affect your finances?

About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Going out to eat is definitely a bad one for me, too. I’ve gotten it under control for the most part, and I’ve lost weight, too! Perks! 🙂

  2. Thankfully, my bad habits are down to a minimum now. The one I’m currently working on is spending too much at the supermarket… mostly because I go there too often. It’s hard to walk out with the *one* thing I walked in there for so, I’m doing my best to stay away. It’s a challenge!

    • It can be a challenge for sure. I finally got tough with myself and set a regular grocery store day so I only go once/week now.

  3. SNACKS!!! Working in a mall has caused my snacking habit to go from okay to pretty much insane. Some days it’s hard for me to control and other weeks I’m all gungho about bringing in food and protein shakes. In the end, going without food was causing me to not do well at work and I’m still fighting for the perfect balance within myself and my budget.

    • I understand. I work at a retail store on the weekends and I always end up spending more on food during that time as I usually grab a sandwich or we order a delivery pizza during the slower times at work when we still aren’t permitted to leave for more than a minute or two.

  4. I hate to admit this, but going out to eat is a very bad habit for my family and it can kill our budget in a heartbeat. We are however working on correcting it and hopefully will nix that bad habit in no time.

    • It’s a tough one for sure. Good luck with beating it. If you do, I’d love to hear about it! Going out to eat is a huge struggle for me too.

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