Common Vices That Are Costing You Big

by Fox Symes on May 5, 2014

Are you starting to look at your finances and wonder where all your hard earned money is going? Does it seem like you just can’t get ahead financially and you’re started to give up hope of ever being financially independent and secure? Don’t despair, there are many things we do in everyday life that are costing us big. This article looks at some common spending patterns or vices you may have fallen into that are holding you back from getting ahead.

Using credit cards regularly

There is no doubt that credit cards are extremely convenient and safer than carrying around cash. However, their use has become a part of everyday spending and this isn’t healthy. Credit card interest rates are exceptionally high. Because of this, you may find it hard to ever get on top of the debt if you aren’t paying out your balance at the end of each month or paying considerably more than the minimum repayment required. Recent research has also shown that after you’ve charged up more than $12,000 on credit cards, you’re more likely to never pay the debt off.

“Keeping up with the Joneses”

So you like to look good, that’s ok. You also like to keep up with technology and love buying new music and DVDs. On top of this you’d like to renovate your home, upgrade your car and take a holiday to Europe. Get the picture? We live in a society obsessed by image and being ‘on trend’ and are constantly bombarded by lifestyle and holiday programs that promote consumption and spending. Marketing and the mass media has created a picture of what the modern lifestyle looks like, but it’s a very unrealistic and unachievable one for most of us. Consumer spending far outweighs earnings as evidenced recently by the global financial crisis. Put the brakes on your spending and start reviewing your values and expectations in life. As the Buddhists say “desire is the cause of all suffering.”

Food and drink

With so many people working longer hours than ever before, dinner has become more of a stressful part of the day than an enjoyable one. We don’t seem to have enough time to plan meals, shop and then cook them. As a result, many of us turn to take-away or eating out for dinner rather than cooking. To also help deal with the stress and strain of work and life in general, many of us will unwind with a drink or two every night. After work drinks with colleagues have become more and more popular and what might start as ‘one for the road’ could end up being dinner and then a taxi ride home. All of this probably sounds innocent enough, but over a year, the costs can add up to thousands of dollars.

If you’re not where you want to be financially, it’s time to be really honest with yourself and look at where you’re spending your money. Chances are, it’s on things that you can do without or vices that you need to get a grip off. When you have some time, sit down and add up where your hard-earned dollars are going, you’ll probably be shocked.

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