Finance Friday – Creating Good Habits

Happy Friday!! This weekend I am headed up to the Great White North once again for some skiing and quality time in the snow.

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But first, it’s time for another Finance Friday.

#3 – Make conservative spending a habit

This may seem simple, but just take a minute to think about it.  When you walk into Target, do you get sidetracked by fun gadgets in the $1 section?  Browse the magazines and snacks at the checkout? (yes. yes.) How many times do you walk into a store and walk out with way more than you planned (or could have ever needed)?  I personally feel like I can relate these items to sugar.  The more I eat, the more I crave… and the more I give in to my random store cravings the more I allow them to take over each time I enter the store.  And let’s be honest… I have no idea what becomes of most of those random buys (they probably end up in a trash can or a goodwill bag).

Speaking of Target, it is the worst (and the best).  I’m not sure what happens when I walk in there but I lose all self control and suddenly end up wanting things I never even knew existed.  I will actually make a loop around the store just to check out sections that are no where near the items I came in for, and by the time I leave I’m not even sure what day it is.

So this is where building good habits comes into play.  I always think back to college and wonder how I kept my credit card bill under control on such a limited budget.  I think the difference is that I made it a habit to get in and get out without even thinking about what else I might want to pick up while I was there.  So if we can make it a habit to work out everyday, or make healthy food choices, why can’t we make it a habit to spend money conservatively?

So I did a little research… the bad news is that according to this article from The Huffington Post, research has proven that it can take anywhere from 2 to 8 months to form a new habit (as opposed to the old 21 days study).  But the good news is, baby steps are OK.  The most important part is perseverance.

Want more Finance Friday Posts?

#1 – Contribute at LEAST the company match amount to your 401k

#2 – How to protect your Identity and your tax refund

On the menu for today:

Breakfast – The last English muffin with PB and berries!

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Coffee

Lunch – 6 al fresco chicken meatballs with a slice of swiss cheese and a side salad (baby spinach, banana peppers, yogurt bleu cheese dressing), and the last of the berries

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Green Tea

Snacks – inner peas and carbonated water (afternoon), and a banana with some yogurt before I hit the road this evening

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Dinner – tbd

On a side note, last night I ran my second fastest 3 miles ever.  While it’s nothing too impressive, it always feels great to start seeing improvements!

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Have a great weekend!

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