Let’s explore a few habits that seem harmless at first, but are slowly eating away your savings account. These habits are commonly known and do not seem to affect our pockets until we reach the next bill payment. They seem to be built into our systems that they become almost imperceivable because it became a bad habit. Are you aware of any of your bad financial habits? Here is a small list of habits that seem to take part almost every day.
Maybe you don’t need to order out today… For the fourth time this week. If you are deep in debt and have unpaid bills, maybe reconsider ordering takeout today.
Statistics Canada revealed that in 2020, about 54 percent of Canadians eat out once a week from restaurants and fast-food joints. This includes third-party delivery services such as Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats, Door Dash, etc. The statistics also mentioned that 52 percent of respondents order out for special occasions and 40 percent of respondents order out to simply treat themselves.
Third party food delivery services have increasingly sped up the process of having our food delivered directly to our doorstep that we tend to think that cooking is time consuming. Due to the pandemic, there has been a surge of people downloading food delivery apps and because restaurants temporarily closed their dining rooms, business owners and consumers have closely relied on these apps to deliver. The convenience of having food brought to our doorstep makes cooking less appealing to the younger and busier generation. The meal we crave is literally at our fingertips.
Let’s rethink our decision. Will my future self truly benefit financially from my present-self’s decision of ordering food that costs $20 for one meal?Depending on your financial goal, it’s best to revise your priorities. Ordering food is a luxury and not a necessity.
Ordering coffee to-go every morning is keeping you from attaining your financial goals. By ordering coffee each and every morning, you are not saving more time or money. The lineups are typically long and your order can be mixed up.
According to the Coffee Association of Canada, Canadians consume about 3.2 coffee cups per day. If you love a nice Starbucks fresh roast coffee in the size grande (or medium) this will cost you $2.10 per cup. In other words, consuming three cups per day of that same Starbucks fresh roast will cost you about $6.30 per day. Taking into consideration those working five days a week, that habit can potentially cost about $1,512 per year. That’s money that you could’ve saved for that dream vacation or great investment.
You can look into other ways instead of buying coffee on a daily basis. You can buy a coffee machine at home or use your workplace’s coffee machine. Most workplaces have a designated break room with a coffee machine or an electric tea kettle. If you are short on time, you can buy instant coffee for around $7, which lasts around 2-3 months depending on your consumption.
OVERPAYING FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS
Always be aware of your bills and keep tabs on them often. When you are overpaying for a phone or internet service, don’t be afraid to negotiate or say no. By being agreeable, you may fall prey to a charming and fast-talking salesperson. By not being aware of your recurring bill payments, you may miss the opportunity to get a better deal elsewhere.
Firstly, you can call up your service provider and hold a very casual conversation surrounding your phone or internet bills. For instance, you can ask the salesperson to reduce your monthly rate or you can ask them to give you a pass if you happen to go over your data usage that one time. They will most likely look the way for as long as you don’t do it repeatedly.
If you are overpaying for services, make sure to have a pen and notepad ready to take notes of each agent’s names, the date, the department they’re in and their extension if they have one. Mention that you have been offered a better deal with their competitor and that you are looking into switching soon after your contract expires. This will engage the salesperson behind the phone to offer you better deals on your plan. Don’t get used to overpaying. It’s a free market and you are allowed to shop around for a deal that benefits your wallet in the long run.
UNUSED MEMBERSHIPS OR SUBSCRIPTIONS
Do you really need that gym membership or have you gotten used to it being there “just-in-case”? If you haven’t been to the gym for more than three months and you’ve been paying $50 per month plus taxes, it may be time to unsubscribe. This also means that if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, do you really need Hulu, HBO, Netflix and/or Disney Plus on top of it?
Statistics Canada revealed in their 2020 survey that about 55 percent of respondents ages 15 to 34 subscribed to an online video streaming service. In addition, 50 percent of respondents ages 15 to 49 subscribed as well to the similar or the same services.
Let’s look into an example of a typical online subscription bill. Sarah has an Amazon Prime subscription that costs her $7.99 per month. She also has a Netflix’s basic subscription of $8.99 per month and Disney Plus account of $11.99 per month. Sarah thought that these subscriptions aren’t very expensive and kept all three of those subscriptions for a year. A year has gone by and she paid about a total of $347.64.
How much of it are you truly watching? Be honest. Do you really need all these subscriptions? If not, you can unsubscribe immediately and skip paying for the next month! Most subscription companies don’t charge penalty fees.
Nobody’s perfect but being conscious of every financial decision you make will serve you nothing but great benefits. Try not to be hard on yourself if you are just realizing these bad habits. Instead, learn from it and adjust whatever needs adjusting in order to live happy and wealthy.