January 24, 2019
At the beginning of a new year, it can be freeing to leave old habits in the past as you pursue goals of all sizes. Perhaps you intend on taking better control of your finances in 2019. As you evaluate spending patterns that may be hindering your savings progress or budget objectives, take note of these three seemingly small habits that you may want to leave behind.
Buying cheap for short-term savings.
While it’s always in your best interest to search for the best deals on bigger ticket items, be cautious of sacrificing quality for a lower price tag. Oftentimes, deciding to buy a cheaper product will end up costing you more in the long run due to maintenance or its limited lifespan. It’s worthwhile to consider the longevity of the product compared to the price before making a purchase. You may be better off to save up and spend more upfront to avoid extra costs down the road.
Paying for unused subscriptions or memberships.
When it comes to payments that are automatically withdrawn from your account, it’s easy for them to fall into an “out of sight, out of mind” category. Gym memberships, music or video streaming services, automatic purchases of your favorite Amazon buys, and food delivery services are just a few recurring expenses that may not seem like significant expenses individually. But, when you’re running list adds up, the total cost may be surprising. Regularly evaluate these subscriptions or memberships to ensure you pause or discontinue charges if you’re not using or truly getting your money’s worth out of the product or service.
Spending more to get a discount.
It’s tempting to add a little more to your cart when you are rewarded for reaching a certain spending threshold with free shipping or a discount. While it’s natural to look out for money-saving opportunities, these consumer-targeted tactics can often lead to overspending. Stick to your budget by carefully weighing the price variations, or avoiding these pitfalls altogether.
It’s the smaller benchmark goals like these that propel you toward your bigger objectives overtime. Whether you want to budget better, save more, or spend less, breaking these habits may help you achieve measurable results.
Jim Oosterman is the Senior Vice of Melrose Bank and a lifelong resident of Melrose. He can be reached by telephone at 781-665-2500, online at melrosebank.com, or on Facebook at facebook.com/MelroseBank.