Back to School, Back to Old Habits?

Whether you have graduated or are currently in school, August still brings a whimsical "back to school" feel. We start tidying up our summer selves and hunker down and get serious about the rest of the year. During this process, we look for a routine to cling to, something familiar that will settle us. Are we settling back into bad financial habits? 

Bad financial habits do not need to creep back in, especially if you have been good all summer! But you do need to be aware of your financial triggers. Get a pen and paper and start by answering these questions: 

  1. What are my bad financial routines?

    (ex: I spend too much money on fall clothes, I overspend during the holidays)
  2. Where do I spend the most money? 

    (ex: eating out, Target, grocery store)
  3. What emotions Do I experience when I spend money? 

    (ex: excited, sugar-rush feeling or depressed, regret)
  4. How do I want to feel when I spend money?

    (ex: in control, positive, buying only what I need)
  5. what can I do differently so I don't continue these habits?

    (it's okay to say "I don't know")

After you have written this list down, fold it up and stick it somewhere you can carry for the next few weeks. This may be a purse, car, or a drawer at work. By keeping this list handy, you will be able to frequent it before you start spending! Look at item number 4 frequently. How do you want to feel when you spend money? If you aren't feeling that feeling, back away from the cash register (or amazon!) and leave.

Recognizing your bad financial habits is the first step to undoing them. Most importantly, bad financial habits normally start around feeling bad emotions and covering them up. When you know your triggers around spending money you can start replacing those triggers. Writing them down solidifies that they are real and that they need to be addressed.

Need help with curbing your habits? Reach out to me!