The little treats and rewards we pamper ourselves with can become more than the occasional treat and more like a habit that is hard to break. Habits that cost money unless you budget for these expenses, they are budget breakers. They will quickly turn a great plan for your money into a disaster.
Even if you budget for an occasional reward, think about the money that you could save if you reduced the amount of rewards that you have. Rewards that you give yourself to cheer yourself up, to get through the day can quickly become a habit. Without that item, you find the day becomes more difficult and you can quickly blame this on not having the reward.
This is when alarm bells should ring, the reward or the treat has become more than a booster, it has become a habit and possible the beginnings of an addiction.
The habits that you want to build into your daily life should focus on the things that you need to do on a daily basis. To tidy up after yourself, to put the laundry on. A habit that means you need to spend money is not a great habit to build; it can lead to problems down the line.
If you can’t walk past the coffee shop on your way to work without buying a coffee then perhaps your occasional treat or reward has become a habit that will affect your monthly budget. Saving some of this money could increase your personal wealth, save for a holiday or even a larger treat. It is learning when a treat becomes a habit and you are not buying the item for a treat.
A treat might start as an occasional take-out meal, but when it becomes a regular event then it no longer has the special feel, but has become a habit.
When you are building a habit into your life, it is difficult and there is evidence to suggest that you need to perform the habit for about three weeks for it to become part of your everyday life.
Trying to break a habit that is costing you money each week is not easy, it is important to start off slowly taking one day at a time. If you bought a coffee each day cut back to every other day to begin with; this reduction in the habit still has some positives and is easier to manage than not having the coffee at all.
It is possible to break a habit that is not good for you, but it is going to take time. If you haven’t budgeted for the expense, you need to look at your budget and work out a way in which you are not going to cause more damage to your finances.
It is better to spend the time working out the amount of money that you will need and adjusting your budget so that you don’t end up with a more difficult situation when you have no money left to pay your bills.