We’ve all been there: stressed out, a bad day, maybe even a fight with someone we love. Different people cope with stress in different ways, but for some of us, we cope by spending. And unfortunately, we only compound the stressful situations in our lives when we spend to cope, because on top of the original stressor in our lives, we’ve also added financial stress!
It’s been said that finance is 20% head knowledge, and 80% behavior. In order to make lasting change, we must examine the underlying causes for our negative behavior. I’ve put together six different tips to help you kick negative financial habits; by becoming more aware of the circumstances surrounding these negative habits, you can learn to recognize the pattern and break the cycle of bad behaviors.
- Determine the benefit you’re receiving from the negative behavior. Does the bad habit relieve stress? Is it pleasurable? Or are you merely distracting yourself? Once you’re able to pinpoint the “benefit”, you can develop an alternative.
- Find a substitute. Is there an alternative to the negative behavior, that provides the same or similar benefits, but in a more positive manner?
- How is the bad habit harming you? Make a list of all the ways that your negative behavior is causing damage in your life. It could be in the area of relationships, your health, or even your career. Write it all down, and refer to it every day, in order to keep you on track on WHY you’re trying to make changes.
- What will you gain by kicking your bad habits? Just like the damage caused by bad habits, make a list of everything you have to gain by changing your behavior. Refer back to this list as daily motivation!
- Determine your trigger points. Can you pinpoint events or patterns that cause you to indulge in your bad habit? As you learn to become more aware of these trigger points, you can learn to manage them, and avoid giving in.
- Find support. The best way to ensure success in your endeavors is to surround yourself with people that can cheer you on and hold you accountable! You may be able to find groups to join online, or possibly find a local group as well. Recruit family and friends to help you on your journey. And if you can’t find all the support you’re looking for, create a new group and build your own network!
Everyone has less-than-stellar financial habits they’d like to change. Tackle yours now to avoid letting them have a destructive influence on your life. Get started now and regain control of your financial future!