A leading financial advisor has revealed the four bad money habits that are costing you thousands of dollars – and how to break up with them right now.
The host of advisory podcast ‘She’s On The Money’ Victoria Devine, from Melbourne, said there are many negative money routines we are stuck in, and often we don’t acknowledge that they’re bad for us because we choose not to think about them in that way.
‘They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, because it takes you 21 days to clear your system and forget you used to do something daily or weekly,’ Victoria said on a recent episode of her podcast.
‘The first step to breaking a habit is to acknowledge that it’s a habit and it’s bad for you and not helping your finances. Then, you can change it.’
A leading financial advisor has revealed the four bad money habits that are costing you thousands of dollars – and how to break up with them right now (Victoria Devine pictured)
The first bad habit that millions fall into is mindless daily spending, whether it be a top on the way home from work that you don’t need or a daily $4 oat milk latte (Victoria Devine pictured)
1. Mindless daily spending
The first bad habit that millions around the world have is mindless daily spending, whether it be buying a top on the way home from work that you don’t need or purchasing a daily $4 oat milk latte.
‘We are all guilty of mindless daily spending, even me,’ Victoria said.
‘Today, it was really easy to pick up a top that I liked and buy it because I didn’t feel that it cost me much at $27.50 and there was a sale on.’
The best way to take charge of this habit is to look at your spending on a yearly scale, rather than daily, the financial expert said.
This will best show you how $30 here and there on clothes can quickly become $10,000 in 12 months.
‘Think about things like buying lunch for $10 a day in the context of the week and then the year,’ Victoria said.
‘$50 a week becomes $2,600 a year. From little things, big things do grow.’
She said this is all cash that could be saved, invested or spent on a family holiday for four.
Try to look at the ‘bigger picture’ when saving money. You can also try thinking about purchases for 24 hours before you make them.
Victoria said if you’re not taking your financial future seriously, this isn’t good – this could mean not paying attention to your superannuation and burying your head in the sand (stock image)
2. Not taking your future seriously
The second bad habit the financial advisor sees among her clients is not taking your financial future seriously enough.
‘If you’re not investing, you should be,’ Victoria said.
‘You need to stop seeing your financial future as something you can start or deal with later. You need to have a plan now.’
One of the main ways we don’t think about our future is not taking interest in and nurturing our superannuation accounts, Victoria said.
‘A lot of people don’t take their super very seriously because they don’t see it as their money in front of them,’ she explained.
‘But if you don’t like how it’s being invested, you need to change how it is.
‘Your super is your money. The sooner you think about this, the better your financial future will be.’
Victoria is extremely against buy now, pay later schemes, and said they are often a ‘trap’ for many men and women (stock image)
3. Using buy now, pay later schemes
Victoria is extremely against buy now, pay later schemes, and said they are often a ‘trap’ for many men and women.
‘Lots of people do use these services for constructive reasons and balancing their cash flow – I’m not talking to those people – but there are also plenty who buy things they can’t afford with money they don’t have,’ she said.
‘For these people, things like Afterpay are just another line of credit.’
The financial adviser said the worst thing about buy now, pay later schemes is that they are a slippery slope for people who struggle with their money anyway.
You could also end up paying back fees on the money you’ve borrowed.
Victoria said you should re-think using these platforms if you do, and be armed with the knowledge that you need to be careful.
She highlighted that people under 35 are using buy now, pay later more than any other demographic, and one in five people don’t pay off their bills.
If you can avoid them and organise your finances differently, then do it.
‘They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, because it takes you 21 days to clear your system and forget you used to do something daily or weekly,’ Victoria (pictured) said
4. Keeping your head buried in the sand
Finally, if you think you’re guilty of keeping your head buried in the sand instead of facing your financial fears head first, Victoria said you should stop right now.
‘A lot of people think finances are related to dread and worry, but understanding your money story and how you spend and save is key to financial success,’ she said.
Start paying attention to how and why you spend right now, instead of waiting to settle a loan or pay off a car, and then assuming you’ll start.
To find out more about Victoria Devine, please visit her Instagram profile here.