You may not realize it, but some things you do habitually can make you lose money. Let’s see what those costing habits are and how we can reverse them.
1. You are a chronic complainer
If you always see the bad side, then you might not see the opportunities around you. When you miss opportunities, you inevitably lose money.
For example, if you are too busy complaining to yourself about how your co-worker sucks, you might not think that you would be a great fit for that new project that just came out. Yes, the one that would boost your resume and possibly lead to a promotion. Opportunity lost.
2. You don’t exercise
Here’s a weird benefit of exercise: people who exercise at least three times a week make 9% more than their non-exerciser coworkers.
Not already exercising? Keep your chin up. A habit-making program like Exercise Bliss could start forming you into a regular exerciser starting next Monday.
3. You think you would never spend this much money, and then spend it
My friend and NYT best-selling author Ramit Sethi likes making fun of people who think they will never spend, e.g. $30,000 on a wedding. But when time comes, and it’s their turn to get married, they spend it.
I’m not criticizing spending money on your wedding here. I’m just saying that had you accounted for the “having a big wedding” scenario, you might have saved more in the past, and hence not need to get into credit card debt.
4. You don’t negotiate
From negotiating the price of your car, to negotiating your salary, you have a lot of potential to save thousands of dollars. Yet beware, negotiating is not something most people are skilled at. I recommend buying books and then spending 1000x more time actually practicing the books’ teachings with a friend.
That’s how you’ll walk into a negotiation with confidence and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
5. You think short-term vs. long-term
We often don’t really take into account the effect of our actions in the long run. For example, you not negotiating a $5k increase in salary does not just cost you $5k this yea, but maybe next year as well.
In your next job interview, the employer will try to pay you according to your past salary. Your negotiating position will start from $5k less than what it could have.
And that just compounds as years go by. Thousands of dollars lost, because of an innocent, missed $5k negotiation.
6. You think “I can’t do it” instead of “How can I do it?”
You can make more money at your current job. You can negotiate more, or improve your skills and then ask for a raise.
Or, you could make more money on the side. Or, you can start your own business.
The options are infinite. The more you’re stuck on “can’t”, the more you’ll be losing money that you could have earned had you not had this bad “can’t” habit.
Start with Appsumo’s Make your first dollar, and you might be surprised with the results.
7. You avoid saying “no”
Your sister asks you for money. She never gives the money back, but you still just can’t say “no.”
You keep lending money, or buying dinner for your friends, just because saying “no” is easier than paying. I’m not saying that “no” should come easy. But I am proposing to be conscious about why you do what you do.
Regardless of whether you are a guy or a girl, I definitely recommend the book Lucky Bitch by Denise Thomas. Those unconscious patterns will rise to the surface right away!
8. You confuse your account balance with your self-worth
The balance on your account is just a number. Yet, we tend to be emotional with that number. When this balance is not up to our standards, we may feel shame and self-pity.
That’s exactly what overweight–or even thin–people feel when on the scale. The number on the scale feels like it describes their self-worth, when it doesn’t!
The result of this confusion is that you might be afraid to even open up those new bills. Or, you might avoid dealing with your debt because it’s just way too scary to do so.
But the good news is that it’s just a number–it doesn’t have anything to do with who you are.
9. You don’t take your emotions into account when paying off debt
Not knowing how to pay off your debt can hold you back and make you pay it off more slowly. Man vs. Debt advises: start with the debt that you most want to get rid of.
Not the debt that costs you the most, the debt that you really want to cross of your list. Why? Because your emotions matter. Because if paying off your debt doesn’t give a feeling of relief, then you’re just not going to be as good at it.
10. You buy stuff without understanding why
In Money: A Love Story author Kate Northrup urges us to understand what made us make each purchase. First, we look at our credit card statement. Were our purchases good ones, or are there any purchases that we would have been better off without?
Once we complete this step, we move on to step two. How did we feel when we made each purchase?
If you actually do this step, you might find out that the purchases you made while feeling bad, needy, or lacking, are not the ones you are proud of.
Next time you are about to buy something that you MUST have, ask yourself: “Why do you really want this?” Are you, e.g., buying a coat because you actually need it, or are you buying a coat in the hope that your new friends will like you better?
Now it’s your turn to let me know: Do you have any of the above costing habits? If yes, what will you do to reduce it, or even better, get rid of it?