Good morning Dinks. As you know I have had my share of money problems in the past. I lived on credit cards, I spent more than I could afford to pay off each month (as well as years later) and I continued to apply for credit when I maxed out my existing cards. I think we can all agree that these are extremely bad money habits. How do you break your bad habits?
We were forced to change our old bad habits
I’m proud to say my money habits have improved over the years. I am the first to admit that old habits (money and other kinds) die hard. My dad says that people have to hit rock bottom before they become open to change. After living through my financial past I have to tell you that I think he’s right.
Sometimes the rock bottom is a divorce, sometimes it’s rehab and in my case it was a near bankruptcy. Thankfully I’ve never been through a divorce (I would have to get married to my boyfriend Nick first) or to rehab but I have been through a near bankruptcy and that’s like a money divorce. Isn’t it?
We had to be open to change
Before we can change anything about ourselves we have to be open and willing to change. I definitely was. As I sat in the office of the bankruptcy agent I realized that I couldn’t live like that anymore. I needed to take matters into my own hands. I wanted to change, at that time I was ready. I have to be honest and say I wish I hit rock bottom a couple of years earlier because it would have saved me a lot of grief and money on interest charges. But hey, I learned from my mistakes.
A change for the better
My financial habits have changed because a part of me died – I’m a money widow. I broke up with the old me and now I’m a new person when it comes to my money. I save, spend within a budget and only use credit to rebuild my score. The truth is changing my money habits had a snowball effect on the rest of my life and a lot of my habits changed. I am more controlled in everything I do, including eating, organizing and exercising.
Changing my money habits also changed my relationship. We went through some hard times during the near bankruptcy because money was a constant stress in our relationship. However we worked through it. My boyfriends money habits have also changed over the years.
We both went from being kids in a two income household to being completely broke students to having our own dual income household after graduation and then to being broke. Now I live on a strict budget and my boyfriend clips coupons – that’s something I never thought I’d see him do. Ever.
Now we are set in our money ways
The temptation to spend money is always present but before I shell out any cash I think back to my past life. Trust me when I say I don’t want to go back. It took us five years to realize we had money problems, over three years (and a lot of tears) to pay off all our debt as we didn’t go the deed route like from places such as scotlandstrustdeed.co.uk and now we are set in our new financial ways. I think it would be hard to go back to our broke lifestyle because now we pay off our credit card (only one) every month and save money for an emergency.
Every day I work hard to stay within my budget, but who knows one little slip up and I could go back to being broke, but I definitely don’t want to.
Do you have any old money habits that have been hard to get rid of?
Photo from Flickr