Money is a topic that never fails to get people talking.
 
So many want more of it, but when they get their hands on it they fail to use it properly or have no idea how to make it grow.
 
Most people think the problem is that they simply need more of it.
 
You know...If only they received a pay rise, or an inheritance, or if the cost of living wasn’t so high, then they could finally get ahead once and for all.
 
But bad money habits have a tendency to follow you.
 
If you’re a bit of a spender, then you will just end up spending any extra money you receive.
 
If you don’t understand investing then having more money will only make you more confused about what to do with it.
 
Here are some of the common toxic money habits to get on top of:
 
1. NOT SAVING
 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for spending money as a reward for a period of hard work.
 
But firstly you need to make sure that you’re spending money you actually have (credit cards don’t count) and, secondly, that you’re not spending too much.
 
In other words, that you’re putting a certain amount of money away each week, in other words you must spend less than you earn.
 
It never fails to surprise me how many adults don’t actually commit to a specific, percentage-based savings plan.
 
2. EMOTIONAL SPENDING
 
Ever bought something that you hoped would cheer you up, but in the end it made you feel worse?
 
Welcome to the world of emotional spending.
 
And what an expensive world it is.
 
Emotional spenders will splash out on all sorts of luxury in a bid to feel better about themselves: fast cars, holidays, designer clothes.
 
This toxic money habit will burn a hole in your wallet like no other, so if you find that you turn to money when you’re feeling low, you’re better off putting that money towards psychological therapy (rather than retail).
 
3. LENDING MONEY… TO EVERYONE
 
Some people are very generous with their money. Too generous.
 
They give to the uncle who is a bit shy that week, they hand over large sums of cash to their adult children or they pick up the cheque at the restaurant each and every time.
 
Generosity is a wonderful thing, but it has its limits.
 
There’s nothing wrong with shouting your friend dinner if you have the desire and the means, but there is something wrong with habitually bailing out your friend because they are terrible with money.
 
You can’t be someone else’s solution to their money problems. Leave that role to some other doormat.
 
4. BURYING YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND
 
Some people just don’t like thinking about money.
 
They may stress about not having enough or spending too much, and so they leave their credit card statement and bills unopened.
 
They just don’t deal with their expenses.
 
They incur late fees because they never pay on time and because they don’t like thinking about money, they miss out on the best deals because they fail to do their homework on the best products in the marketplace.
 
My advice is to get good with thinking about money.
 
5. NOT PAYING OFF THEIR CREDIT CARD IN FULL
 
A final word on credit cards.
 
They are a blessing for those who pay their bills on time, but are financially draining for those who are bad money managers.
 
According to ASIC, there are over 16 million credit cards in Australia, netting a national debt that’s accruing interest of around $32 billion. That's an average of around $4300 per card holder.
 
Credit card interest rates currently hover at between 15 and 20 per cent, which is exorbitant.
 
Your interest rate on your home loan may be only four per cent, but credit cards are much, much higher.
 
Never put anything on credit that you can’t afford to pay at the end of the month.
 
And then pay it off in full!
 
So, that’s five toxic money habits you need to break.
 
You will never have enough money as long as you continue to indulge these bad habits, and while it may take a while to change them, it will be worth it in the long run.
 
Your wallet will thank you.
 

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Michael Yardney

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.