Your Routines Could Be Making You Broke


Coffee and the Paper

Habits—everyone has them. Even the most freedom loving among us have some kind of daily and weekly routine. There are good reasons for this. One of them is biological. Our bodies are designed to run in a rhythmic fashion.  Our sleep patterns, for example, cause us to cycle on a daily basis. The second reason is psychological. Our minds are designed to categorize information. Huge amounts of undifferentiated data are just too much to process. Habits and routines are one of the ways we dial the information overload that comes barreling into our consciousness every day. In and of themselves habits are neither good nor bad.

If you are trying to manage your money and cut your expenses you must create the right habits to give you a push, and defeat the habits that cost you. The first step is to identify your current routine. Let’s start in the morning: You roll out of bed, and then what? For many people the answer is to get a stimulant such as coffee into their system as fast as possible, often coffee in the western world. How do you get your coffee? How much does it cost? In addition, many of us eat breakfast, and according to nutritional experts all of us should. So, how do you handle that, and how much does it cost?

To do a good audit, pay attention to your routines for a few weeks. Each time you identify one, ask yourself if there is an expense associated with it. Remember to multiply the cost by how often you partake in the habit. For instance, the cost of to-go coffee should be multiplied by 365 if you do it every day. Do this exercise on the daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly levels.

Once you know what you are doing now, it may be time to tweak those habits. You may be shocked at how much money is leaking out of your sieve without you even being aware of it consciously. Changing habits, especially those that are deeply engrained, may take quite an effort. But it can be done. If your money wasting (and often unhealthy) habit is one known to be tough to break you may want to get some help from a support group. If it is something like smoking you may need medical help. But, with the right plan in place virtually any habit can be defeated.

You may also have some good habits, walking each morning for example. Don’t forget to include these. Knowing you are doing some things right will improve your morale. You may also want to make a list of habits to integrate into your life, such as making a healthy breakfast at home each day, packing a healthy lunch, or socializing outdoors instead of expensive indoor venues. Developing a little habit such as making your bed a certain way each day can anchor your day at no cost to you except a few moments of your time. These are the habits that enrich us and bring order to our lives.

Everyone has 24 hours each day, and we all fill them with habits. With a little work your habits can make you richer, healthier, and more fulfilled.


One Response

  1. It can be a real eye opener when we first start keeping track of our spending habits…but sometimes that’s just what we need…good post!!

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