5 Money Habits to Ditch in 2016

November 9, 2015
This post may contain affiliate links. See disclosure policy here.



I want to go ahead and establish something with you all right now. I may write about budgets and money, but there are some things I do need to get together. Becoming a PF blogger does not give me or anyone else a pass into some secret society where old habits magically disappear, everyone makes perfect financial decisions, and screw ups are not made.

To achieve some of the goals I’m working on, some old habits have to die and they need to die fast.  Not only do they need to die fast, I need them to blow up, stop holding me back, and allow me to get on with my life.  I’m going to have to work hard on some of these, but nonetheless, they will be dealt with in 2016.

Here goes…

#1  Random runs to the grocery store. 

I know this is one of those sacred frugal/savings tips.  Don’t go to the grocery store more than a certain number of times for a month, but I swear, Publix is very well acquainted with me.  

In fact, my five-year-old daughter can spell Publix without any help from me, informs others that it’s my store and has associated Publix with treats.  This is a bad habit.  It has to go.

#2 Putting things on my credit card because I’m too lazy to remember how much is in my checking account.  

Gasp!  Are you shocked?  Oh, the horror!  This girl talks about budgets and doesn’t know how much is in her checking account?  

Well, yeah.  That’s sort of how it goes down.  See, my wife account holds money for groceries and a little free spending money for me to do as I please.  I do have a budget to not spend more than $100 in a given week for groceries.  If I do, I have to stay under $100 the following week.  You follow?

So, sometimes I am simply to lazy to keep up with the amount in my account and instead of guessing and getting an overdraft, I’ll charge it. As long as I’m paying it off from my account when I get home, that isn’t so bad, is it?

Bad or not, it’s not a good money habit to not keep up with the amount of money in your account. Therefore, it needs to be abolished!

#3 Focusing on too many savings goals at one time.

This isn’t necessarily a bad money habit, but I have noticed I’m running myself crazy trying to add a few dollars to this savings bucket and then a few more to another one.  

My husband realized we weren’t as prepared with some savings in one area than we were in others and this caused us to fall short on a couple of goals.  I believe we can solve this by focusing on 2 to 3 goals at a time.

For instance, we have a goal to keep a minimum of $500 in our car maintenance account.  We didn’t develop a similar minimum amount for our household maintenance account.  When the time came around to make some much-needed house improvements, we only had a few dollars to work with, whereas we had over $700 in our car maintenance account.

If we didn’t have so many goals to work with at one time, we could have stopped contributing to the car maintenance once we met our minimum and contributed to another category.

All this to say, in 2016 we will work on a few goals.  Once we reach those, we can move on the next.

#4 Eating my money.

No, I’m not nasty.  I don’t actually eat my money, but I do waste money on consumable delicacies that make me feel better.

After dealing with any type of frustration, I’ll likely take it out on a piece of candy, an entire tub of vanilla yogurt (add the whipped cream), or some ice cream.

This habit is the reason Publix is so well acquainted with me.

Last month, my frustration got the best of me and I binged on my LCHF way of eating with a Reese’s cup.  It all went downhill after that and I’ve probably eaten enough Reese’s to buy a share of their stock.

I have to do better.  Eating money is not cool.

#5 Failing to shop around.

I hate shopping. I don’t know when this profound hatred of an activity I once enjoyed came about, but I do not like going to stores looking for things. I don’t care if I need it, don’t care if it’s on sale… don’t care at all!  I hate shopping.

This hatred causes me to go into the store, pick up the first reasonably priced (preferably on clearance) thing I see and head to check out.  I’ve bought way too many things I should have slept on and things I probably could have gotten a better deal on.  

I want to change this habit because I want to be more intentional with my spending. If I need a new wrap dress, I want to take time and plan the purchase, seek a high-quality product, and maximize my savings.  If I do this, I will have a product that I will truly get my money’s worth from and I will have a product I love.

These 5 money habits may not sound like much of a big deal, but I can assure you, changing these things will prove successful in helping me on my quest to eliminate over $70,000 in student loans. I have the ability to eliminate these money habits and I’m no longer allowing my excuses to keep me from pursuing financial independence.

What money habits do you want to obliterate in 2016?
Today I’m guest posting on Red Debted Stepchild.  Head on over and see what I’m talking about!


Image (without text) Courtesy of Fsecart


*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, A Disease Called Debt and Racing Towards Retirement*

Latoya Scott
CFEI/Social Entrepreneur
Latoya Scott is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and personal finance writer with a mission to help millennials learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck so they can become financially carefree.

You Might Also Like

  • Shirria November 9, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I have a bad habit of making big purchases after I’ve successfully paid off a credit card. It’s very similar eating fattening foods once you’ve lost some weight. I do that too. I need to stop both habits if I want to continue to be successful.

    • Latoya S November 9, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      I hear ya!

  • Chonce November 10, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Random runs to the grocery store is my weakness! I also want to give up any excuses I have for not being able to stick to my budget and spending goals. For example, I wanted to put more toward retirement this year and could have if I would have focused more, but I paid off a ton of debt so and understand I have to prioritize and can’t do everything at once.

    • Latoya S November 11, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      It’s easy to beat ourselves up over those things. I agree about prioritization. I’m really going to have to focus!

  • Theodore Nwangene November 13, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Great points Lotaya,
    I’m also guilty of not monitoring my sendings. I spends money a lot especially on things that makes no sense and that is one aspect I want to work on.

    I want to start making good budgets of the necessary things I should be spending money on on a monthly basis.

    • Latoya S November 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      Theodore, we are definitely not alone. As long as we have the desire and motivation to do something, I’m sure we’ll make a positive change moving forward!

  • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich November 14, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I would like to get better about eating leftovers. I just forget about them about half the time and the other half… I just don’t want to. I’d honestly save a lot more if I were better about it.

    • Latoya S November 15, 2015 at 12:29 am

      I definitely understand the struggle with leftovers. My trick is to sometimes eat the leftovers for breakfast and get it on out of the way. This way I can have something better for lunch or dinner:)

  • RAnn November 14, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I started by Loyal3 Lunch investment account as a way to keep me from eating my money. So far, it has been working well; I’ve cut way back on my eating out a lunch!

  • Gary @ Super Saving Tips November 14, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Great post! #1 and #3 are downfalls at our house. My wife does most of the grocery shopping these days, and the plan is a weekly trip to a supermarket a little further away with better prices. But, there’s another grocery store literally around the corner from us and anytime we run out of an ingredient, she pops over there and somehow remembers a bunch of other things that we “need”. It’s a habit we’re trying to break. But I think too many goals is what’s really tripping us up right now. We need to focus on 1 or 2 things and it’s difficult to prioritize when there’s so many things that need to be done.

    • Latoya S November 15, 2015 at 12:30 am

      I agree, Gary. Keeping the goal list short will give us time to form new habits.

  • Tre November 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I just need to stay away from Amazon for the next 2 months and everything should be fine. I’ve started leaving my debit and credit cards at home so that I’m not tempted to spend when I am out.

    • Latoya S November 15, 2015 at 12:31 am

      Really? I use Amazon to stay out of the stores! Lol.

  • Emily @ JohnJaneDoe November 14, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    It’s really hard not to make extra grocery store trips. What we’ve started doing is have my husband make any milk runs: He’s better about getting just milk than I am (for 10 months out of the year.) Right now, though, he keeps bringing home eggnog, which is his personal weakness.

    • Latoya S November 15, 2015 at 12:31 am

      Lol, we all have those weaknesses!

  • Liz November 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Yeah, I definitely need to kick some of the same habits. Great list!

    • Latoya S November 15, 2015 at 12:32 am

      Thank you:)

  • Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies November 14, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Solid list. Cheers to an excellent 2016. It makes me twitchy to not know what is in my checking account – I balanced a checkbook until just a few months ago 😉 I’m a terrible millennial!

    • Latoya S November 15, 2015 at 12:33 am

      Lol, I’m glad someone is still using them. That would solve many of my issues!

  • Laurie September 11, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I know I need to kick some of these habits. The worst for me is popping into the grocery store on a whim and picking up one or two things multiple times a week. Thanks for sharing!

    • Latoya Scott September 13, 2016 at 12:03 am

      Yes, Laurie, that’s a tough one. When I use lists and check my pantry and fridge, I’m much better at it!

  • James December 19, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Hello Latoya,
    Great Idea! Yes I really like to shop online such Amazon and stay away from shops. This is a comfortable way and can save time and effort as well.

  • Heather April 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Point #3 is definitely a good one to remember – sometimes, we’re too generous with one savings bucket while another suffers, so you’re right to minimize the amount of goals to work with. Thanks for sharing!

  • Top