5 Habits That Can Cost You Big

When you are in your twenties, it is a great time to establish healthy financial habits that can go with you for the rest of your life. The habits that you form now will follow you. It is important to work now to create habits that will benefit you in the future. Even the small things may end up costing you a lot more in the future. Here are five habits that can cost you a lot later on. These are some of the habits of perpetually broke people

Never Paying Off Your Credit Card

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If you are only paying the minimum on your credit card, you are primarily paying the interest, and you will likely continue to pay on the card for years instead of months. One great way to find out how much this habit is costing you is to look at your bill. Each monthly statement has a box that tells you how much you paid in interest this month, how long it will take you to pay off the card by paying the minimum and the amount that you need to pay to pay it off in three years. The interest payments can be huge, and if you are only paying the minimum amount you will not make any real progress on your debt.

Eating Out

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When you are single, it may not seem like that big of a deal to eat out a couple nights a week. Without the extra cost of children, it may be nearly as inexpensive as cooking at home. Of course, this depends on where you eat out and what you cook at home. If you are eating out at five-star restaurants, you can definitely cook for less. But eating out becomes a habit that can be harder to break once you are married and have kids. If you estimate that average family of four would spend about $25 eating out at a fast food restaurant, and that you can make a similar meal for a bit under $10 at home, you can see a savings of $15 a meal. If you cut out the eating out twice a week, you can save $1560 a year. The savings can be even more if you are eating at more expensive restaurants. Menu planning and make ahead meals can help you if you feel the time crunch around dinnertime. 


How much are your habits costing you?. Conny Marshaus/Image Source/Getty Images

Smoking can be expensive in a lot of different ways. First, there is the cost of the cigarettes. The average cost is around $5 a pack. If you smoke one pack every two days, you will spend about $912.50 a year. If you smoke a pack a day, you will spend $1825 a year. However, the added costs may come later in life as you deal with serious health issues from the side effects of smoking. The pack a day habit will cost you $150 a month, which you could spend on other things.  


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Gambling is a habit that can really hurt you over time. If you are facing a gambling addiction then you may be in danger of losing your home, your family and your job. The costs can add up quickly, because it really can be difficult to stop. If you do an occasional bet on a big game or plan an annual trip to Vegas, chances are you do not need to worry about this, as long as you can stop when you have lost the money you set aside for the trip. However, if you find yourself constantly gambling or playing online poker and losing, you may need to seek help for your addiction. Lottery tickets fit into this category too. You may want to stop your scratch off habit, because you are not earning out what you put into it.

Impulse Shopping and Deal Hunting

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Impulse shopping can add up quickly and it can be difficult to calculate just how much you spend on it each year, because the purchases are usually mixed in with other expenses that you needed. Another problem area may be hunting for the perfect deal, and then finding another deal that is just too good to pass up—even if you did not really need the item in the first place. These deals can end up costing you a lot of money on things that you do not really need. First, you need to create a list of things you want or need to buy with a deal. For example, if you know that you need to buy a new tent in the next year, you can take the time to hunt for a deal rather than purchase it at full price. Force yourself to have a cooling off period of 24 hours before you make a purchase unless it is on the list of things that you need to buy right now. If you think you have a real shopping addiction, you may need to seek help for your shopping issues.