Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Breaking bad habits

Bad habits

If you’re trying to build up your savings, bad financial habits can be very destructive. So, whether you’re saving for a rainy day or a sunny holiday on the far side of the world, we pick out four bad habits you want to avoid:

Shopping while bored. This one is a lot easier to do these days, particularly when you can access a whole world of online shopping from your kitchen table. Chances are, you don’t even need (or want) that jewel-encrusted hand mirror you’ve just bought from China. Either make a small allowance for such expenditure each month, or cut it out entirely!

Forgetting about bank charges. This is one that might slip past a lot of people, but those little ATM and debit card charges can all add up. AIB, for example, charges 20c each time you use your debit card, and 35c when you make a withdrawal. There’s no harm in searching for banking alternatives – PTSB, for example, offers fee-free banking when you lodge €1,500 every month.

Lunchtime trips. Taking a trip to the local shop during lunchtime can be a real killer – how often have you popped out for just one thing and arrived back with several additional tasty snacks? In our experience, if you bring lunch with you to work (or at least bulk buy your treats at the beginning of the week), your bank balance will thank you for it.

Track, track, track. You don’t need maths skills or fancy apps to keep an eye on how much you’re spending – all you need is a spreadsheet and a few minutes per day. Hang on to all of your receipts, input them into your spreadsheet, and pretty soon you’ll have a good idea of how much you’re spending on a weekly/monthly basis, and where you can cut down.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.