How Your Habits Could Majorly Affect Your Finances

1Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m hard at work on a book about how we make and break habits. This masterpiece will hit the shelves in 2015 (sign up here to be notified when it’s available).
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When it comes to habits, most of us — well, perhaps not the Rebels — have habits that we’d like to add or drop. A few weeks ago, I asked the question: What habits most affect your spiritual life and work life? The answers were fascinating.
Now I have a follow-up question: What habits most affect your financial life? For instance, do you use an automatic savings plan (what I call an “invisible habit”)? Do you use cash instead of credit cards? Andy Warhol, who enjoyed the experience of spending, remarked on this distinction: “I don’t like charging. It feels more like buying if you pay with money.” For most people, using cash makes it harder to spend (in a good way). Do you spend hours every day on online shopping, or shop only from a list so you’re not tempted to make impulse purchases you’ll later regret? Do you keep a careful record of everything you spend?
Those are some examples, to help prompt your thinking. Some people need habits to help them not spend — I, as an under-buyer, need habits to help me spend. I remind myself, “If I need it, buy it now.” Otherwise, I just keep putting off purchases, even when it causes me a lot of inconvenience.
How do habits — both good and bad — affect your financial situation?
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