The PWN dictionary defines a habit as “an acquired tendency to perform more efficiently, more mechanically an activity.” Habits as such are not given to us along with our genes and names at birth, but developed for some time during our lives. Some of them, such as the habit of regularly caring for oral hygiene or the habit of preparing our meals every day for the next day, are considered positive habits and we try to cultivate them. However, most of us probably more often strengthen negative habits, such as smoking cigarettes for morning coffee or the tendency to reach for alcoholic beverages more often than recommended by the doctor.
Habits certainly have a big impact on our lives. However, they often affect not only our physical or mental health, they also often have a greater than we think it affects our bank account and wallet thickness. Let’s look at the habits by which we lose money, and how we can replace them with more useful variants.
Shopping out of boredom
Everyone likes to occasionally present themselves something that will improve our mood. In principle, there is nothing wrong with it as long as we feel that we have control over it and do it consciously, without harming our finances. Thanks to the development of technology, we can shop even easier and faster, so we do it more often. In 2018, Poles spent $ 40 billion on online shopping platforms. It is still much less than the citizens of the other countries of the European continent, among whom the inhabitants of Great Britain lead the way. However, innocent shopping during a loose day at work or browsing auction sites at home on the couch can cost us a lot. Let’s remember that all these platforms are designed in a way that is supposed to encourage us to continue spending money, even if we are not aware of it. The algorithms used to show us ads also learn our preferences to better suggest us more products. Apps that offer the purchase of very cheap gadgets, e.g. from China, can mix up the wallet most. Every time we think that spending a few dollars on a fun home decoration will not hurt, but if we do it a few times a week, or even a day, it can make a decent hole in our monthly budget. Let’s try to resist the temptation to browse shopping pages aimlessly. The best solution is to uninstall the application that allows us to order something home with two finger taps and learn how to shop online only when we really need something and it is a thoughtful decision.
Drinking only bottled water
If you live in a big city, you may have some doubts about the quality of the water flowing in your tap. So it seems that buying bottled water regularly is the smarter option for your health. However, it is worth taking a closer look. An adult should drink about 2l of water a day, which gives 60l in the average month. Although bottled water is not the most expensive commodity in the store, buying it all the time can also make a difference in our budget. At the same time, you should think about how much unnecessary plastic garbage we generate in this way.
At present, many large cities are taking care of the water they offer to their residents. Information on the quality of water in our city is available online, and at home you can run tests to see if the water is safe to drink. However, if you still do not have 100% confidence in it, it is worth investing in a filter pitcher and a reusable bottle. This will reduce our monthly expenses and contribute to caring for the planet’s environment.
Currently, every third Pole is a smoker. If we belong to this group, it is worth considering whether we should seriously consider quitting this addiction. Regular smokers know very well that smoking is not the cheapest hobby. In addition to the obvious effects it has on our health, such as worse condition, coughing or circulation problems and the potential risk of cancer, it is also a huge burden for our portfolio. Although quitting smoking isn’t one of the easiest challenges we can take, the game is definitely worth the candle. With the average price of a pack of cigarettes at 10 dollars for 20 cigarettes, smoking half a packet every day, we will spend 150 dollars in a month. Of course, smoking half a pack a day for many smokers will in itself seem to limit its tobacco consumption. It is worth counting how many percent of each payment goes “with smoke”. For motivation, we can decide that after a month of not spending money on cigarettes, what we have saved, we will spend as a gift for ourselves, as a reward for winning the habit. Internet resources such as this page will also be helpful.
Morning coffee on the way to work
Another habit that can cost us a lot is something that many of us can’t start the day without. Many people think that coffee drives today’s civilization. Thanks to it, we start the day more fresh, fresh and ready for action. It stimulates the work of our brain and ensures our vigilance, especially in times of increased activity. In addition to what regular drinking can do with our body, let’s think about what regular buying can do with our wallet. Let us point out that no one encourages us to stop drinking coffee, only to buy it regularly in cafes. The cost of an average mug of black brew in a cafe depends on its type and size between 2 and 5 dollars. Adding up our expenses for coffee at the end of the month, we may be surprised how much money we spend on it. A more economical solution is to brew the entire thermos yourself in the morning and sip it during the day. This also has one significant plus – we ourselves have full control over the type of beans, the strength of the coffee and the amount of additives. Remember that we are not stuck with soluble coffee from the sachet – nowadays it is very easy to get very good quality coffee that we can easily prepare in our kitchen.
It is these habits that cost us the most health and money. Of course, there will also be a lot of other, seemingly small things that make up our budget wells, but the most important thing is to take care of the more harmful ones first. Further habits will be discussed in the continuation of this article.
Once we consciously and methodically unlearn unwanted habits and replace them with those that help us, we can take care of even the smallest things. By doing this consciously and consistently, we have real opportunities to improve your health and finances.