Saving money when you have rent/mortgage commitments and bills to pay can be a challenge. Even on a good salary in today’s economy, you may find yourself scrambling to make ends meet at the end of the month.

If you’re wanting to get your personal finances in order and stop wasting money, it’s time to assess your spending habits and re-evaluate what’s important for you. Below are some key warning signs that you need to be more mindful about where your money is going.

1. You buy cheap stuff so it’s ok to spend

It’s easy to fall into the trap of justifying your spending because the items you choose are relatively cheap. However, it’s important to remember that quality products last longer and therefore could save you money long-term. Think about what items you find yourself replacing often and consider how you can invest in quality going forward.

2. You’re a sucker for the sales

There’s a sale on at your favourite store – hooray! But wait a minute, were you intending to buy that item before you knew it was in the sale? We all love the feeling of getting a bargain and feeling like we have saved some money, however, don’t let sales suck you into making unnecessary purchases.

3. Your savings are easy to dip into

Internet banking is all the rage these days (and thank god because it makes life easier). However, being able to access your accounts while on the go may test your will power when it comes to not dipping into your savings pot. While you may have good intentions to build your savings, when your current account balance is on the low side and it’s easy to transfer a bit extra to it you may give in.

If you’ve developed this bad habit, try to move your savings into an account that isn’t as easy to access and is not linked to your current account.

4. You’re an impulse buyer

Impulse buying can be particularly damaging to your personal finances if you do it with big purchases. You think of or see something you want, and you want it now, so you buy it.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you should try adopting the 30-day rule. This is where if you want to make a more expensive purchase you should wait for 30 days and see if you still want to go ahead. This period gives you time to figure out if you really want it and you may also see a cheaper alternative during this period.

5. Your money-saving goals aren’t realistic

If you’re looking to improve your saving, many enthusiastically fall into the trap of setting goals that aren’t realistic. While you feel good about yourself and productive when setting these goals, you won’t feel this way in a few months’ time when you have not hit them.

Start by setting yourself small and manageable goals, such as only eating out once a week, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your new plan and make progress.

6. You don’t write shopping lists

It’s easy for your costs to slide up when you go food shopping without a plan – especially if you’re feeling hungry! Apparently, we buy up to 20% more food when we go shopping on an empty stomach.

To avoid your food shopping budget getting out of control, you should plan your recipes for the week and make a list of what you need. And most importantly, don’t stray from the list.

7. Your house is cluttered

Decluttering your home is an excellent wave to save money and potentially make some too. You could make money selling your unwanted clothes, or good quality items that you aren’t particularly attached to anymore.

Having an organised and tidy home may also help you to realise that you don’t need as many possessions as you thought. You could become an all-out minimalist!

Bringing it all together

The best way to save more money is to be mindful of how you are spending it. If you are clear about what’s important to you and what makes you happy, you’ll be able to make better decisions and kick harmful habits like these.

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