Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s time for pumpkins, candy, costumes, and spooky stories! Although it’s a great time to get together with friends and family to enjoy the festivities – not to mention the wonderful fall colours – it’s always a good idea to watch what you spend this time of year to avoid any scary surprises. We’ve rounded up a collection of scary spending habits that end up becoming more of a trick than a treat.
1. No Fixed Savings Plan
Rainy days will come and go, and the best way to prepare for a sudden unexpected expense is having a savings fund that you contribute to on a regular basis. A recent study has revealed that only 1 in 3 Canadians have diligent fixed monthly contributions. You can start by taking small steps to put some money aside at the end of the month, and it will eventually become part of your routine – after all, what’s scarier than not having enough money when faced with an unforeseen circumstance?
2. Not Tracking Spending
The world we live in today thrives on instant and fast-paced interactions, so it’s no surprise that many of us can’t understand why our account balance isn’t what we expected it to be. Those days of jotting down everything you spend on the back of an envelope are long gone, but it doesn’t change the fact that you should always stay on top of your finances and spending, so you don’t lose track of scheduled payments, purchases and upcoming expenses.
3. Retail Therapy
Those gorgeous new dresses you just got might give you a short-term high that’s not very different from a gambling high, but if you’re spending beyond your means, it may end up costing you more than you paid for it. A majority of Canadians shop to makes themselves feel better, and it definitely works, but indulging in retail therapy might leave you feeling miserable when you can’t afford to clear the outstanding amount on your credit cards.
4. Going Over Budget
Everyone loves buying gifts for their loved ones, and come holiday time, overspending is a common way to justify special purchases for that special someone. It’s not always easy to avoid giving in to your emotions and reflexes when you come across something that would be ‘just perfect’, but it always feels better to know that even during your gift giving spree, you managed to give yourself the best gift of all: sticking to your budget.
5. Paying for Convenience
Stopping by a drive-through on your way from work to pick up dinner might not seem like a big deal, but if you get into a habit of paying for conveniences like this all the time, you’ll be left scratching your head over the amount when you add all those purchases up. It’s far more economical – and often healthier – to plan your meals at the start of the week so you’re not scrambling for solutions at the end of the day and you have a sizeable amount saved up at the end of the month.
It’s often the smaller changes that make the biggest difference, so before you’re out this weekend trick or treating in your spookiest Halloween costume, think about what you can do make your spending habits less scary.