Lots of people will say that there’s no real formula for personal finance, because it’s personal. Everyone has different circumstances to take into account, whether it’s their family structure, personal situation, luck (or lack thereof), and their values.
That being said, there are some guiding principles that apply to everyone. How they are applied will differ from individual to individual, but the principles are there. Too much of any of these following behaviours will kill anybody’s finances, and, not only that but may lead to poor behaviours in other areas as well.
It’s interesting because success in one area of your life usually leads to success in other areas; the same is true for failure. If you let yourself turn to consumerism excessively, you’ll likely become indebted. This can breed short sightedness as you struggle to deal with your debt. The struggle can lead you to deal with the emotions and difficult times by turning to impulsive spending.
Here are, in my opinion, the deadly sins of personal finance for everybody:
Being impulsive with your money can be very detrimental to your financial health. We all know how powerful debt snowballing can be, with small amounts adding up over time to pay off a big portion of debt, and the reverse is true with small portions of spending adding up overtime to wreak havoc on your finances.
Whether you’re being impulsive with a magazine in the checkout line at the superstore, or impulsively calling in to buy a $300 blender from a 3:00 AM infomercial, nothing good can come of financial impulsiveness.
Of course consumerism is a deadly sin of finance. Collecting items not only costs money in the amount it takes to purchase the items, but it makes us feel as if what we have isn’t good enough.
Consumerism stems from many places but can start from when we are young children if we are exposed to television and radio ads. We’ll be much better off financially if we turn our backs on consumerism.
In my opinion, laziness can be the worst sin of personal finance because laziness is the gateway sin to many of the other ones.
Laziness limits our earning potential, our saving potential and our ability to meet important goals. People who are lazy with their finances are those who don’t negotiate, don’t strive to earn more or save more, and don’t bother to learn about investing, saving, and debt payoff.
Being short sighted can cost you a lot in the long run. If you are only focusing on what you’re doing right now, or within the next month, instead of what you’ll be doing in 10, 20, and even 30 years from now, you could be missing out on a lot of interest. You’ll also be missing out on goals that you could be meeting that will improve your life and your happiness.
Short sighted people are the type that don’t save emergency funds, because they’re too busy putting out the fires of the moment. They don’t put more than the bare minimum into retirement savings because retirement seems just so far away. They don’t put money aside for their next vacation so they pay for it on credit.
Thriftiness and frugality are commandments of the personal finance sphere. On the flip side, wastefulness is terrible for your finances. Wastefulness is not just a bad thing for you, but your own wastefulness can have a negative effect on others as well.
Accepting debt as a way of life can be detrimental to your financial future. Being on the treadmill of debt can put you into financial ruin.
Avoiding debt or paying it off quickly is the only way to go.
We all commit some of these “sins” periodically. Which of these do you struggle with the most?