I worked in an 8-5 office job for years. I was earning good money and yet I didn’t have any savings, no emergency funds and I was still living paycheck to paycheck. 

For years, I justified that fact by telling myself that I was just not earning enough money and that I had just too many bills to pay. 

Of course, that wasn’t the case. I was broke not because I wasn’t earning enough, it was because of all my actions.

It was because of how I chose to spend my money. 

I had horrible spending habits and the worst part is, I refused to admit that to myself. I was always justifying all those bad spending habits.

And after having to quit my job (because of mental health reasons), I finally realized how those bad money habits lead me to a financial turmoil.

But what really surprised me, after paying close attention to all our spending, was the money that we were wasting on small everyday things. 

Things that we barely even notice. Often, we are just not paying close attention to all our spending and sometimes, we even think that we are saving money — but in reality, we are just wasting it. 

These are just small and petty things but those things can easily add up and end up costing us more than what we expected. 

And these things might be costing you too. 

Here are 5 habits that are keeping you poor without even realizing it… 

Refusing to plan for emergencies

I was guilty of this. I knew that planning for emergencies is a must but I always had the perfect excuse to put it off. 

And I kept doing this, month after month after I finally hit a major setback in my finances — I had to quit my job. 

And the results were catastrophic. It caused me so much stress and a lot of sleepless nights. 

So, don’t be like me. As early as now, start building that emergency fund. 

Doing this will not only help you achieve financial security, but it will also save you from the stress of worrying how to make ends meet just in case an emergency pops up. 

And you don’t even have to start big. Set small goals and slowly increase it as you go. 

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

You lack Financial Goals and you don’t have any Financial Plan

I was never good at handling my finances. I left my job with zero savings

and no emergency funds.

I knew that I needed those things but I just found it so difficult to start it and to keep going and you know why? 

It was because I had never established a clear financial plan nor did I have any financial goals. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my money. 

I mean, I wished to eventually stop living paycheck to paycheck. I wanted to stop living paycheck to paycheck but the problem was, I never really took the time to sit down and create a clear financial plan on how I was going to achieve that. 

Having a financial plan and setting financial goals will not only help you make better money decisions, but this will also help you determine the actions that you need to take now to help you achieve your goals. 

Doing this will help you become more mindful of how you choose to spend your money. 

So, start by doing this today and I guarantee you, this will make a huge difference! 

Related: 5 Things I Stopped Buying to Save Money

Buying too much in Bulk

Buying in bulk can help us save money, but only if you’re going to use everything before it expires. 

I used to buy so much stuff in bulk, thinking that it will help me save money but the problem was, most of the items I purchased only ended up being thrown out. 

It basically just ended up costing me more. So, think twice before buying things in bulk. 

Always go for items that you and your family use every single day. Choose products that have a longer shelf life. 

This is also where meal planning and keeping a list of everything along with the date it goes bad saved us — it helped us avoid food being thrown out. 

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

Choosing convenience over savings

I had this habit of always choosing things that are easier and so much more convenient for me. 

I mean, who doesn’t love that right? But after having to quit my job, I realized how that habit costs me so much more than what I expected. 

Yes, the upfront charge of taking that Uber or having our groceries delivered may be low, but what we don’t realize is those upfront low charges can easily pile up. 

Choosing convenience is not a bad thing but if the budget is tight and your goal is to save money, then it’s definitely time to change this habit. 

Related: 5 Habits of Debt-Free People you should Copy

Emotional spending

This definitely the number one habit that costs me so much money and buried me in debt. 

You see, I used to work in a very stressful environment. I stayed in a job that I didn’t love and I was unhappy. 

So, I started spending money on unnecessary things in an attempt to fill in the void, to fill in the emptiness that I was feeling. 

Yes, it did make me feel better but only for a short time. That behavior only caused me more harm than good. 

It pays to remember that the happiness that we get from buying those things is not true happiness and it certainly doesn’t last. 

It’s so much better to find other ways to help us cope with our emotions. Ways that won’t lead us to a financial turmoil — I definitely learned this the hard way. 


Becoming more aware of how we spend our money is an essential step in improving our finances. So, take the time to reflect on the way you handle your finances. 

Try to find those habits that are keeping you broke and in debt and look for ways to shift that habit into something that will help alleviate your financial situation. 


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