If you’ve been moping for a while about why you just haven’t hit the jackpot or are swimming in mountains of cash a la Scrooge McDuck, it may now be time to examine your habits.
That’s right – you could very well be sabotaging yourself.
Before you go beating yourself up, however, know you’re not alone – these financial mistakes are so common and innocent that the majority of people you see every day are most likely also making them.
Here are 8 financial mistakes that could prevent you from becoming rich:
1. Micro transactions and subscriptions
Any monthly subscriptions and micro transactions that you have, may not seem like a lot of money at the time but adding them all together can be quite a shock to the system when you see how much money you’re truly wasting.
You might have an online Yoga class subscription that you now don’t have time for or an online course that you don’t need now.
You could still be paying for them even if you don’t want them any more.
Take the time to go through all your monthly expenses and see what you can eliminate or find a cheaper alternative to.
This happened with me. I subscribed to an online graphic design service last year in September. It was costing me $15 every month.
In November, I stumbled upon a free service, but forgot to cancel the paid service. I, finally, cancelled it in April this year, but by then, I had paid $90 without having used it once since November.
2. Spending money you don’t have or spending on impulse
Every time you swipe that credit card, you are finding a way to spend money that isn’t yours. While this may seem like a quick-fix in a pinch, it will cost you in the long run – literally.
The longer you take to pay off those debts, the higher the interest rate will climb, and you’ll be paying more than what you originally borrowed – effectively, you’re losing money in this scenario.
Don’t spend money just because you happen to come across a sale online or in a store. If you weren’t thinking about it before, chances are you don’t actually want it or need it.
In this context, one of the world’s richest people once quipped:
If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.Warren Buffett
Give yourself 48 hours before making purchases to really determine if you’re buying on impulse or on actual desire.
3. Looking for extrinsic rewards, rather than intrinsic
Yes! You finally finished that mountain of work that’s been piling up on your desk all week. You feel accomplished. How do you celebrate? Do you:
- Go grab a happy-hour cocktail with your friends, or;
- Go home and congratulate yourself on a job well done (and maybe take a bubble bath)?
If you answered A, congratulations! You’re making yourself poorer.
Think about the types of things that motivate you to get tasks done.
Is it the idea of receiving a tangible reward, or the idea of feeling good about yourself and feeling accomplished? That’s the difference between an extrinsic and an intrinsic reward.
While I am not saying you should always dodge your after-work social time, make sure you aren’t always rewarding yourself by spending money.
When was the last time you complained about something? How often would you say you complain in one day?
It’s okay to be honest with yourself – everyone complains.
Despite that, try to avoid it as often as you can – according to T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, complaining can be detrimental to accumulating wealth.
The more you focus on the negatives in your life, the more likely you are to attract them, which leaves little to no room for bringing in positivity and wealth.
5. Surrounding yourself with negative people or people with poor mindset
Who you surround yourself with, can also have an affect on your net worth.
Like attracts like, which means that if you are around a bunch of friends whining about how little money they have, it may be time to reexamine what kind of energy you’re putting out into the world.
On the flip side, these same people may also be giving their energy to you, causing you to become the same way.
Take your time in choosing the people you want in your life – you’re allowed to cut out anyone toxic to make room for the people who will uplift and support you.
It’s good for your mental and financial health.
6. Trapping yourself in a job with no room to grow
It’s one thing to work at a job you hate – it’s another to work at a job you hate knowing that there’s no way to improve your situation within that job.
In short, sticking to a job that sucks is a momentous financial mistake.
If you don’t like your work, chances are you aren’t working productively enough to receive a pay raise or promotion – both which are necessary to increase wealth.
It also helps to work in a career you enjoy. By actually caring about it, you’ll put in more effort, and reap more benefits in the long run.
If your current situation doesn’t allow growth, or if you find yourself dreading waking up every morning, it may be time to switch things up.
7. Repeating the same mistakes over expecting a different result
You know that’s the definition of insanity, right?
Rich people are very quick to adapt and adjust, meaning if they try something and it doesn’t work, they know to not try it again.
If you make a mistake or try and fail, make sure you walk away from the situation learning something.
Embrace the idea of change, and use it to your advantage to find new, lucrative methods of making millions.
8. The fear of failure
Don’t be afraid to take risks.
If you stay in your comfort zone, you aren’t challenging yourself.
In a book by Steve Siebold entitled, How Rich People Think, a study that surveyed over 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people found that they tend to find comfort in uncertainty.
Rich people are also not afraid to spend money if they know the profit will be worth it. Like the saying goes, “You gotta spend money to make money.”
The next time you find yourself making these habits in your life, stop and ask yourself – “Will this make me rich?”
Now that you know what to look for, you can stop yourself sooner and change your actions to lead you down the path of riches, rather than rags.
What other habits do you think are preventing you from becoming rich? Let me know in the comments!