Once you establish a good habit, it's a matter of routine. Imagine having routines in place that keep your finances on course.
Sounds great, right? To get those good habits in place, you first must face the bad financial habits you have now. Face them, and then drop them like the hot potatoes they are.
Always take note of the decisions that you’re making with your money and find ways to either put it into saving or to benefit you more. Here are some common financial mistakes to take note of and how you can save that money for better use instead.
Buying things you don’t need
Possible the biggest mistake most people make. It’s hard to resist buying something new all the time – even if you don’t need it. While you may not realize it, this can actually turn into a very, very expensive habit.
If you DO need to buy something, realize that the most expensive item isn’t always going to benefit you more than a less expensive one.
Failing to negotiate
This is actually something we Malaysians are pretty good at.
Say you do some research on insurance providers and discover that there's a great deal from another source. Don't call your current provider to cancel; call to negotiate.
In order to keep your business, your provider might quickly match the competitor's offer, and you're saved both the hassle of switching and the extra money you were paying.
Don't be afraid to negotiate. It's not bad manners to negotiate; it's good business.
Bad stock market decisions
Investing in stock markets are a great way to build your income, but it’s incredibly important to do research or consult a proper fund manager if investments aren’t your forte. Instead of being swayed by popular opinion, invest your money the way you (and your finance advisor) is most comfortable with.
Getting those summons or fees
There are some fees that cannot be avoided, but there may be a few that if you knew how to avoid them well, you could be putting that money to better use. Be it due to credit card fees, late rental fees, or even speeding or parking tickets, all of this could be avoided with careful planning on your part. It just takes some discipline to avoid spending more than necessary on these things.
Forgetting to use your Reward Points or other benefits
It’s always good to keep track of your reward points as you could be able to save on the items you want to purchase. For example, instead of buying a new blender, you could use the reward points you’ve accumulated to get you one without having to spend a single cent. Which is why if you allow your reward points to expire, you’re letting go of free money in a way.
Choosing the right rewards points credit card that fits your spending is very important and can mean the difference of potentially hundreds of ringgit! For example, the HSBC Visa Signature Credit Card offers 10x extra points for overseas spending and the Citibank Cashback Platinum Credit Card offers 5x extra points when shopping at selected merchants.
There can be certain circumstances where spending more is unavoidable, but it’s always better to take control of your expenses instead. So take note of the decisions that you’re making with your money, and do what you can to save and make the money work for you instead.