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Are your money habits a help or a hindrance? Good or bad, we all have money habits, and they’re all incredibly difficult to change.

But if your money habits stop you from managing money well, turning them around is worth the effort. So we’re going to run through some of our customers’ most common money habits, and share our advice on how to save money and how to budget well.

Habit: Avoiding checking your bank balance

Break the habit:

Yes, checking your balance feels scary sometimes. But getting into better money habits starts with facing that fear and checking your bank balance regularly.

Checking your balance will clarify where your money is going, how much you have available to spend, and where you can make savings. And working out how to budget is straightforward when you know how much money you’ve got.

Start by setting a reminder to look at your account twice a week. After a few weeks, checking your balance will feel normal and budgeting will become easier.

Habit: Being a payday millionaire

Break the habit:

We all know someone who splashes the cash on payday and scrapes by for the rest of the month.

If this sounds like you, learning how to budget might help you get through the month.

Once you’ve got into the habit of looking at your bank account, look at how much you need for essentials (like bills, rent/mortgage, food shopping), and what’s left for spending.

When you know how much you can afford to spend, put this money in a separate account or withdraw it as cash. This way, you’re less likely to spend money you need for the gas bill on flashy new trainers.

(If this part sounds like too much hassle, open a thinkmoney Current Account. We take care of budgeting for you.)

Habit: Being an impulse buyer

Break the habit:

Do you really need a new pair of jeans? No, but they’re half price…

Sound familiar? With sales and special offers everywhere you look, even the savviest shoppers might walk away from the shops with a couple of impulse buys.

But you don’t need to avoid treats to develop better money habits, you need to budget for them.

Think about how to save money, and use any money you save to create a ‘treats’ fund, which you can use to cover the cost of the occasional impulse buy. And if you still get tempted, ask yourself:

• Do I need it?
• Is it a good deal?

Habit: Ignoring the bills

Break the habit:

Just like checking your bank balance, looking at bills feels daunting sometimes.

Ignoring bills won’t make them go away, so if you’re looking to develop better money habits, checking your bills regularly is a must.

To get into the habit of checking your bills, start by making a note in your calendar of when all your bills are due. This will remind you to check them when they come in, and stop you getting caught out by nasty surprises.

Keeping a close eye on your bills will also help you work out whether you’re getting a good deal or not – many households could save £200 a year by switching their energy supplier.

Habit: Dipping into savings

Break the habit:

If you’ve got money saved up for a special treat or a rainy day, the last thing you want is to dip in to that to fill the gap between paydays.

But that’s exactly what 40% of us do to get through the month.

Breaking the cycle of relying on savings starts with looking at how to save money. Take a close look at where your money goes and decide where you can cut costs.

So if you buy lunch out most days, try taking a packed lunch instead. If you buy lots of branded products at the supermarket, try swapping them for own-brand. Any way that you can spend less will help reduce your reliance on savings.

How to budget money

So whatever money habits you’ve got in to, you can turn them around and learn how to budget money.

And we’re here to help you along the way. With the thinkmoney Current Account, money for essentials and money for spending is kept in two separate ‘pots’ so you know exactly how much to spend.

Open your account today and start your journey to better money habits.

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