It’s Friday the 13th, are you feeling a bit more cautious or scared? The fear of Friday the 13th is called “friggatriskaidekaphobia.” Trying to say friggatriskaidekaphobia 13 times, I’d be scared too.
I’m not a superstitious person. I don’t have any negative associations with Friday the 13th or the number 13 in general. However, the number 13 is known to some as an unlucky number and having the 13th day fall on a Friday makes some avoid stepping on cracks in fear it’ll break their mother’s back.
Instead of breaking your momma’s back, let’s break some bad money beliefs. I thought it would be interesting to share 13 bad money habits to break on Friday the 13th.
Checking Your Credit Report Only After Applying For Credit
Got turned down for financing? Your credit score is a reflection of the information on your credit report. Everyone should check their credit report once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com and verify the accuracy of the information.
Review your credit report prior to applying for credit or financing. Use a free credit monitoring service to check your score.
Reviewing Your Bank Account Only Twice A Month
If payday is the only day you review your checking account balance, then you’ll have a harder time understanding spending habits and control your money. Use a personal financial management or budgeting tool to help you monitor your spending.
Review your accounts frequently, get app notifications, set up text alerts to get up-to-date transactions. Apps like Truebull keeps you up-to-date on withdrawals and deposits across all your accounts with different financial institutions and credit card companies. Want more? You can upgrade the service and get bill negotiation services too.
Depositing Your Paycheck
Direct deposit makes it easier for you to access your money on payday. If you’re worried about bank glitches, imagine how long it takes to get a replacement paycheck for the one you lost. Waiting to get a physical paycheck means you’ll find yourself driving to the bank, waiting in line, and in some cases waiting a couple of days before it clears.
Set a direct deposit with your employer and make your life easier. Increasingly many credit unions and neo-banks offer early paydays too. You can get your paycheck 2 days earlier which can help you improve your cash flow. Other alternatives include Earnin’s payday advance and you pay what you think is fair.
Swiping Your Debit Card Mindlessly
While waiting in line at the cashier, I’ve heard people say, “I don’t understand. I had enough money. What do you mean it didn’t go through?” Check your available balance before you start swiping your debit card.
Have a budget so you can allocate your money to what matters to you. With a budget, you’ll know how much you can spend after your bills and other expenses have been paid.
Withdrawing Money At Out-Of-Network ATMs
ATM fees can add up. In 2018, big banks made $6.4 billion in ATM surcharge fees and overdraft fees. How many fees have you paid because you withdrew money out-of-network and paid an ATM surcharge fee? I had a friend who checked his bank statement and realized he paid $390 in ATM surcharges in one year. That means he visited an out-of-network ATM 7 times a week.
Plan ahead by withdrawing the amount of cash you need for the week. Find surcharge-free ATMs through your banking app. What more options? Consider having another account with a credit union offering a network of tens of thousands of CO-OP ATMs. Or consider neo-bank Chime that offers access to over 38,000 surcharge-free ATMs plus an early pay da too.
Writing A Check To Pay Utilities And Other Bills
You might feel in control by writing checks. However, if you wait the last minute to send a check, you risk the chance of late payment and get hit with a fee. With online bill pay features, you can access many of your billing statements. This makes it easy to schedule your payments ahead of time and have a check or electronic transfer done on the date you specified.
Ask your financial institution about online bill pay services. Set up your account and make paying your bills easier. Need another tip? Set up bill alerts. Using a financial management app or budgeting tool that aggregates and syncs your accounts can help you manage those pesky bills.
Carrying A Credit Card Balance Month-To-Month
Keeping a balance on your credit card from month to month does not improve your credit score. In fact, it may have the opposite impact. Credit scores look at your revolving credit utilization meaning it’s calculating the outstanding credit balance against your credit limits. Get too close to your limit it can mean a lower credit score.
Pay off your balances in full each month. The only beneficiary of carrying any balance is the company that makes money off the interest charges. If you’re carrying a balance now and unable to pay off the unsecured debt, follow a credit card debt payoff strategy.
Reacting When It Comes To Money Situations
Don’t react to your financial situation. Take careful thought to respond to them. Understand that our money situation is a result of decisions whether consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes, it may seem the only choice about bills might be to ignore them when the better response is to reach out ahead of time.
Be proactive. The moment you believe you cannot make a loan payment, call your creditor and learn about your options. Having a budget is the best tool you’ll have to an overview of your finances.
Buying Extended Warranties On Everything
It’s not necessary to add extended warranties on most purchases. If a gadget has a defect, it will most likely break within the limited warranty period. Additionally, a few credit cards automatically offer extended warranties when you use the card for specific items.
Calculate the cost of the item in relation to the cost of the warranty. Research about the quality and history of the item online. If you decide to buy an extended warranty, make sure it covers what you expect as most warranties will not cover failure due to normal (but excessive) wear and tear.
Tipping Way Above Your Means
This is a hot button issue for many. There are services where tipping becomes mandatory because the business owner does not pay their employees a standard minimum wage. However, you should not feel compelled to tip above your means. Tipping is for services rendered (to your satisfaction or dissatisfaction). You should tip, but tip appropriately.
Tipping is between 10-20%. Check your bill to make sure a tip was not already included. Use the pre-tax amount for your tipping.
Splitting The Check Evenly At The Restaurant
In normal times, you’re out with friends and the bill arrives on the table. It might seem easier to split the bill evenly. Splitting the bill 50/50 may be okay if the meals were of equal value. It’s okay to break the money habit. if you’re paying 50% of a bill every time you dine out, but truly only responsible for 1/3 of the bill, you’re losing money which can be used to grow money instead.
Occasionally, you can split the bill evenly. But pay for the food and drinks you only consume more frequently. Then use the money you “get back” from only paying your actual expense, and start investing your first $100. Many apps like Stash, and Public lets you buy shares for as little as $1.
Paying Full Price For Everything You Buy
There is absolutely nothing embarrassing about using coupons. In fact, if you use coupons for every purchase, you’re keeping more money in your pocket. You should also ask for discounts in the stores you visit. I once purchased a suit at Macy’s and the cashier gave me an additional 20% off at the register.
Before making any purchase, look for coupons, online codes, rebates, or other cash-back offers. Ask for discounts at the register. Shopping online use cashback portals like Rakuten. You’ll shop as you normally. Now, if you use a cashback credit or debit card for the purchase, you can get dual cashback earnings. Rakuten is currently offering a $40 promotion. Spend $40 as a new user within 30 days and get $40 signup bonus plus your cashback.
Playing The Lottery
The lottery is not your path to retirement and wealth. The odds of winning the lottery are astronomical. Getting hit with lightning is more likely at 1 in 161,000. No matter how many times you play the lottery it does not increase your chances of winning. Sure someone will win, but the chances are it won’t be you. Winning is random and like Friday the 13th mythical.
Plan for your retirement. Small amounts can add up to big savings for your future. M1 Finance offers retirement accounts like IRAs and also general investing apps using a unique investing pies. You can copy the portfolio of experts and friends or build your own.
What other bad money habits are you ready to break on Friday the 13th?