This list intrigued me because I continually ask myself if I am spending and saving responsibly. If many of these behaviors ring true it is time to consider changing your ways. How many of these habits are you guilty of? See my answer below.
The following list comes from Billshrink, a site that compares plans for cell, cable, and other services to see if you are getting the lowest price.
1. You charge group dinners on your card and keep your friends’ cash to spend.
2. You spend more than 40% of your total income on rent.
3. You’re constantly transferring your balance to get 0% interest on your credit card debt.
4. You pay off one credit card with another.
5. Less than 10% of your income goes to your retirement savings. (Or worse, zero percent!)
6. You have a credit card that doesn’t give you anything in return, like cash back or airline miles.
7. You don’t know what IRA means outside of Ireland.
8. You pay the minimum balance on your credit card each month.
9. You don’t open your credit card statement because you can’t bear to see how high the balance is.
10. You don’t keep receipts because they remind you of what you’ve spent.
11. You know your company has a 401k plan, but you have no idea what that is.
12. You withdraw cash frequently from ATM’s that aren’t affiliated with your bank.
13. The number of credit cards in your wallet is higher than the number of dates you’ve had this year.
14. You buy so much on eBay that they’ve awarded you VIP status.
15. You want to start a savings account, but then sale season starts again!
16. You don’t have an emergency fund to pay bills should you lose your job.
17. Your monthly extra cell phone minute charges are bigger than your monthly electric bill.
18. You overdraw on your checking account more than once a year.
19. You live paycheck to paycheck.
20. You spend more on new shoes annually than you save.
No. 1: guilty. Playing ATM at dinner doesn’t seem like a bad thing until I blow all the cash.
No. 5: semi-guilty. While I save a lot for retirement, I don’t know exactly what percentage of my income this represents. I’ll get back to you within two weeks, I promise.
No. 12: guilty. My non-traditional bank does not have its own ATM machines. I get all the fees reimbursed once a month, however, so I don’t feel bad about this sign.
No. 15: I am guilty of a related spending sin. I hear about so many sales and deals as part of my job that I shop a little more than I probably should. Recent purchases (using coupons on sale items) stemming from deals I heard about through work include skin moisturizer, underwear, and mittens. The full-price retail value of all three purchases: $182. What I paid: $56.04. On second thought, I don’t feel so bad about these expenditures.
No. 16: Semi-guilty. My emergency fund is currently bunched together in my general savings account, which is not savvy. I need those emergency funds to be there no matter what. In the next two weeks, I vow to separate this money into its own account.
No. 17: Not guilty, but I would go even farther. Having any overage charges on your cell phone bill is not savvy and you should seriously look into switching plans if your habits do not advantageously match your plan.
No. 18: Guilty! This is perhaps my worst spending sin of the lot. I bounced not one but TWO checks last year. An embarrassing waste of $60.
I am guilty of four out of 20 signs. What about you?