What’s slowly sinking my boat?

I think the first step in attaining my goal to be financially free, is to recognize our weaknesses, and all things we’ve been doing wrong. I know they’re bad habits yet here I am choosing to continue doing them again and again. I’ve read numerous blogs on how small things can hurt our finances, like not plugging the appliances when not in use, yet I don’t practice checking the plugs before going to sleep.

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Mistake No. 1: Not waking getting up early

I set my alarm at 5:30AM, just in time to prepare milk for Clark and turn off the AC. Since we have no helper at home, I plan to cook breakfast and lunch in the morning and my husband will just re-heat the food for lunch. But instead of getting up and cook breakfast and lunch, I go back to bed and scroll endlessly on social media. The next thing I know, an hour had already passed and I did nothing! I then hurry to start cooking breakfast. By the time I finish, it’s already 7:30AM, which means I will no longer have enough time to prepare for work or even eat breakfast. The worst thing is, because I’m running late, I’ll take the taxi to the office. I pay Php 120 and get deduction for my tardiness. Great.

Mistake No. 2: Not bringing my own lunch

As a result of item no. 1, I am forced to buy from Carla, the one who supplies our lunch in the office, or if she’s not available, eat at the nearby Mcdo or Chowking. This may not cost me a hundred bucks but in the long run, the total becomes substantial. Another double whammy about this is, I plan our meals for the week, in the hopes that I can somehow save in the cost of buying food outside. But it turned out, I seem to be wasting more since I cannot follow the meal plan and most of the ingredients end up being spoiled in the fridge (yikes) and then I buy food outside.

Mistake No. 3: Buying in bulk

Yes, they say buying in bulk can save you lots of money but not all the time. For example, we recently bought a kilo of ham for breakfast and sandwiches for baon. The half kilo ended up in the trash due to spoilage because I did not place it in the freezer. We also bought a kilo of hotdog last month and half of it still remains in our fridge until now, untouched. Maybe forever. The reason probably for these foods ending up being spoiled is that, I try to cook healthy meals as much as possible and if I can stay away from nitric acid-rich foods then I’ll do it. Though I’ve been a fan of hotdog when I was young, recent studies have shown that these foods contain harmful chemicals so it’s a no-no for me unless I have no other choice.

Mistake No. 4: Bringing my ATM card with me ALL the time

Although I limit the cash I bring with me, when an “emergency” comes up, I ended up withdrawing money from the ATM conveniently, and consequently, my budget is immediately ruined.

Mistake No. 5: Not paying before due dates

When we still had credit cards, I used to disregard penalties and late charges because I thought they weren’t that much. You know, just Php 500 for the late charges, then another Php xx for the penalties, and if I’m lucky, Php 500 for the overlimit fee. I figured I’ll just double the amount I will pay in the next month to cover this up. Very, very big mistake. Back then, I never really thought they’d hurt my finances. I mean, I can pay them right? But looking back, I often wondered how a single twenty-something woman was always in deficit every time the paycheck rolls by. The supposedly money paid for these penalties could have gone to my grocery, or to my rent, or to life insurance. It’s actually ridiculous how a thousand bucks felt so hard to pay for insurance yet it’s so easy to dismiss the fact that I was shedding the same amount just for paying penalties and other fees.

How about you, what are your money mistakes?

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