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Money Habits That Can Wreck Your Budget

Does it seem as if there are more days in the month than money? Here are some money habits that you may not have thought of that can wreck your overall budget.

Nashville, Ark. – If you are like most families, money is tight. It always seems as if there are more days in the month than money. Planning and spending your money wisely is a must! Here are some money habits that you may not have thought of that can wreck your overall budget.

  • I’ll think about it tomorrow. That’s the famous line from Scarlet O’Hara in the movie, Gone with the Wind. “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” While this may have worked for Scarlet, it is bad advice for financial management. Sometimes we are tempted to put financial matter - bills, bank statements, retirement planning - out of sight and out of mind. Not a good idea! The best way to build financial stability is to take control of your finances. Know your income and expenses. Create a plan for spending and saving. Set goals for the future. Whether it is buying a new car, house, or saving for retirement, make plans early and stick with them.
  • Comfort shopping and impulse buying. Shopping for pleasure and entertainment can be fun but often results in unwanted debt. Advertisers attempt to persuade consumers into making unplanned purchases. Avoid this by making a shopping list and sticking to it! Stay focused on your goals.
  • I’ll start saving later. It is exciting when you get a new job and that first paycheck. Start off on the right foot by putting part of your paycheck into a savings account. Not having a savings can be a costly mistake. Time is important for growing savings and investments. Small deposits can add up to big savings through the magic of compound interest. Save for emergencies, for retirement, and for goals such as home ownership or education. The sooner you start, the more your money will grow. Make it a priority!
  • Waiting for a windfall. It’s easy to think “I’ll pay that off when I get my next raise” or “I’ll use my tax refund to catch up on my bills.” This type of financial planning puts consumers deeper in debt. While waiting for the windfall, additional critical expenses may arise, not to mention the extra interest you will be paying if you have credit card bills. Don’t spend money you don’t have.
  • Keeping up with the Joneses. The latest technological gadgets, the newest car, a bigger house – it’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of competition. Think about your needs and values. Make decisions that build long-term financial security. Don’t play the game of trying to be like everyone else.

            Financial decisions and money management is one of the most difficult tasks adults have. Howard County Cooperative Extension Service can help you understand your finances and make a plan. We have lots of fact sheets that can help you get in control. Visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse or call our office at 870-845-7517 for more information.

Recipe of the Week

            Here’s a great recipe for busy night suppers. Use leftover rotisserie chicken for easy meal preparation. Make the night before and let flavors blend.

Chicken and Fruit Salad

3 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice, well drained

1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained

¾ cup chopped celery

1 cup halved seedless grapes

¼ cup pecans, chopped

¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon pepper

8 cups lettuce leaves

            In a large bowl, toss chicken, pineapple chunks, oranges, celery, grapes, and half of the pecans. In a separate small bowl, mix low-fat mayonnaise and pepper. Gently stir mayonnaise mixture into chicken mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator.

            To serve, scoop 2/3 cup of chicken mixture into 1 cup of lettuce leaves. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top of chicken mixture.

Yields: 8 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 170 calories, 4 g. fat, 4 g. protein, 19 g. carbohydrates, 2 g. fiber, 105 mg sodium.

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


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