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Another of the very bad financial habits is shopping to make yourself feel better. The problem is that shopping can actually release endorphins in your brain that are similar to those that are released when you're engaged in other activities such as eating chocolate or exercising. When spending money makes you feel good you can become addicted to it. If when you shop it makes you feel better this can create a link between buying material things and being happier and that's a link that can be tough to break.
Expecting to win the lottery
It's a very financial habit to behave as if you will be saved by a miracle such as winning the lottery or getting a big windfall. One very smart person said that playing the lottery is for the mathematically challenged – meaning that the odds of winning even $50,000 in a state lottery are so remote as to be impossible. In addition, when you rely on winning the lottery or getting a financial windfall you're losing your position of control. What you're doing in effect is waiting for someone or something to bail you out, which means removing yourself emotionally from your debt. You created your debt and you’re the only one that can fix the problem.
Inflating your lifestyle
When you reach your 40s you should definitely be in a much better position financially than when you were in your 20s. You'll have had 20 years of raises, bonuses and economic inflation so you have a lot more buying power. When you’re earning more money it becomes very tempting to inflate your lifestyle by buying a new home, a more expensive car or taking that dream month-long vacation to Europe. While it’s okay to spend more money now, the important thing is to make sure you're not engaging in lifestyle inflation and spending more than you can afford.
Paying only your minimum on those credit card accounts
You might think you're getting out of debt if you make those minimum payments each month but that’s just not the case. Those minimum payments are probably calculated at 4% to 6% of your balance owed. As an example of what this means, if you owe $1000 on a credit card and make a minimum payment of $40 then $960 will roll over to the next month and you will be charged interest on it again. As an example of how bad this can get, let's suppose that you owed $5000 on a credit card at 18% interest and continue to make just the minimum payment of $200 a month. In this case it would take you 133 months (or more than 10 years) to pay off your balance and would end up costing you $7874 – or $2874 just in interest. As you can see paying just the minimum on your credit card accounts is a very bad habit.