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What are bad spending habits I should avoid?

For some people in California, spending habits can lead them down a dark financial road. Correcting bad habits is key in this case, especially if bankruptcy looms on the horizon. AARP offers the following tips to help you cut problematic spending and get yourself out of a financial hole.

Use autopay features

Paying bills late often incur late fees, which can be quite expensive if it's a frequent occurrence. Late bill pay also affects your credit score, which in turn can impact your ability to get the best loan rates. Set up autopay to prevent being hit by late fees. Just make sure you have enough money in your account, or you could be subject to an overdraft fee.  

Watch for ATM fees

While a few dollars here and there may not seem like much, ATM fees can accumulate over time. This is especially true if you frequently take money out of ATMs, such as more than twice a week. In this case, try to stick with ATMs that don’t have fees or those that are associated with your bank. You may also consider changing banks if fee-less ATMs are few and far between where you live.

Don’t buy bottled water

It’s no secret that bottled water is expensive. That’s why many people opt for in-home water filtration systems, which provides a continuous source of clean, tasty water right from your tap. While it may entail a high initial cost, a water filter pays for itself many times over when considering the cost for bottled water. This option is also far better for the environment since it won’t create so much waste.

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