It’s easy to see how others sometimes create financial stress on our budget, but it is amazing how many of us are our own enemies when it comes to debt free financial wellness. 

We make several small but positive financial moves.  Our debts are shrinking, or the savings account is growing, or we finally have a cushion in our checking and aren’t on the brink of overdraft hell anymore.  We are in a good place!

Then…

We celebrate with a vacation or some other way that undoes every step of the financial ground that we gained.  Maybe it was a credit card you paid off, so you treated yourself and now there is a balance right back on that card.  It is called self-sabotage and it is a real thing.  This kind of behavior becomes a cycle that, for some, never seems to end. 

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

What can you do to break the cycle?

Instead of going for the dramatic big change all at once, aim for smaller changes, that are also about behavior changes.  Add the changes over time, waiting for each to become established before adding another.  Stick to these changes – permanently.

Here are some examples of small changes that can help you cut your spending – and your debt.

Buy store brands for staples and toiletries.  Obviously, there are exceptions if there is a problem with the generic or store brand, but otherwise, it is amazing how the savings adds up, with little effect on the taste or your comfort.

Eat the leftovers. We are guilty of wasting too much food. Cooking at home is a great way to save money, but keep in mind  that you should also have a day a week for eating leftovers – usually great for the night when the main cook is out at some event.  Or maybe you just solved the problem of what to have for lunch.  Pack up the leftovers and save money.

Start a brown bag club.  Without the expense of restaurants, you can create not just a social group, but a professional networking group.

Cut some of your streaming services.  Don’t torture yourself, but maybe you could cut some of the streams you subscribe to and reap some savings.

Drink tap water instead of pop, tea, alcoholic beverages etc.  use a filter if you feel you should but you may be amazed at how good your body feels and how much money you can save.

Seal your windows and weather strip around drafty doors.  This will prevent heat coming in during hot summer months and cold coming in during the winter.  Not only will weatherizing your windows and doors help save on heating and cooling bills, but once completed, you aren’t likely to sabotage this savings tool.

Treat yourself in alternative ways.  Block out some free time for free activity, like reading, biking, binge watching  hiking.  You know what you enjoy, find an activity that doesn’t cost money and give yourself time to enjoy it.

Dump the girlfriend or boyfriend who constantly causes you to overspend.  If she won’t stay without the gifts of jewelry, she’s not the right one.  If he isn’t interest unless you constantly surprise him with electronics or other many toys, stop.  They are not the ones sabotaging you, your decisions are.  Rethink it now before it is too late.