7 Good Spending Habits for 2023
They say a habit is something you do regularly, often without thinking about it. Wouldn’t that be great, to improve your finances subconsciously?
It’s all too easy to slip into bad habits over time and when life’s busy, it’s hard to make the changes needed to form new, more positive money habits.
With that in mind, here are seven good money habits for 2023, from budgets to using discounts you already have.
1. Turn a free-spending approach into a budgeted one
A budget contains all of your income and expenditure, allowing you to predict and control your financial spending accurately.
By setting out monthly expenditure in line with available funds, you will minimize binge spending and have control over how much you spend at expensive times of year, such as the holiday season.
Find out how to create a personal budget in our easy-to-follow guide.
However, the key steps to creating a budget for good money habits in 2023 are to think long-term and plan out your finances on a monthly or even weekly basis.
This leaves nothing to chance and ensures that expenditure is purposeful rather than frivolous.
2. Track your spend
Most people think they know how much money is in their bank account, but do you truly know how much you’re spending day in, day out?
Tracking your spending is a good money habit to start because you’ll know exactly what you’ve spent and what’s left.
Spend tracking can be done in any number of ways and it’s up to you to discover which method works best for you.
For fans of good old pen and paper, try a simple paper ledger where you can jot down daily expenditure.
For the spreadsheet fans among you, an Excel worksheet might work well — try using formulas to calculate taxes or other deductions automatically.
If you prefer to have your tools in the palm of your hand, then there are plenty of money tracking apps out there.
In terms of options here, Spending Tracker comes highly rated, as does Mint.
3. Inertia is not your friend
“But I’ve always had my phone contract with this company!”
Many companies rely on existing customers staying with them despite rate rises, and not shopping around because it’s easier to remain.
The best deals for utility companies, phone operators and insurance providers are often for new customers.
Make sure one of your new money habits for 2023 is to review these providers regularly.
You can do this in a few different ways, starting with research.
Take a look at all of the options out there and make a note of the best prices you find, either manually or using comparison sites.
Many providers will price match if you can evidence a lower price elsewhere, so call them up and challenge them to match the lower quote.
4. Use the available discounts
Get in the habit of looking for discounts.
These days brands operate in a very competitive online marketplace and they’re all vying for your custom.
This year, before purchasing online, check for available discounts and codes that you can use to save money.
Some brands have accepted the fact that many people search for discounts and so include a webpage showing all live discounts.
Another option is to check coupon sites for all current discounts, however this will likely involve signing up to their service.
Finally, make the most of what you’ve got! Many professional bodies provide their members with exclusive discounts, for example, discounts for emergency services employees or union members.
Additionally, be sure to check with your bank or credit card provider what discounts they have secured for their customers and what cashback schemes they offer.
5. Resolve not to impulse buy
A general rule of thumb is that if you bought something on impulse, you probably didn’t need it!
It can be hard but make a habit of not spending your hard-earned dollars on products or services that use predatory marketing techniques.
Before you buy, think “did I want this yesterday?” If the answer is no, then it’s probably an impulse buy.
Social media advertising has created an abundance of easy to purchase products that appear in your newsfeed.
Try to make a habit of not purchasing on social media unless it’s something that you’ve previously decided that you need.
Remember, 20 per cent off $100 isn’t $20 saved, it’s $80 spent if you weren’t going to buy it before seeing the advert anyhow!
6. Get in the habit of saving
Linked to creating a personal budget, planning to divert an amount of your income into a savings account will help build up savings.
These can then be used as an emergency fund or to save for something more exciting like an annual vacation or a new car.
The great thing about this new habit is that once you set up an automatic monthly transfer of funds from a checking account to a savings account, you don’t need to think about it again.
Bear in mind that the less you access a savings account, the better the interest rate you will receive.
So, an instant access savings account will not give such good rates as a longer-term fund.
Read our 21 quick wins to make savings fast.
7. Listen to the experts
Finance and money management isn’t for everyone and that’s fine.
If you feel like you want to have more control over your finances and make good money habits for 2023, then consider using an expert such as a financial advisor or mortgage/pension/investment expert.
They make it their business to know what is best for your money and so can help you form good money habits.
Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.