5 Bad Financial Habits to Abandon in 2022

Last time, we talked about good financial habits you should start to build in order to have financial success. Today, to complete the picture, we’ve compiled a list of 5 bad financial habits that you need to avoid. Continue reading for useful tips and advice.

1. Shopping to boost your mood

Have you ever bought something you didn’t need just to make yourself happy? Raise your hand if you have. This action is often known as “retail therapy,” an effective stress reliever that many people use consciously or unconsciously to lift their mood when they’re feeling low. According to a 2011 study that looked at 407 adults in three different experiments, shopping positively affects one’s emotions. 

Unfortunately, if you consistently use shopping to cope with distress, it will become a habit. According to Ryan T. Howell, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, buying repetitively can lead to continued spending despite “harmful emotional, social, and financial effects.”

As a result, the more often you shop after a stressful day, the more likely you are to shop again. Shopping to lift your mood in the short term establishes a relationship between happiness and material possessions. It’s also a link that might be difficult to break and will cause harm to your finances. 

A popular solution for pushing emotional spending to the curb is giving yourself a waiting time. For example, if you wait at least 48 hours before making any non-essential purchases, the desire to buy will usually fade after the joy of the moment has worn off. Or you can host a clothing or item share event with friends, and select items amongst a variety of things to satiate your browsing and selecting urge. Then, you trade items for free.

2. Spending on convenience

We all have some financial habits that make life easier, whether it’s picking up a cup of coffee on the way to work or a fast food dinner on the way home. A convenience buy might be a nice treat now and then, especially when you’re in a hurry. However, if you make convenience purchases regularly, the convenience will cost you.

Consider ditching a coffee on your way to work every morning by getting up 5 minutes earlier a few times a week to brew a cup at home. Similarly, instead of buying a fast food dinner, you could learn to make a few simple meals and enjoy them throughout the week. Small tweaks like these can add up to hundreds of dollars over a year. 

3. Using credit cards for points

A rewards credit card allows you to collect points on your purchases and redeem them for gifts or discounts later. Who doesn’t love this? But there’s a reason credit card companies offer those rewards, and it’s not out of generosity. Rewards encourage you to spend more.

However, credit card rewards are typically less rewarding than you think unless you use them wisely. For example, you usually can only score a little cashback on your purchases because many cards impose heavy restrictions. Besides, some credit cards have annual reward limits or restrict the highest cashback rates to specific expenditures (such as gas and grocery).

Chasing credit card points will eventually lead you to go deep into debt. Therefore, you should consider getting rid of this bad habit. 

4. Having no long-term plan for your debt

It can be scary to think about the money you owe, so some people try to ignore their debts. No one ever enjoys thinking about their debt. However, if you aren’t thinking about it, chances are you won’t be able to keep track of it. This behavior will cause you more late fees and interest charges, plunging you even deeper into debt.

Though debt seems intimidating, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no way you can tackle this issue. Keeping track of your debt is a great approach to get started on paying it off. To stay on top of things, create files for all of your receipts, bank statements, loans, and bills. There are several apps that can help you stay on top of what you owe and put you in the mindset to pay it off faster.

Shoeboxed is a receipt scanning and expense tracking app that allows you to scan your receipts and other documents and store them in the cloud. With Shoeboxed, you’ll have the big picture of your finances, including your spending and your debts. Shoeboxed empowers you to manage your finance more efficiently!

5. Not saving any money

Saving money seems to be an impossible mission for many. But if you can manage to set aside some money for the future, even a little bit, it pays off big time in the long run. It may sound paradoxical, but even if you’re in debt, you should get into the good habit of saving.

Saving provides you financial security. For example, if you have money set up for emergencies, you’ll be prepared if something unexpected occurs. In addition, saving allows you to take risks and invest for the future. 

It’s entirely up to you how much money you should set aside for yourself first. It’s great to have ambitious goals, but it’s also important not to overwork yourself. Start by creating a budget that includes only the absolute necessities (such as rent, utilities, and groceries), and then decide how much of the remaining money you want to save each month. Don’t forget to treat yourself sometimes!

The bottom line

We all have habits that we frequently engage in, whether it’s a daily fast food meal or occasional shopping. Those can seem harmless, but think about how they’ll affect your bottom line. Even small purchases of $1 or $5 build up over time. Therefore, recognizing and adjusting these bad financial habits can help you build more sustainable finances.

If you’re interested in entrepreneurship stories, business tips, or productivity tools, find more posts like this on the Shoeboxed Blog. Shoeboxed is a cloud-based software that helps individuals and businesses turn their massive paper receipts into digital data. With Shoeboxed, you can accomplish a variety of tasks: scan, store and organize receipts, manage expenses, store business cards and even track mileage for business travelers. It’s simple to install and easy to use. Give Shoeboxed a try today!

Which small business credit card is best for your biz?

One of the most important choices you’ll make as a business owner is which small business credit card to use. In this article, we review four great options and make a recommendation about the best credit card for your business needs.

Finding an awesome virtual assistant, switching your email service provider, scanning your receipts, keeping up with social media… Let’s face it, as a small business owner, you have puh-lenty on your plate without having to scour the Internet trying to find the best small business credit card.

That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. First, we thought about what small business owners need most in a credit card, and came up with the following criteria:

  • Flexible spending: You have business expenses that need to be taken care of today, not three months from now. You need a card that offers you a generous credit line for emergencies and the regular costs of running your business.
  • Rewards: A good small business credit card should have a stellar rewards program that offers you points every time you spend.
  • Perks: In addition to rewards, we wanted to see additional perks such as the ability to secure credit cards for your employees, 0% introductory APR, no annual fees, etc.

Next, we sifted through hundreds of small business credit cards in order to weed out the duds and present you with the studs. After a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, there wasn’t any blood), here are our top four candidates for the best small business credit cards out there:

AmEx SimplyCash

Our favorite thing about AmEx SimplyCash for small business? You get 3% cash back on the category of your choice from a list of select categories. You can choose the category that works best for your business to ensure you maximize your cash back. Categories you can choose from include U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and shipping in the U.S.

Want even more cash back? Lucky for you, SimplyCash also gives you 5% cash back at U.S. office supplies stores and on wireless telephone services through U.S. service providers.

Another great perk is that you’re automatically entitled to 24/7 service and support through dedicated business consultants to help you solve the specific problems your business is facing. You’ll also receive other great benefits, like access to purchase protection, extended warranty and more.

You might be wondering, “How could it get any better?” Well, on top of all of that, SimplyCash has no annual fee and 0% APR for nine months. Pretty awesome, right?

Terms and restrictions apply.

AmEx Blue for Business

There are serious benefits to using an AmEx Blue for Business card. Stay with AmEx Blue for a year and receive an “anniversary bonus” in the form of extra rewards points, which will be the equivalent of 30% of qualified purchases.

AmEx Blue gives you the flexibility to distribute your points to your employees, clients, or any other area of your business that needs a little TLC.

AmEx Blue for Business also offers an introductory rate of 0% APR for 9 months (like SimplyCash). After this period, Blue for Business offers an APR of 11.24% – 19.24% variable.

Terms and restrictions apply.

Chase Ink Cash Business Card

This card gives you $200 cash back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months after opening the card. It’s not as high as AmEx SimplyCash, but Chase Ink Chase offers 0% introductory APR for 12 months, regardless of your credit score. After that, you’re looking at a 13.24% APR that will vary with the prime rate.

So what about rewards? This card will give you 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend on office supplies and office utilities like internet, cable and phone services.

You’ll also get 2% cash back on restaurant purchases and gas (up to $25,000). Once you’ve spent $25,000 in these areas, you’ll continue to receive 1% cash back, and all other purchases in other categories will also receive 1% cash back.

Because the introductory APR and ongoing interest rate are not based on credit worthiness, this could be a great business card choice for small business owners with less than perfect credit.

Terms and restrictions apply.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

What if you don’t want to worry about what you’re spending based on categories like office supplies, gas and so on?

Then Capital One Spark Cash is the small business credit card for you. This is a great introductory card for new business owners. It doesn’t offer the big introductory cash back bonuses of the other cards ($100 vs. $250), but it doesn’t require you spend as much either ($1,000 in the first 3 months instead of $3,000).

The best feature of this card is its “rewards across the board” promise. Instead of earning 5% cash back on some purchases and 1% on others, you simply earn 2% cash back on all purchases, all the time. There are no spending limits, either – the 2% reward stays in place no matter how much you spend, and what you spend it on.

There are two drawbacks to this card when compared with the others: no 0% introductory rate (you’ll pay between 13.9% and 20.9% based on your credit), and there is an annual fee of $59 (although it’s waived during the first year).

Terms and restrictions apply.

Our Recommendation

Choosing the best card for your small business is a personal choice, and depends a lot on the type of small business you’re running, how much you spend each month, and what types of rewards program would benefit you most.

After reviewing the top four cards, we think AmEx SimplyCash is the best small business credit card for the majority of small business owners.

This card gives you the opportunity to earn the most cash back short-term and long-term. It also gives you 9 months with 0% APR, a low long-term interest rate after the first year, and great business-related perks through the OPEN savings network.

Do you use a credit card for small business? Which one? What do you like/dislike most about it?

*This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser’s affiliate programs.

New My Stats Page

The old statistics page that we had on the site had so much potential. It was a tool that could tell you where your money was going without really spending any of your time crunching the numbers in Excel. Or at least that’s what we wanted it to be. We’ve been thinking about how to make that page more useful for you, and we’re rolling out a new My Stats page today.

It’ prettier, it’s more in depth, and it’s a lot more useful. You can now track lots of different things on that page. You can identify trends in your spending, like where your money is going, and how that distribution changes over time. When you are digitizing all your receipts in Shoeboxed, some very interesting information surfaces. Here are some examples from my personal account:

My total spending over time

You can see the spike where I bought my computer. Otherwise, I stay pretty cheap… until recently.

All Receipts included in budget

The breakdown of my spending by shoebox

Most of my money is from food, which I guess makes sense, but I had never really thought about it before Shoeboxed told me. Also, that computer comes back with a blue vengeance.

How your spending is broken up

The ratio of email to paper receipts I have

I buy a lot of things online, even though I get a fair amount in through Receipt Mail-In. I had a lot of email receipts sitting in my old personal email inbox and I forwarded them all over to my Shoeboxed account, which helps build up that number.

Aggregate online and offline receipts in Shoeboxed

My spending by shoebox over time

You can see how the breakdown of your spending changes over time with this graph. You can pick and choose which shoeboxes you want to appear on the graph too, so you can easily compare whichever shoeboxes you want.

How does your spending compare over time?

Be sure to check out how your own spending statistics look! You may learn something about where your money goes. If you have any other suggestions for analytics that you would like to have in your account, let us know. We are happy to work on any tool that you think you would find useful.

The great thing about this page is that all the graphs are automatically generated. Just using your Shoeboxed account normally, your graphs should take on lives of their own. Not only are you scanning and storing your receipts at Shoeboxed, but Shoeboxed is actually putting those receipts to work for you.

Let’s get started!