Special Report

40 Money Habits That Can Leave You Broke

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36. Going To Happy Hour

It’s easy to get in the habit of relying on food and drink to decompress after a long day at work.

“I’d grab a drink with friends more often than I realized,” said Jim Wang, founder of Wallet Hacks. “Spending $20 for a bunch of cocktails with friends isn’t a big deal until you do it half a dozen times in a month and you wonder where that money disappeared to.”

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37. Using an Out-of-Network ATM

ATMs can charge up to several dollars per withdrawal, and those fees can sneak up on you. Even if the ATM is in a highly convenient location, consider that $3 per week can add up to $156 for the year, the cost of a fancy dinner out with a loved one or an extra deposit into an individual retirement account.

If your current bank or credit union doesn’t have many fee-free ATMs, consider switching.

ALSO READ: Cutting Out These 25 Expenses Will Save You $16,142.08 a Year

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38. Not Planning Ahead for Expected Needs

“A lot of spending is due to last-minute decisions,” said Carey Ransom, president at OC4 Venture Studio. He offered these examples: “You’re going somewhere, and you forget to bring water or a snack. You forget your umbrella and get stuck in the rain. You are late getting somewhere and have to park in a premium spot.”

Add those kinds of unexpected purchases up, and you might just blow your budget, he added.

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39. Neglecting Maintenance

Any solid spending plan should budget for home and auto maintenance costs. Worn weather stripping, a poorly maintained HVAC unit or a clogged fan belt can create a bigger financial burden later on than the immediate cost of routine maintenance.

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40. Not Allowing Yourself Some Wiggle Room

“If you try too hard to stick to a budget or plan, it can backfire,” said Valerie Rind, author of “Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads.” Instead, know that your plan is a roadmap. If you veer off track, accept it and keep moving forward. If you don’t beat yourself up, you’re more likely to get back on track right away.

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