Families, like individuals, can develop good and bad habits. And like people, most families have a few bad habits that they should try and break. What’s worse is that some behaviors aren’t just unhealthy or unproductive –– they’re actively bad for your financial well-being. Indeed, certain habits can cost families hundreds –– if not thousands –– of dollars every year. Here, we’ll list the four worst familial habits, and explain what you and your kin can do to break them once and for all:
Poor Dietary Choices
Not only is fast food abysmal for your health (not to mention the health of your kids), but it’s often more costly than simply buying groceries. Still, some parents resort to fast food because they don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal at home. This is understandable to a degree, but it’s far from ideal. Additionally, purchasing too much food and throwing away uneaten leftovers is a colossal waste. On a national level, Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day.
The bad news is that certain vices like smoking, drinking, and gambling can be extremely addictive. So giving up one of these bad habits can be a real trial. Yet, if one or more parents smokes, drinks, or gambles regularly, they’re essentially throwing money away. Should you find yourself struggling to meet your budget because of one of these activities, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Toys as Rewards
Positive reinforcement can be a parent’s best friend. By rewarding children for good behavior, parents can help kids learn new skills and develop positive habits. However, some parents go overboard and head off to the department store to buy a new toy every time their little one cleans their plate (exaggeration for effect). This is not sustainable. Yes, it’s okay to buy your kids presents; no one is saying otherwise. But purchasing them unnecessary toys on a regular basis can ruin your budget and spoil them rotten in the process.
Mixing Work and Parental Responsibilities
Lots of moms pull double duty and look after their children while also working from home. This isn’t easy, and it’s far from optimal –– for both work and parental purposes. If at all possible keep your work and familial responsibilities separate. You don’t want to be working on a tight deadline to finish a report about microplates, while also playing tag with your toddler at the same time. Parents need to divide their responsibilities accordingly –– otherwise your work output could suffer.