Music Mondays – Hard Habit to Break


Hard Habit to Break

Editors Note: Hi Everyone! Today, I have an awesome guest post from Tonya at Budget and the Beach, she emailed me to ask me if she could write a Music Monday post, and I was psyched to see what she would pick. When I saw that it was Hard Habit to Break by Chicago, I wondered why I haven’t written about this yet myself. I love this song and breaking habits is key to financial health. Here’s what Tonya has to say.

I’m so excited to be guest posting for Shannon today on her site, especially in her Music Monday’s series, which I think is such a fun series! I chose Hard Habit to Break by Chicago because every time I think of a habit that I’m trying to get rid of, I end up singing that song. Although the habit in the song is a relationship, he got one thing right, no matter what the habit they tend to be very hard to break.

I have a personal finance confession: I wrote a post back in March 2013 called I’m Breaking Up with my Hairdresser. In the post I explained that my stylist, whom I’ve been going to for nearly a decade, was a bit surly with me when I told her I was interested in changing my hair style. It’s been the same for a very long time. She went on to tell me all the reasons why it was a bad idea, and was just plain rude.

I declared that I was “over it” and was breaking up with her for good! You can see where this is going, can’t you? Yup, I did not break up with her, because she is a hard habit to break…even though that visit to the salon is costing me…wait for it…$93 (includes tip) every eight weeks! That one visit to the salon last month nearly ate up almost my entire “life expenses” category in my budget.

Before you suggest I let my hair grow long, I have to quickly explain that my hair is fine and limp, and now that my face is older, having long stringy hair just looks terrible on me.

So why don’t I just find someplace cheaper then? That’s the question I keep asking myself. I think it’s because going to my original stylist is easy. I know what I get every single time and I can just relax in the chair. Going someplace new to get my hair cut has always caused me anxiety because with a shorter cut, it’s a lot easier to mess up and look terrible. Believe me, I had it happen once when I deviated from her and went to a salon where my ex boyfriend was going at the time. I cried all the way home.

But, I know it’s all based on fear, and out of all the stylists in LA, I’m sure one has to be able to cut my hair OK, and at a decent price. My budget depends on it!

Now for many of you who are reading, you may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “OMG it’s only hair!!!” But I’ll bet somewhere inside of you is a habit that if you could break, may save you money and/or might be a better option for your health.

Reading personal finance blogs for two years straight, I’ve seen many people struggle with not being able to exercise, snacking after dinner, shopping, traveling even though you can’t really afford it, etc. You know who you are! 🙂

I’m very big on health and fitness, and if you’ve followed me these last couple of years you know how much I work out and actually enjoy it. But dammit if there aren’t some food items that I have a hard time parting ways with, even though they aren’t good for my waistline or wallet.

So what is one to do?

I honestly think that the only way to break one habit is to form another, but better habit.

For example, I used to eat oatmeal with just blueberries every morning. Lord knows the kind of blueberries I buy are expensive enough, but at least very healthy. By some chance when I was training for my half marathon last year I discovered PB2 and thought it would be a nice addition to my oatmeal. It was, but at $6 for a small jar it’s become a luxury item I could really do without. But now I was used to it and really wanted it. To overcome this I’m trying to change the “flavor profile” of my oatmeal by adding cinnamon, which is cheap, healthy, and adds a very strong taste. So far it’s working!

I also think people try to break too many habits at once. This month I was going to give up wine AND dark chocolate with dinner. But doing so left me cranky, so I’m adding the dark chocolate back in AS LONG as it’s only one square. Having just a little somthin’ somthin’ satiates my need for some kind of treat. And it’s budget-friendly when I get it at the 99 Cents Store.

So what will I do about getting a new stylist? All I can do right now is commit to trying. But one thing I know for sure…I’m never declaring anything that big on my blog anymore! 🙂

Image Source: Stuart Miles

What are some of your hard habits to break?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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