Like buying cheap stuff? Do you hoard? Here’s how to break those bad habits.
While bad habits are initially easy to get into, they can worsen your mood.
Bad habits are “the opposite of what makes you happy. They’re what make you miserable,” says M.J. Ryan, author of “Habit Changers: 81 Game-Changing Mantras to Mindfully Realize Your Goals.”, especially when they’re costing you extra.
Be on your way to a happier you and a bigger bank account by breaking these habits:
#1 Long, Hot Showers
Spending 20 minutes in the steam may be good for your pores, but it’s also great for the power companies. Run the exhaust fan while you’re singing in the shower, squeegee the walls afterward, and scrub that grout every few months.
While that steamy shower might help your skin, it also can cause mold and mildewto grow. Make sure to have the fan running as you shower, clean the grout every few months, and squeegee the extra moisture off the walls to prevent buildup.
“Once you let the grout go, it gets worse and worse, and harder and harder to maintain,” mentions Mylène Merlo, a San Diego REALTOR®. Gross, worn-out grout can scare away potential buyers, and redoing it is both time-consuming and expensive.
#2 Blocking the Sun
While closing your shades might seem like a good idea because it looks like more insulation, letting the sun come in can warm your house, saving you money on your next heating bill, and it also decreases seasonal depression as an added bonus.
However, you can still close your shades at night because it keeps the house warm.
Bad habits are the opposite of what makes you happy. They’re what make you miserable.
M.J. Ryan, author of “Habit Changers: 81 Game-Changing Mantras to Mindfully Realize Your Goals”
#3 Splurging on Bargains
While there’s the rush of finding a good deal, cheaper products aren’t always better and in fact can cost you more long-term. For example, buying cheap paintbrushes can leave streaks, which means you pay more to redo the paint job later.
With appliances, don’t be afraid to spend more, especially if you plan on selling your home in the near future.
“I always err with going for high-quality appliances,” Merlo says. “There is a noticeable difference between the cheapest and next-cheapest models. And buyers want to see stainless steel.”
#4 Not Filling the Dishwasher
While it might feel good to start the dishwasher before bed and have clean dishes each morning, you’re wasting water unless your dishwasher is completely full.
While dishwashers still save more water than washing by hand (sorry, your mom was wrong here), most washers use the same amount of water to wash regardless of how full it is, so you’re wasting water if you have a half-empty dishwasher. Once a day is excessive for just one or two people.
#5 Too Much Mulch
While a “tree volcano” sounds cool and interesting, it’s actually damaging your plants. Too much mulch can choke out your tree and cause tree roots to rot and insects to come in. To keep your trees healthy and happy, pack the mulch loosely to let water go toward the trunk like it’s supposed to.
#6 Remodeling Everything
Unless your house needs serious work, give yourself a few months or so to get used to your house and its features before you break out your sledgehammer and renovate.
“You don’t know what your needs are when you first move into a home,” cautions Merlo. “You should live there for at least six months to figure out the space you need. If you do too much too soon, you’ll regret it.”
For example, you might regret that $1500.00 kitchen remodel after you realize the original version would have been better for hosting holiday parties. Maybe your favorite color, Wild Plum, looks more like Rotten Plum with your room’s lighting.
#7 Being a Packrat
Sometimes, clutter sneaks up on you. That exercise bike might be collecting dust in the spare room as you think “What if I need it later?”. You might even be thinking decluttering is nearly impossible because of how much stuff you have, although it would free up more space.
If decluttering seems too challenging, Ryan recommends starting with small tasks and working your way up.
“Do one small thing,” she says. “Clean out a drawer or reorganize your counter, and then you feel the satisfaction of having done it. It becomes easier to do the next small thing.”
Keep in mind that breaking habits requires time, and you will probably have a few rough spots. “It’s important to be kind to ourselves when we blow it,” Ryan says. “When we create new habits, we’re building new wiring, but it’s not like the old wiring disappears. Don’t turn goof-ups into give-ups.”