Don’t Throw Money at Your Bad Habits

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Don’t Throw Money at Your Bad Habits

Kristin Wong

Today 10:30am

Filed to: Goals

Habits

Money

Spending Money

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It takes time and discipline to develop better habits. While there are tricks that can help make those habits easier to form, we often throw money at the situation to try to make them stick.

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A while back, I had a goal to start waking up earlier every morning. To motivate myself, I decided to buy a fancy new Bluetooth alarm clock to wake me up at 6:00 a.m. New habit, new toy.

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Obviously, this didn’t solve my problem. In fact, it was a distraction (and a waste of money).

I didn’t think about it while I was buying it, but I unwittingly tried to buy my way to a better habit. Rather than focus on what mattered, the discipline, I focused on something much easier: buying shit.

This is a common issue with diet and exercise, too. You want to get in better shape, but instead of slapping on some running shoes and hitting the block, you buy a gym membership you never use or a treadmill that collects dust in the garage. (It’s not just habits, people do this with major life decisions, too.)

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Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. Buying something to support your goal isn’t a bad thing. The key is to make sure the purchase supports your goal rather than replaces the work it takes to get there.

Kristin Wong

kristin.wong@lifehacker.com
@thewildwong

Contributing writer, Lifehacker.com

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