Bad Money Habits
Skip to main content

The Arrival Guide

A Guide to Helping Young People Succeed.

You’re here, but have you arrived? Many young adults think that question daily. Whether you are just finishing high school or are on your way from a graduate program into marriage and a new family, The Arrival Guide and InTouch Credit Union are here to help you get ready for 'adulting' and the next phase of your life.

The Arrival Guide features blog posts written to help students and young adults find success in both life and finance. With helpful tips and information on everything from college to job hunting to bargain hunting, The Arrival Guide offers resources which can help this group jump-start their lives and assure them that they have indeed 'arrived.' 

Bad Money Habits

Bad Money Habits - InTouch Credit Union


A latte here, a cocktail there, a splurge on a nice lunch now and then. Is that so bad?


It’s true: the occasional treat likely won’t break the bank. But make these splurges a habit, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly costs add up. Consider how these common little indulgences run up a big tab over time. 


Eating out: Say you eat out at lunch every workday, at $10 a pop. That’ll add up to $2,500 by the end of the year. Pack your lunch two or three days a week, and you’ll easily cut that bill in half. Bonus: Make healthy lunches, and likely you’ll eat less and eat better. Restaurants tend to serve rich foods in giant portions.


Coffee:  You love a nice latte and it’s only four bucks, right? That daily coffee shop stop adds up to $1,000 or more over the course of a year. Enjoy your joe at home, or, if there’s free coffee at the office, pour yourself a cup there. 


Late fees: Put off your bills and you’ll pay. Americans spend about $20 billion a year in credit card fees and penalties. Set up automatic payments, or at least pay off the minimum the minute you get the bill. Bonus: you’ll avoid dinging your credit, saving you from higher interest rates on a car loan or mortgage down the road.


Bottled water:  Regular drinkers of bottled water spend about $1,000 a year; by contrast, drinking water from the tap will cost you less than a dollar a year, according to AARP. Refill your water bottle every morning and start saving.


Impulse purchases:  We’ve all done it: bought stuff we don’t need. Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry.  Don’t shop for clothing without a list of real needs, like a new shirt for work or a dress for a special occasion. Resist the urge to browse.


Drinking alcohol:  Love going out with friends on Friday night? Or enjoying brunch on Sunday with plenty of mimosas? Swig five drinks per week at a cost of $6 each and you’ll rack up a $1,560 tab by the end of the year.  Share an inexpensive bottle of wine at home with friends instead, and you’ll cut the cost considerably.


Cigarettes: Smokes retail for about $5 to $12 a pack, depending on where you live. That adds up to at least $2,000 a year. And that’s just the cost of the cigarettes; smokers pay more for insurance and medical expenses.