Photo by GeorgHH; accessed through Wikimedia Commons

This week, reporter Naomi Mannino wrote a comprehensive piece for Bankrate.com proposing several creative ways to break bad financial habits.  I was honored to be interviewed for the article.  Here is a selection:

Does it really take just 21 days to change a habit? Experts say it’s not that simple.

“Breaking bad habits successfully depends on your readiness to act,” says Heidi Beckman….

John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com, agrees. “If it was easy, we’d all have big savings accounts, and none of us would have credit card debt,” he says.

Beckman says habits change more quickly when you’re in the action stage versus the ambivalence or preparation stages that come before. To catapult yourself into action, she recommends using this three-step approach daily.

  1. Create a positive picture in your mind of the result you want, and act as if the bad habit is gone. Use a negative picture of the current stressful result of the bad habit to push yourself further toward action.
  2. Identify and focus on your positive financial habits, as proof you can do things the right way.
  3. Create simple rules to fall back on when tempted, such as: “Don’t browse shopping websites until all my bills are paid this month.”

Be sure to read the full article: Break Bad Habits That Hurt Your Finances | Bankrate.com