Money Expert Rachel Cruze: Why Your Phone Could Be Wrecking Your Budget

©Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze is a personal finance expert and the author of “Know Yourself, Know Your Money.” She also hosts “The Rachel Cruze Show,” focused on helping people save, become debt-free and hit their financial goals.

Recognized by GOBankingRates as one of Money’s Most Influential, here she shares why scrolling on your phone in bed is bad for your wallet and the splurges she has cut out of her own budget.

What is a common bad financial habit that you think everyone should try to break?

Impulse buying! It’s fun in the moment and even gives you a rush of dopamine, but it’s temporary and can totally wreck your budget. Get this: Two out of three impulse buys happen in bed on a phone! Ditch the urge to “add to cart” and throw all that extra money toward debt or savings, depending on your situation.

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What is your best budgeting tip?

Use a zero-based budget. Simply put, zero-based budgeting is when your income minus your expenses equals zero. This method is effective because you are being intentional with every single dollar coming in and can decide how much to put toward debt, savings and retirement every month. Your budget is also most effective when you track your spending regularly. I do this every day!

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What’s something that’s never worth spending money on?

I think it’s easy to fall into the “treat yourself” or “I deserve this” mindset and spend money on unnecessary items. So first and foremost, always focus on your “four walls”: food, utilities, shelter and transportation. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun money, but it needs to be budgeted for.

Non-essential items can vary (from) person to person, but a few things I won’t be spending money on this year are pre-cut produce, subscription boxes, high-end skin care products and a gym membership. Most of these are things that I’ve found cheaper, or even free, options that work just as well for me!

Jaime Catmull contributed to the reporting for this article.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 
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