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Looks like reduced economic horizons are here to stay, at least for the majority of us.

But Americans are still in the habit of running out and spending their paycheck like it’s 1999. Wages haven’t kept up with inflation, folks, and our bank accounts reflect it.

Here are five money-sucking payday habits that nearly everyone has carried over from before the various busts

They buy a little bit of everything. Right after you get paid, do you go to the store for toilet paper, soap, paper towels, oatmeal, and all the staples… all in small quantities?

This lack of planning ahead wastes both time and money. Next time you get paid, try this: get everything you’re out of as usual, but buy one or two items in bulk.

This is usually cheaper over the long haul, but will only put a moderate dent in this paycheck.  Next pay period, you won’t have to pick those things up; grab a third and fourth item in bulk instead.

Once you’ve gotten all your staples worked into a bulk rotation, you’ll only have to run around buying one or two staplesper paycheck. 

They don’t save immediately. Don’t buy all the stuff you “need” and then wait till the end of the pay period to see if you have money left to put in savings. When has that ever worked?

What do you have in your savings account—$300? Instead, put 10 percent of your check directly into savings. Don’t look at it.

Then start making your purchases for the month. Magically, you will still probably have enough food to make it to the next check. Even more magically, your savings account will grow. 

They go nuts the first weekend. After tightening the belt on non-payday weekends, it seems like everyone wants to go to a tiki bar the minute they’re flush with cash.

Which means they’re only going to be flush with cash for a minute.

Try drinking at home with your friends for once, or hit an old-man bar. The guys who lived through the last Gret Depression are the guys to follow if you want to get through this one.

They decide it’s impulse purchase time. Day one of the pay cycle is not the proper time for fun money. If you need retail therapy, wait till the day before your paycheck, not the day after. It’s still every two weeks, right?

If you don’t have any money left the day before you get paid, then what makes you think the next two weeks are going to be any better?

Consider it a rough patch and put off those fun purchases till a pay cycle when you do have leftovers.

Those amazing shoes aren’t going to be as much fun in two weeks when you have to spend three days living on unsweetened oatmeal.

They “forget” certain expenses while estimating their disposable income. When you mentally subtract your fixed expenses for the month from your check, do you conveniently forget the little bills, like electric and cooking gas?

(Or do you even leave out your student loan?)

Thinking “Rent is covered, the rest is mine!” is a great way to absent-mindedly bounce checks. Once again, think like an old person: start keeping a checkbook.

Write out all your checks as soon as you get your money, then physically note down the math. 

This way you’ll know exactly what you have to work with and won’t find yourself optimistically guesstimating when you’re tempted to buy a new Miley Cyrus lava lamp just for giggles.

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