Everyone is guilty of a bad habit or two. But when it comes to behavior that hurts your finances 鈥 from overspending to procrastinating about paying bills 鈥 it鈥檚 important to break those bad money habits before they break you. Here are some common bad habits and tips to take control of your finances.

Woman going through finances

1.聽Makin鈥 It Rain Too Often:聽We all do this. Spending more than you make is easier than you think 鈥 a few treat yo鈥 self days聽here, an impulsive shopping spree there, and it can all add up. You might even be doing it without realizing it, dipping into savings, borrowing from BFFs or using credit cards. You can get away with overspending聽for a few weeks or months, but sooner or later, your hole-digging spending habits will catch up with you. Keep your spending within your monthly income so that you鈥檙e living within your means, and use the extra money to pay down your debt.

2.聽All Flash, No Cash: Who doesn鈥檛 love credit cards 鈥 buy now, pay later! But there鈥檚 a caveat: You鈥檙e less likely to pay your credit card bill for items that you鈥檝e already consumed or used, especially if you鈥檙e guilty of #1 or don鈥檛 pay your bills in full each month. So while most of us don鈥檛 do it, start carrying cash. Use those dollar bills to make everyday purchases like groceries, gas, clothes and entertainment, and you will see that credit card balance go down.

3.聽That Basic Budget Life: Budgeting may sound boring, but it鈥檚 harder to avoid financial disasters without one. Understanding how much money you have coming in as well as going out is the first step to truly keeping a good spending plan. Don鈥檛 worry if you鈥檙e not a spreadsheet junkie; there are plenty of solutions already built for you. Using a free, personal finance management budgeting app like Mint can help you build a successful budget by tracking your spending (and seeing how much you聽really聽spend on happy hours each month).

4.聽Tardy to the (Bill Paying) Party: If you鈥檙e frequently late with most bills, you鈥檙e probably spending 10 percent more each year than you should. And if you鈥檙e constantly late with some bills, like credit card payments, the credit bureaus are probably taking note and dinging your credit score. Pay on time. Whether or not you鈥檙e living paycheck to paycheck, a little organization can help keep you on track. Approximately 30% of Mint users miss a monthly credit card or bill payment every year, and mostly it鈥檚 because they simply forgot. Set up calendar reminders through your email or phone to alert you when bills are due.

5.聽Not Saving for a Rainy Day:聽From car repairs to a job loss, surprise expenses are a given. Having the money to cover them isn鈥檛. An emergency fund provides a crucial crutch when things go wrong. You should set a goal to save three to six months of living expenses. Can鈥檛 swing that much? Even having a few hundred dollars in savings can give you a cushion to pay for those unexpected costs (or even a last-minute, much-needed vacay) without having to reach for credit cards.

Old habits die hard, but you can聽do small things to manage your finances better. The side benefit: You鈥檒l have more money for the things you really want 鈥 whether it鈥檚 a house, a savings account, or a new fall coat.

What are your best聽money habits? Tweet them聽@BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)