Do you feel like you can control your money and make a budget work for you for a month or two only to have an unforeseen event occur that derails everything? You are not alone, the average person, regardless of their income level is in the same boat. Creating good money habits is a lot like going on a diet, you have to make it a lifestyle that becomes part of your unconscious thinking in order to have sustained results.
You have to truly appreciate what you have in life in order to ever get ahead and make the money decisions that lead to setting you financially free. The problem that most of us face is that we are always in “need” of that next cool gadget, that next model of car that no matter how much money we make, it will never be enough to afford what we do not have. I’m not suggesting that you should or need to be stingy and not enjoying life in the moment, I’m suggesting that you need to give true thought to what you truly need in life.
The more time we spend thinking or worrying about things we do not have, the more our relationship with money turns negative. We are taught to think that money is scarce, that money is the root of all evil and it’s simply not true. It’s only when we consistently think that we do not have enough of it that it becomes a destructive force that can affect our health, relationships and motivation in a very negative way. Most people fail at changing their money lifestyle because it is not comfortable – you must remember that a new money minded lifestyle equals a new you…..SCARY I know. But imagine the person you could be if you never had to worry about money, the future and the unknowns of life.
Below are 9 great money habits and a thought on how to incorporate them into a lifestyle.
- Simplify your Budget
The purpose of a good budget is to ensure that your money ends up where you declared it should go. The easier a budget it to track, the greater the chance of success. Try and lower the amount of categories you have so you can more easily think about it throughout your day.
- Utilize the 30 Day “Want List” Concept
If there is something that you feel you want to buy, put it on your list and commit to waiting 30 days before you make the purchase. After you start doing this you will truly get a feel for the power of controlling impulse. If you still want it after 30 days then buy it, you deserve it!!
- Cook More
Cooking in as opposed to eating out is not only a great way to eat healthier, it’s also a heck of a lot cheaper!! This can be a great way to spend time with your significant other, family or friends and unwind from a long day. Eating a healthy diet gives you the mental energy to continue to fend off the need more More, More, More which destroys us financially.
Stop giving yourself the chance to self sabotage your path to financial freedom. Set all your bill payments up for auto pay to take away your choice of weather to pay them on time or not. Have money automatically sent to savings each pay check as opposed to relying on yourself to manually do it.
- Use Non Regular income to pay off debt
This includes Bonuses from work, left over money from a monthly budget, Tax Refunds etc. You cannot count on this money so when you do receive it, pay off debt. The quicker you can get out of debt, the quicker you can use that money to start making you money.
- Make investments in yourself
Your earning potential is really just a reflection of how valuable you are to someone. Investing in yourself by further education that can make you more valuable will lead to you bringing in more money each month. Believe in yourself and challenge yourself to learn a new skill once each quarter.
- Spend Less than you Earn
The more money you can find for saving, investing financially and investing in yourself the quicker you can reach the pinnacle of being financially free. Without this habit, you will continue to rack up debt, fear your employer and have a very negative relationship with money. Money will never be your friend if you cannot incorporate this into your lifestyle.
- Track your Money Success
If you are like me, you need to feel the sense of victory in order to keep pushing for something. Track your progress on a regular basis and take time to give yourself a pat on the back for the small wins each day. If you can regularly think about the impact of your financial decisions on a daily basis it will soon be part of your unconscious and making the decisions that can set you free will be painless.
- Regularly Check your Credit
You will be amazed how this habit can affect your lifestyle if you currently don’t check your credit regularly. It can become like a game and it’s fun to know how the decisions you make effect your overall score. Good credit leads to MAJOR savings over the long run and is something you shouldn’t ignore.
Start to incorporate these 9 habits into your every day life and you will find that you can stay on track for longer than a month or two and it eventually will be a natural occurrence.