Ever wish you had more financial success? Laura reviews six key habits of financially healthy people that you can use to transform your life and create a more secure, happy future.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” In other words, the small things you do every day are surprisingly important because they add up to transform your life.
In many cases, habits make the difference between having a financially healthy life or a poor one where you never seem to get ahead.
People usually don’t reach their financial goals by getting an unexpected windfall. They accomplish them by developing the right behaviors over a long period of time.
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6 Habits of Financially Healthy People
Here are six key habits of financially healthy people that you can develop or take to a higher level to achieve more success:
Habit #1: Financially healthy people have financial goals.
To be financially healthy, you need a plan to turn your dreams into realities. While one person’s definition of success might be to retire early and sail around the world, another’s might be to have a fulfilling second career and work as long as possible. No two people want the exact same things out of life.
No matter your age, you need to have your own set of personal goals. Do you want to be a homeowner, pay for college for your children, become a real estate investor, or take a year long vacation? Financial goals don’t have to be complicated, but each one requires an action plan that breaks it into bite-size pieces that you can work on over short periods of time.
For example, if you want to save $30,000 for a house down payment over the next five years, you’ll need to put aside $6,000 a year or $500 a month. If you want to retire in 30 years with $1 million, you’ll need to invest approximately $800 a month.
Knowing what you’re working and saving for helps motivate you to move in the right direction when you’re tempted to spend your money on something else. Having financial success really comes down to being focused on the long-term and making sacrifices today that will pay off handsomely in the future.
Habit #2: Financially healthy people control impulse spending.
Controlling spending is a struggle for most people, including me. Financially healthy people are simply more aware of the dangers of impulse spending and actively resist it. They don’t care about “keeping up with the Joneses” or buying things to impress other people so they can appear rich. Instead, they want to be rich and wealthy.
Controlling spending is a key to living below your means so you have plenty of money left over each month to save and invest.
Controlling spending is a key to living below your means so you have plenty of money left over each month to save and invest. That’s how you build wealth over time and achieve your financial goals.
Here are some effective strategies to control impulse spending:
- Create a spending plan that accounts for your bills, loan payments, and goals. I’ll give you a great resource that will help in just a moment.
- Don’t shop as entertainment and stay away from malls and your favorite stores.
- Shop online instead of in local stores when possible. Being surrounded by physical items can be more tempting than shopping from a computer or phone. To get discounts, always start online shopping at sites like Ebates or Giving Assistant.
- Unsubscribe from retail newsletters that offer promotions and sales that you can’t resist.
- Wait at least 24 hours before buying anything over a certain amount, such as $50 or $100. That allows time for your impulse to settle down so you can decide with a clear mind if you really need something.
- Go on a 30-day spending fast, where you don’t buy anything except dire necessities for an entire month.
- Shop your recurring expenses, such as cable, Internet, phone, and insurance to cut them when possible. And get rid of your landline if you’re already paying for a cell phone.
- Calculate what an item costs in time. For instance, if you earn $25 an hour after taxes, buying a $250 pair of shoes costs you 10 hours of work. Are the shoes really worth a long workday? Only you can decide.