Find out what a micro habit is and how to use them to improve your financial life. They require minimal time, effort, and motivation, but can build up to huge, significant results when you make them part of your routine.
3. Going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
Your health lays the foundation for what you can achieve with your money and life. If you’re not taking care of your body, your mind will also suffer. In addition to maintaining a good diet and regular exercise, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier.
That extra time might allow you to read a book before drifting off or get a better night’s sleep. I love watching TV with my husband after dinner, but I try to set a limit of one hour or two. As fun as it can be to stay up late watching your favorite TV shows, it’s probably not helping you achieve your goals.
Instead, begin your bedtime routine a little earlier so you can wake up feeling recharged, focused, and able to accomplish more. You only have one life, so don’t make a habit of wasting time.
4. Buying quality instead of quantity.
One micro habit to pare down your possessions and enjoy them more is to buy less stuff, but choose higher quality items. It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying lots of clothes, shoes, or home furnishings because they’re on sale or seem like an irresistible “bargain” in the moment.
I love a sale as much as the next person, but I find that when I buy higher quality items, I cherish and take better care of them than I do for cheap stuff. I use a “one in, one out” rule that forces me to sacrifice a similar item when I buy something new.
For example, if I buy running shoes, I need to sacrifice an old pair. Got a new top or pair of jeans? I must pick one that I haven’t worn in the past year to donate to Goodwill.
Sometimes I push myself to get rid of two items for each one that I add to my clothes closet, kitchen, or book shelves to make sure I’m slowly cutting down, instead of accumulating. This is more of a mindset shift than a daily habit, but can really transform the way you spend money on material possessions.
5. Setting a spending waiting period.
In addition to buying less, creating a rule that you must wait a minimum of 24 hours before buying anything over a certain amount, such as $50 or $100, is a key micro habit for financial success. By “sleeping on it,” you decide with a clear mind if buying a discretionary item is a need, or just a random impulse purchase. Often, you’ll have a change of heart and realize you didn’t need or want it anyway.
In addition to buying less, creating a rule that you must wait a minimum of 24 hours before buying anything over a certain amount, such as $50 or $100, is a key micro habit for financial success.
If you’re shopping in a brick and mortar store and find something you want over your price limit, take a picture of it and its price. You can revisit the item at least 24 hours later and even take the time to do comparison shopping online.