There are habits that will make you a financial failure and there are habits that can improve your financial fitness. If you are concerned about your future, you need to ensure that what you are implementing are habits that will only do you good. It is not a good idea to not care about how you are treating your finances. You need to be very careful because there are so many things at stake if you let your money habits compromise your acquired assets.
The thing about your financial health is that it is not a one time effort. You do not work on it once and then be reckless for the rest of your life. It is just like being physically fit. You need to implement certain habits consistently so you can maintain a healthy level of financial fitness. If not, you may start out strong and still end up failing in the future.
How to keep your finances healthy
According to the latest financial literacy survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 61% of Americans admit to not having a budget. In the infographic published on C360M.com, it is also revealed that 41% of adults grade themselves a C, D or F when it comes to knowing how to manage their money.
Keeping your personal finances healthy is simple. You do not need to have a college degree to understand them. However, the simplicity does not necessarily mean it is easy. You have to be able to maintain it and not falter. Failure to discipline yourself could mean a financial mistake that could ruin what you have worked so hard to achieve in the past.
With that, we have compiled 5 different habits that you need to develop in order to improve your financial fitness.
- Always have a goal. FIrst of all, you should always have a goal. If you do not have a specific financial target, you can start by imagining what you want to happen in your future. Think about how you want to live out your retirement. Then backtrack to the more short-term goals so it can serve as your milestones. If you know the lifestyle that you want to have, it should be easy enough to come up with the financial goals that will help you reach your dream lifestyle. The important thing is to have a target so your progress can be measured and you have something to look forward to. It gives you a sense of purpose that will motivate you to improve your overall financial health.
- Implement a budget. A budget is something that will tell you how much money comes in and how much of it goes out. This is necessary to maintain your financial fitness because it will serve as your tool to control your money. You want to make sure that your finances will not fall short of your needs. Not only that, it will also help you ensure that the priority expenses will be met. So make sure that you will not only create a budget to monitor your income and expenses, you have to create a foolproof budget plan. It can help you make smarter choices about your money.
- Lower your debt. Another financial habit that will help you achieve financial fitness is to lower your debt. Take note that we are not asking you to eliminate it. We sincerely believe that there are debts that can be good for you. The key to keep debt from ruining you is to make sure you have full control over it. That way, you can ensure that it will never be a burden or threat to your other financial obligations.
- Identify and stay away from bad spending habits. You should also learn how to identify the spending habits that are destructive and will put you in a bad financial situation. Once you have identified them, you need to work hard to stay away from them. In some cases, it is the habits that got consumers into debt troubles. You want to keep yourself from these habits and focus only of those that will do you good.
- Know where to get professional help. For some people who want to lose weight, it is not enough that their willpower is strong enough to resist bad habits. They sometimes need a trainer that will help them improve their physical body. The same is true for your finances. You should know when a professional is needed and how you can find one that is trustworthy. There are rules that you can look into like the TSR (Telemarketing Sales Rule) that will help you in hiring a debt professional. Be aware of the rules and scams involved in hiring a financial expert so you can protect yourself from the malicious minded ones who aim to steal from you.
As mentioned earlier, you have to make sure that these habits are consistently implemented to maintain a healthy financial life. You will quickly lose the financial fitness that you worked hard to achieve if you fail in implementing the right habits that can sustain it.
3 benefits of a healthy financial life
Even if it is hard to have a healthy financial life, you need to concentrate on the benefits that you will get out of it. If you look at the studies and surveys being made about Americans and their financial habits, it is evident that we need to improve a lot when it comes to financial management.
But if you focus on the benefits that you will gain because of financial fitness you will realize that they are beyond financial gain. If you consider the value, they will emerge as being more valuable than the money that you are trying to save.
Here are three benefits that you will get for being financially fit.
- You will be less stressed. One of the studies done by the American Psychological Association and released through the APA.org, more than 3 out of 4 Americans mentioned that money is a significant cause of their stress. If you know that your finances is in good condition, you do not have to worry about it. You can say goodbye to money stress once and for all.
- You will get better health. Stress can cause a lot of health issues and you will be saved from this if you remove money stress from your life. You will not lose sleep, you will eat healthy and you can feel an overall happiness and contentment with your life. Since your money is in good condition, you do not have to work too hard just to earn enough.
- You can focus on other things. If you are not worried about your finances, you can focus your mind and energy in growing it. Truth be told, since your money is in good condition, you do not have to work too hard just to earn enough. You can pursue other things like exercising or improving your habits. You will find joy and appreciation for the finer things in life – all because you know that you and your family are financially secure.
These three are only a few of the non-material and non-financial benefit of having healthy finances. If you think about it, these are much more valuable than money. The pursuit of financial fitness will not only reward you with money, it will also allow you to live a high quality lifestyle.