Having the right money habits can help you manage your finances better. It can also improve your chances of reaching your financial goals. One thing you need to remember when it comes to creating habits is that it takes a long time to integrate them into your daily life. It is not an idea you thought of yesterday and you consider it a habit the next day.
Take athletes for example where they practice for years to get better in their craft. They are able to play their sport at a very high level because of the practice they put behind it. These athletes learn their craft very thoroughly making sure they build their body and skills to a point where they play the sport to the best of their abilities.
Creating money habits can be likened at how top athletes prepare for their games. They put in a lot of effort and practice over the years to perform at a high level. You need to identify the right habits to nurture and practice it over and over until it becomes second nature to you. At this point, you might already be thinking that it is too late in the game. However, you need to remember that everyone starts from the beginning at one point in their lives.
If you want to start now and make that decision to be a better manager of your finances, there are a few habits you can start to look into. You do need to keep in mind that your specific financial position will be different from that of other people. As such, you can take a look at the list and find out which one applies to you and stick to that.
Keep your credit card use in check
One of the money habits you can consider is always being on top of your credit card usage. It will make your efforts to manage your finances a lot more challenging when you do not have control over your credit cards. You cannot go out and shop until your card gets declined. Remember that your credit limit is not a challenge but an amount you need to stay away from.
There is nothing wrong with using your credit cards. The challenge is making sure that you get to pay for everything at the end of the month. If you will be content in paying the minimum only, you will be paying for a lot more than the purchase price. Your lender can start adding fees, interest, and other charges to your account as long as you pay the minimum.
One thing you can do is give your credit cards a break. Do not be overly dependent on them when making a purchase. An idea is to carry cash with you when going out to shop for items you need. This way, you do not go over budget because when your cash is used up, that is it. Unlike credit cards where you can shop over your budget.
Remember the 15-minute rule
One of the most underrated money habits you might overlook is the 15-minute rule. What it does is give you enough time to really think things through especially when making a purchase. When you are tempted to buy something you want, you step back and wait for 15-minutes doing something else. You can walk around, go for a run, or even read a book.
Stepping back and doing something else gives you the chance to let the excitement die down. Once that happens, you can have start thinking rationally. Is buying that item you wanted 15 minutes ago still worth it. Chances are if you forgot about it, then it is not that important. There could be other purchases which are higher up in your “needs” list that needs to be prioritized.
One of the best money habits is having a shopping list
There might have been times when you came home with more shopping bags than you have planned or more shoes than you need. There are a number of reasons why you would go over budget but the biggest would be not having a list. It is a challenge to try and remember everything you need to buy when you go out to shop.
Take grocery shopping for example where you head out and buy things you need at home. If you do not have a list, it will be a challenge to get everything you need. There is a big chance that you will either buy more than what you need or forget something. If you do forget to buy something important, you can end up doing a second run at the grocery. This uses up more of your time and even gas and parking.
However, if you start bringing a list with you, the chances of making a mistake go down dramatically. You will have a guide on what to buy for that grocery run. It can also be a good idea to jot down the prices. This way, you get to see if you are still on budget while buying what you need. This can also help you monitor the prices the next time you buy the same items.
Avoid procrastinating with your bills when they arrive
One of the money habits you need to start including in your financial life is to avoid procrastination. This is true especially when you get your bills at home. Putting off the need to look at it only prolongs your repayment time frame. You might end up sending a late payment which will not only increase your next payment but ding your score as well. Thriveglobal shares that procrastination is actually rooted in fear.
You do not have to put it off because even if you do, what is indicated in that bill will not change. The sooner you open it, the earlier you can send out that payment and have time for other things in life. Leaving bills unopened only stresses you out until the time you open it. Make it a habit to open your bills as soon as you get them or at the very least, do not wait for a long time to get to it.
If you have heard the saying how having apples keeps the doctors away, it has a lot to do with maintenance. You need to make sure that you always take a proactive approach when it comes to areas in your life. For one, you can take this approach when it comes to your house. Do remember that it is one of the biggest investment you ever made in your life.
Get to small repairs as early as you can before they turn into big expenses. The same with your car. In fact, it is a lot easier with your car since you have a maintenance schedule to follow. You need to bring your vehicle in at different mileages to have preventive maintenance on the car. Doing this can help prevent major repairs down the road.
You can also do the same with your body. You might not think about it too much but this also falls under money habits. The better you take care of yourself, the lower your chances of getting sick. And if you do get sick, a stronger body will help you recover faster. The sooner you are back up on your feet, the lesser the impact your sickness will have on your finances.
It would take a good amount of time to get used to money habits which will benefit your finances but it does not mean you should not get started today. The earlier you start, the better chances you have of sticking to the habit for a long time to come.