This is a popular quote from a popular book: “All you earn is yours to keep.” Public opinion may stay divided on essential habits when it comes to money. Some may even tag money as the root of all evil. But it is unanimously agreed upon that money is essential and relevant in the material world. Without money, existence in the material world will be living on the ledge with no life support.
Since humans are creatures of habit, it is the natural impulse to spend what you earn, but this goes against the popular quote “all you earn is yours to keep” instead, we should save. But again, as creatures of habit, it is factual to say, a fish is most comfortable in the water, and so is what we are used to in our little daily habits, which transpires into evidence of lack or abundance, especially when it relates to money that is what we would find ourselves doing. Habits are powerful.
Depending on the individual, age, lifestyle, religion, and geographical location, here are some suggestions on developing essential money habits regardless of what category you fall into.
1. Eat home cooked food: We’ll know as most kids hate vegetables, that is what adults are beginning to mimic. That $ 9.99 coffee, pizza, and tacos bills with hidden VAT( Value Added Tax), as little as they seem, is hurting your finance. So go back tp your veggies and make home-cooked food and see how drastically you are being ridiculously charged for eating unhealthy. There is no shame in tagging along with your lunch pack at work, school, or on a picnic.
2. Budget – It is not a crime to say I cannot afford this now. It is not in my budget, maybe later. Budget and stick to it like a medical prescription if you want to escape the embarrassment of being without money. When your cash comes in, budget monthly, weekly, or daily. Please stick to your budget like your life depends on it. I mean, your life’s quality depends on your budget.
3. Use public transport: In working systems where public systems are effective, consider using them in opposition to spending on automobile gas, maintenance, and replacement of spare parts. Unless the personal automobile is unavoidable, ensure to budget for its maintenance to avoid incurring costs that would burn a hole in your pocket.
4. Savings account: Well, there is no shame in mimicking the ants who save for the rainy days. Keeping a fraction of what you earn is an effective money habit that can be developed over time by gradually increasing the amount and amount to tremendous value over time. You could place your account on auto debit withdrawal from your bank, so you don’t need to worry about having cash at hand before you save.
5. Old clothes, shoes, or bags are not a curse: Owning old clothes, shoes, or accessories doesn’t mean you are poor; instead, they are now considered vintage. It is advisable to sit back when everyone binges on the latest fashion. The class is in vintage. So save your cash till the hysteria is over. Then you can purchase quality at a fraction of the initial cost.
6. Avoid debt: With the advent of credit cards and credit applications bombarding you with promises of easy access to loans and flexible payment systems, and access to higher credit scores and legible amounts, it is smart to avoid those schemes if you have no reliable source to pay back. The trick is to keep you in the loop and at the mercy of the lenders. Unfortunately, their offers usually are not as rosy as it seems.
7. Own a piggy bank: Sounds funny or derogatory, but you are an adult. Again, I don’t want to insult your intelligence, but the habit of saving those little nickles and dimes can save a life when you are completely down or without change.
8. Turn off appliances when not in use: little drops of water they say form an ocean. If ignored, those little cumulative readings on your meter can cost thousands of dollars. So it is smart to turn off appliances when not in use.
9. Pay yourself first: As suggested by the book, When you receive any amount, take the initiative to keep some money before you delve into groceries, fees, giveaways, and leisure hang out with the fam.
10. Invest in financial literacy: Financial education will help you to designate your money to things that matter wisely. This will allow you to check and balance your income and spending, build your portfolio, and recognize investment opportunities and financial hoaxes. Such investment might be in the form of tapes, books, seminars, and social media platforms that offer financial advice. In so doing, while applying the principles and tips, your money habits will improve.
11. Let someone trustworthy hold you accountable: It might be your accountant, partner, parents, close friends, or relatives to put your spending habits in check or alert you when you are excited to pull out your debit cards at the mall for some shiny stuff absent in your budget.
Money habits are not clear cut, but the aim is to be free from financial embarrassment and lack in the long run or an incident of an emergency. Essential money habits do not automatically show results, but time, diligence, and discipline are the magic ingredients required to sharpen and master those habits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Question: Can I save even if I earn so little?
Answer: Depending on your expenditure, saving a tiny fraction of what you earn and your desire to discipline yourself is essential.
2. Question: How long does it take to master essential money habits?
Answer: Well, depending on your financial situation and time to see the effects of healthy money habits.