Developing a set of productive, positive, habits is crucial for success.
By harnessing the easy power of habitual behvaiour it's easier to achieve the goals we want. This is because once it becomes a habit, it's no longer a concious effort we have to convince or cajole ourselves into completing.
The following four habits are ones we recommend trying to gear into your brain so that they become second nature. We aren't saying they will make you Richard Branson, but they're four positive steps in the right direction towards success.
1. Pay yourself first
Set up your finances so that as soon as you’re paid, money is automatically moved into a savings account. If you are in the habit of paying yourself first every pay period, you’ll treat it as an expense and build wealth little by little over time.
2. Avoid debt
It’s so easy to think that debt payment can be postponed until better times (such as waiting for the promotion, or the windfall inheretance that never comes), or that by paying off the minimum payment each month your'e keeping your debt 'at bay', however... if you have debt, it's always best to create a solid plan to get out of it as soon as possible.
Once you have your get-out-of-debt plan, and have cleared your immediate loans and credit cards, then begin to implement your newly programmed behaviour of debt avoidance as an everyday habit. Start small, for example; if you don't have money for a daily coffee for the last week before payday then don't buy one. especially don't buy one on credit! Take this example as the benchmark on which to form your habit, and then just extrapolate up.
We talk about taking steps to clear your debt in more detail here.
3. Check in on your finances regularly
Set up a time where you review your finances regularly. This can be every day or weekly (I do it weekly!). This habit will always keep you “on track” and will help to avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
It’s the time where you make sure you’re being intentional with your money and in control of your financial foundation.
Using an app like OvalMoney is really helpful in this regard. It gives you a clear, easy to read platform that helps you track your spending habits. By collecting data month on month it also allows you to look back over your longer term spending and saving history the longer that you use it. This allows you to make more informed choices when it comes to managing your finances.
4. Read something financial once a week
No one will ever care more about your finances than you do, so, it’s your responsibility to know what’s going on. Devote one hour of reading the financial news or book every week and over time you will be amazed at how much you know.
Knowledge is power and all that jazz.
But honestly, even just trying to adopt these four faily low key, simple, habits, could empower you to make better choices with your money for your future.