It’s (almost) everyone’s favourite time of year, and whether you’re a student, a parent, a dynamic duo, or a killer individual, you will almost certainly be looking forward to a few lazy days lying in the heat and enjoying the rare summer sun.
Traditionally a season of holiday and relaxation, summer doesn’t have to be a time to switch off completely. In fact, it can be a great opportunity to take a little time out and learn some new habits that will propel your personal finances forward and leave you reaping rewards for years to come.
This summer, try to get to grips with these six easy habits.
1. Read. A lot.
It’s no secret that self-made millionaires take a lot of time out to read. Author of Rich Habits research, Thomas Coley, states that self-made millionaires read on average about two books a month.
Whilst this may not be entirely feasible for those of us with multiple jobs, a large family, or other extracurricular commitments, you should try and set yourself a ‘book a month’ challenge for the three months of summer. Invest in biographies, business and leadership, or self-help books in order to gain some new insights and expertise into areas where your knowledge may be patchy.
You may gain new skills or expertise that could motivate you to see your professional or financial choices in different ways. It could even be the source of inspiration to try something new, like setting up your own business or side hustle.
2. Get proactive
Speaking of side hustles: get one. It doesn’t have to be something you don’t want to do, it doesn’t have to bring in a load of cash, but, again, most self-made millionaires have multiple streams of income.
Not only is it rewarding gaining income from doing something that you love and value, but it makes financial sense. Having multiple streams of income means you are less vulnerable to a certain degree. If for any reason a particular stream of income fails, you still have others, and don’t suddenly find yourself in a position with no income.
Furthermore, this financial liberation also emboldens you and allows you to take arguably bigger financial or professional risks, as you don’t have ‘all your eggs in one basket’, so to speak.
3. Figure out what you really want.
This can go hand in hand with the side hustle, but not necessarily. Use the long summer seasons to do a little soul searching and try to understand what you really want out life. After all, it’s easier to achieve a dream if you’re 100% committed to what the dream actually it.
Maybe you can try to find a way to monetise what you love doing, or, if you want to travel, try to figure out a way to save enough money and get stability to do it. The clearer you are in your own mind about what it is you want, the easier it will be to achieve success.
4. Avoid leeches
Of the human kind. That goes for emotional, mental, and financial. All those who are happy to take without ever giving anything back; bin them. You will never be able to succeed to your fullest extent if you are being forced to carry someone else with you who contributes nothing.
It self explanatory as to why financial leeches should be canned, but mental and emotional leeches are just as dangerous. Being constantly around someone who sucks all your positive and creative energy leaves you too exhausted to try and do something amazing. You will not regret ridding yourself of them.
5. Learn to love the simple things
It’s a universal truth that being frugal saves you money. Luckily it’s also a universal truth that having fun doesn’t need to cost money. Take advantage of the summer sun and spend your time doing activities outdoors. Go hiking, swimming, or just lie in the sun reading motivational books (see point 1).
By learning to love the simple things you not only save yourself money, but you also learn to live within your means and enjoy your lifestyle the way it is. That way, when you do finally end up earning more, you avoid the dangerous ‘lifestyle creep’.
6. Understand your money
Take some time out to really get to grips and understand your money. This means no only what you earn, but also what you save and how you save, and the ways in which you spend it. Take a look at your utility bills, your credit card and shopping bills, and see where your money is going. Also take the time to go through your Oval Wallet and understand how much money you’re saving and when this is happening.
The more you understand about your personal finances the better informed your decisions will be when it comes to making plans for the future.
The summer is a great time to learn new habits and kick start your savings.