“Financially irresponsible people are not bad people. They’ve simply fallen prey to bad habits”
– Mary Hunt –
Let me ask you a question that some people find offensive but I think is very important to answer honestly. Are you struggling to make ends meat like most of society is or are you comfortable with your financial situation? I ask this because 78% of of Americans live check to check with very little to no savings at all… let alone have any type of financial investments working for them.
The savings rate in america is at an all time low at less than 2% as a nation.
The main reasons of this unfortunate reality is because of bad financial habits that were formed early on in life combined with lack of financial literacy. These formed bad habits have a ripple affect in peoples lives that not only affect their financial situation, but are contributing factors in things such as domestic violence, crime and a growing divorce rate.
The good news is that it’s never too late to purge the bad habits and replace them with habits that you will find beneficial to your life in more than one way. It’s just going to require some desire and discipline to make it happen.
Here are five powerful habits that once adopted will not only strengthen you financially, but assist in overall personal development and help you a long the journey.
- Embrace financial hardships & set backs, don’t deny them.
This is where a lot of people get deeply into financial trouble when they can’t make payments and get behind on their debts. Rather than face the reality of the situation and work with creditors to come up with some type of repayment arrangement, they ignore the problem by not replying to collection notifications via the mail or phone calls.
I know from my own personal experiences with this that depression and embarrassment take it’s toll on you. Living in denial only escalates the situation that can lead to things like repossession, frozen accounts, wage garnishment and in worse case scenarios, bankruptcy.
Just remember that though it may feel like it at the time, financial hardship isn’t the end of the world.
The best way to prevent this from happening in the first place, is to have money put aside in case of an emergency. This not only gives you peace of mind, but also has the health benefit of staving off depression and the ailments derived from it. Also, your credit score will thank you for preventing it from falling by accumulating late payments.
Always be willing to discuss options and seek out any type of financial assistance you can.
2. Check your credit score on a regular basis.
We’ve all heard horror stories from victims of identity theft and how it decimated them financially. This is one financial hardship that I can say that fortunately I have not experienced and make efforts to keep it that way.
With free credit score services like credit karma that allow you to check your score once a week, there’s no reason not to be able to monitor your credit on a consistent basis. In fact, once you’ve established an account with credit karma, they will present offers on loans and credit cards that may help you to refinance your existing debts into lower rate loans. Which in turn saves you money that you could put towards building wealth.
Some credit card companies allow you to check your credit score once a week as well. I know that capital one not only shows your credit score but provides your credit utilization percentage and how that has an affect of your score.
There are also paid subscription credit monitoring services available. If any credit discrepencies pop up they alert you immediately for verification of legitimate credit purchases to prevent fraudulent charges from occurring.
3. Designate time for financial education, study habits of the rich & teach them to others.
The saying “give a man a fish and he eats for a day… teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” has so much relevance when it comes to building wealth. As mentioned above, financial literacy is severely lacking in society. Therefore, it’s up to us as individuals to self educate through medias such as books, podcasts, videos and websites like this one.
Schedule time at least once a week dedicated to learning. One way to use your time wisely is to listen to audio books and/or podcasts while commuting and running errands. Instead of listening to music, put that time towards expanding your knowledge base.
By studying the habits of the rich and incorporating them into your own life, you can emulate their success. As you level up and become more successful, you can then take that knowledge and teach it to others.
Surround yourself with people you can always learn something from and people that you can teach. I find so much value in the philosophy of teach what you know as you learn what to teach.
4. Seek out opportunities that will benefit you financially & life in general.
I don’t believe that money is the root of all evil. However, I do truly believe that the root cause for most societal issues are financial. When you take financial difficulty out of the equation, stress levels drop, depression lifts away and people are generally more happy with life.
If you’re passionate about something then figure out ways to earn an income from it. When starting out it takes time to build momentum and get the word out, but over time it’s possible to make a full time income from it. You just have to stick to it and be dedicated to making it work.
What’s important to remember is to not make it about the money. If the products or service that you’re passionate about has value, the money will come eventually.
Persistence, passion and discipline are requirements in order to become successful in anything that you pursue. But none of them have purpose without taking action.
5. Find a support system of like minded people and be active in it.
You should always be striving to be the best version of yourself by setting goals and making achievements a long the way. It’s always more pleasant to take the journey with others and chances are that there are others looking to do the same as yourself. Network within your community and social media with people pursuing the same path and develop strong bonds a long the way.
Be sure to be beneficial to the group by reciprocating in helpful ways through encouragement and providing examples for others to learn from. If you find such a group already exists then consider joining it (hint… hint). If not, take the steps necessary to create one yourself.
“Surround yourself with people you can always learn something from. Always work with people that are better at their craft than you are.”
– Tony Vincent –
As I like to say… “the journey begins with the first step”.
If you see value in this article then please be sure to like and subscribe to the blog if you haven’t done so already. I’ll be putting up more wealth building posts in the future and you can have them delivered straight to your email account.
I’ll see you in the next post. Until next time… be sure to comment below and let’s get some dialogue going. I’m curious to know, what’s your opinion on developing financial habits?