Are you adopting smart money habits so you can grow healthy, wealthy and wise?
When it comes to your finances, the patterns you create with your money can make or break you.
I developed some terrible money habits in my 20s. They lead me into a downward spiral of credit card debt and unpaid bills.
It wasn’t pretty. But I was able to sort things out and get my finances on track by adopting some better money habits instead.
And now the credit card bills are long gone. They’ve been replaced by savings, investments and sweet, sweet financial security.
Sounds good, right?
I want you to get on the path to financial freedom, too. That’s what we’re all about here.
So, dive into this post to learn the top good money habits you should be following that can put you on the path to a richer life!
Here are my 10 smart money habits.
Other posts that may interest you:
10 Smart Money Habits
Educate yourself about personal finance
I will never understand why personal finance isn’t taught in schools. At least the very basics should be covered. Unfortunately, it’s not so it’s down to you to make sure you educate yourself properly.
Everything I know about finance has come from doing my own research and learning along the way. When you leave school, you’re more than likely going to get your first job. That’s a bunch of 16-year olds earning money for the first time when they don’t have the first clue about wages.
It’s crazy. If there’s something you don’t understand when it comes to money just ask or research it. Don’t turn a blind eye when it comes to money matters. The more knowledge you have, the better.
You need a good solid knowledge of what’s on your wage slip so tax (and your tax code), National Insurance contributions, pension deductions, student loan deductions and any medical schemes run through your company that are deducted from your wage.
You also need to know about rent/mortgages, bank accounts and credit scores. So, take some time to make sure you’re properly clued up.
Create a budget
This might sound boring and you may have heard it all before, but don’t think of it as being a restrictive budget. Instead, this budget is designed to help you understand how much you can save and invest for your future.
This is one of the simplest and most effective financial planning tools. By using a budget, you will create an awareness of where you are spending your money and this will give you control over your hard-earned cash.
By creating a budget, you can set an intention for your money and by setting estimated spending limits, you can learn to judge what is a responsible amount to spend (e.g., Holidays). This is a much better money habit to have because you can set guilt-free spending amounts.
Would you like to know how to create a budget, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:
Track your expenses
Having a budget set up is great but in order to stay on track with your budget, you need to track your expenses. You need to keep a record of all the money you are spending each month.
I love using a budget app because it allows me to add up all my expenses throughout the day. If you choose to use a printable budget template, you will need to keep all your receipts so you can write down what you are spending every day.
It is extremely important to keep up with your expenses daily. Little purchases throughout the day can add up and push you over your budget
Would you like advice on cutting down your monthly expenses, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:
Set financial goals
Having financial goals is great because it keeps you motivated to work towards something you actually want to achieve.
Financial goals are very subjective and not one size fits all. One person’s financial goal might be to become a millionaire by 50, and another person’s goal might be to get out of debt by 30. It all depends on you and your specific circumstances.
Once you know what your goals are related to your finances, you can start coming up with a plan.
If you are someone who has a lot of debt and wants to pay it off before you turn 30, look at how much you owe. Then, calculate how much you would have to pay every month until you reach 30 to pay it all off.
Sometimes, you may find that you can’t reach those goals in the exact time-frame you set out for yourself. And that’s ok. In that case, set smaller goals which will ultimately get you to your bigger goals and to where you want to be with your finances.
Would you like to know how to set SMART financial goals, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:
We find it hard to keep or set a limit on how much we are spending. It reveals we are not living within our means.
Have you ever spent-spent-spent then when you checked you bank account you felt deflated? Buyer’s remorse hits you and you promise yourself not to find yourself in the same situation, even return some items.
Or have you walked into the supermarket to pick up just one item and left with a tonne of items you had not planned buying? Yep, I know that all too well.
Our spending habits make or break our bank balance, as an overspender, you have no way of tracking your expenses not even a budget in place. You’ll stop spending when you bank balance hits zero.
Without tracking our expenses, our bank balance gets depleted until it is 0 or in the red and we repeat this cycle month after month.
Would you like to know how to complete a no spend month to save money? Then see the post below:
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Saving money towards your future should definitely be at the top of your financial priorities.
Sometimes though, it can be easier said than done, especially when you are not making a lot of money and are drowning in debt.
In times like these, it is still good to save, even if you are just saving $50/£50 a month. When you get into the habit of saving, it becomes easier for you to put money away later on in life too, no matter what your salary is.
If you find that saving even $50/£50 is a challenge for you, it might be a good idea to find some work from home jobs you can do to create an extra form of income. Online jobs are becoming increasingly more popular because there are a lot to choose from, depending on what your interests are and how much free time you have.
Would you like to know more about how you can save money? but don’t know where to start? Then see the posts below:
- 10 Things to Stop Buying to Save Money – Simple Guide to Save Thousands!
- 9 Tips to Save Money – Simple Guide!
- Frugal Living Lifestyle – 11 Habits of Frugal People
- How to Save Money on Online Shopping – 8 Tried and Tested Tips!
- 10 Tips To Save Money On Groceries – Tried And Tested Guide!
- Is The Honey Extension Legit? – Save Money Online While Shopping!
Plan for retirement
Retirement is probably the last thing on your mind right now but you need to start planning. From the moment I got my first proper job after school, I starting paying into the company pension.
When I started my first job, I noticed there weren’t any pension deductions on my wage so I questioned why and was told new employees usually didn’t start paying into a pension until they’d been there 6 months. I asked to start paying into one from the next wage. That’s why it’s important to know what’s going on with your wage and understand the importance on paying into a pension as soon as you can.
If possible, it doesn’t hurt to set aside your own retirement savings pot either because we all know that when retirement comes that your pension won’t actually be that big. Now is the perfect time to think about the future and have plans in place.
Pay your bills on time
I cannot stress the importance of making sure you pay your bills on time. I know there are situations that occur that are sometimes out of our control but being financially savvy and creating good money habits is about avoiding debt and financial trouble.
There are legitimate reasons why you may not be able to pay your bills on time but there are also reasons that just boil down to not making the correct money decisions.
Your bills should come before anything else. That’s why I always recommend paying your bills as soon as you’ve been paid. That way all the important stuff is out of the way and you don’t have to worry about keeping your money back to pay off your bills.
Aligning all your bill payment dates is another really handy tip to ensure that your bills are all getting paid on time. Make sure all your bills have the same payment date or are very close together rather than being spread out across the month.
I might sound like a bit of a weirdo when I say that you should be saying no to yourself on a very regular basis.
Saying no keeps you grounded.
It stops you building an entitlement mentality, one where you convince yourself you should buy something because you deserve it.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have had a silent conversation with myself about popping out to the shops or go online to treat myself.
I already had my lunch, snacks and drinks so I needed nothing. But I wanted something.
Saying no meant that I kept to my no spending at work plan and stopped the slide back into bad old habits creeping in and destroying my budget.
Would like to learn more about how implementing a money mindset can help you achieve financial freedom and live a happier life? Then the post below:
Put side hustle money to one side
With our living expenses right down, we were living just under half of the money that we made from our main jobs. This meant that the difference and any side hustle income was for saving/investing.
I made the decision that any side hustle money was to be put in a separate pot. I’m not what motivated me to do this in the first place but it worked wonders.
Seeing my side hustle income grow independently made me realise how hard I hard been working to achieve it. It also inspired me to make more.
When the figure didn’t grow much over one month, it would give me a kick up the bottom to find more ways of producing income.
Interested in earning some extra cash through a side hustle? Then see the posts below:
10 Smart Money Habits – Final thought
We are all creatures of habit, and sometimes this can be a very bad thing. If you’ve struggled in the past with finances, I challenge you to use these principles, and in very little time you’ll be surprised how your circumstances will begin to change.
What are some other habits that can provide people with financial freedom that you know about? I would love to hear them below.
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Welcome to my blog! I’m a money-enthusiast, who enjoys helping like-minded people make money, save money and manage their finances. I have also created a lifestyle section, where I will be sharing what has helped me in my journey towards a happy life after 4 years of battling severe anxiety, depression and alcoholism.