We all develop regular habits, some good and, probably, a few that we should shake. Nevertheless, when it comes to your financial health, it’s strongly recommended you should develop some daily habits to ensure your security and future success.
1: Once a week – your financial catch up
Each week name a specific day and time you will ALWAYS review your finances. We all live busy lives and so it’s imperative to nominate a specific window to assess exactly where you stand. Make this catch up part of your weekly routine, because it will help you avoid being caught out by an unexpected incoming bill, or a potential overdue payment that will result in a higher interest charge on your account.
2: Daily – keep it simple
Whenever possible, pay online and for regular monthly payments, like for rent or mortgage payments, arrange for auto payments, so they can’t be overlooked.
3: Daily – inspired reading
Some great books have been written on how to save, manage or generate money, so why not inspire yourself with great ideas? Do your research and then make the book of your choice part of your regular reading routine – say, a minimum of one chapter per day.
4: Daily – be organised
- Open all your bills when you receive them and keep them together in one file, so you know where they are, what you owe and when.
- Always read your incoming credit card statements carefully. Mistakes do get made and it’s a good habit to check all your payments first before you settle your account.
- When you pay credit card bills, NEVER pay the minimum because that’s a sure fire way of committing yourself to paying the maximum interest rate.
5: Daily – keep your wallet thin
Don’t carry around wads of cash. Keep a minimum amount on you to pay for daily expenses, but not enough to let you be tempted to overspend.
6: Monthly – create a budget
Look at the big picture and decide in advance what budget you should allow to spend each month. Break it down to Household, Personal, Home, Transport, Socialising, Savings etc. Then, stay true to your pre-set budget and review it weekly (see No 1).
7: Daily – bring business savviness to your household
Run your household expenses like you’d run a business – never impulse purchase, look for savings whenever possible and always compare costs carefully before making any purchase.
8: Daily – cut out ‘extras’
It’s all too easy to overspend as soon as you leave the front door – buy a newspaper, a coffee, a sandwich, a beer, cigarettes, drinks, magazines, gambling, and so on. They can all be either reduced or cut out altogether, so just do it. Put the money you save into your savings fund instead.
9: Monthly – pay off your credit card debt
If you can’t afford to pay it, you can’t afford to buy it! Better still, just use a debit card instead, so you don’t run up credit card debt at all.
10: Daily – think about your end goal
We all daydream – owning a dream home, a dream boat or car, going on a dream holiday. A dream is the ideal way to focus on your personal financial plan to make your dream become a reality.
Start developing your habits tomorrow
Modern living ensures that we’re all busy and the best financial intentions often become lost as we struggle to keep our heads above water. In next to no time, bills pile up, expenses go unchecked and, when it all unravels, it’s often too late to correct the situation without doing something drastic, like selling the car, or home.
However, if we make our financial checks part of our daily routine, it’s so much easier to stay on course. Don’t let it slide until tomorrow, or next week, start developing your new habits today.