7 Lifelong Financial Habits Anyone Can Adopt

Embracing good money habits, allows you to set yourself up for financial success. Making good lifelong financial habits will help you to achieve your money goals, whether it be planning for your future, saving money, or staying on top of your finances. It also gives you peace of mind when facing unexpected expenses and planning for retirement.

As you build good money habits, you will quickly see your bank account grow and how it will lead you to financial success. Dropping bad spending habits may take some time to adjust to but is essential to your financial freedom. Get started on your financial journey with these five tips anyone can adopt.

Live Within Your Means

To live below your means you must not spend more money than you earn. So, if you spend less or equal to the amount of money you make each month from your job and other sources of income, you’re below your means. To accomplish this you will need to make small changes that include creating a budget and managing your expenses so you’re always spending less than you earn.

Pay Yourself First

If you want to grow your savings, pay yourself first. That means putting your money toward savings first thing when you get your paycheck, then living off the rest. If you only pay yourself after your bills and expenses are taken care of, you run into the risk of not saving enough to hit your big-picture goals. You can do this by auto-transferring dollars into a savings account or saving a percentage of your take-home pay each month.

Maintain a Budget

One of the first good lifelong financial habits to start is to get on a budget. A budget will help you manage your money successfully. Budgeting helps you pay your bills on time, build wealth by saving, and prevent financial mishaps.

If you don’t have a budget, then you probably don’t have even a remote idea of where all of your money is going. This is one of those good financial habits you absolutely must adopt you if want to get control of your finances. By tracking your spending, you will be able to identify the areas of excess. Eating out for 50% of your meals? Cut that back to even 25% and cook or brown bag the rest, and you’ll have a nice chunk of change to contribute to paying down debt or building up your savings.

Start tracking your spending now, you may be surprised to find where your money is actually going.

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Pay off Debt

Paying off your debt is one of the most important things to do when building good money habits. Not only is carrying debt expensive but it has a tremendous impact on mental health and your emotions.

Overcoming financial stress is a critical step in getting out of debt. You may feel like drowning, but with the right debt payoff strategy, you can free yourself from the burden of being in debt. By paying off your debt, you can start saving more money and secure your financial future.

Shop Without Your Credit Cards

This will not only keep you from running up your credit card balances but if you have to use cash or your debit card to make your purchases, there’s a very good chance you will spend less money than you would if you are shopping with a credit card because you can’t just pay it off later.

It’s real money, being used right now, which helps you make a wiser decision in the checkout line.

RELATED: Is It Better To Shop With Credit Cards or Cash?

Start a Retirement Savings Plan

Good financial habits can be elusive if you don’t have a retirement savings plan of any kind. But if you don’t have a plan through your employer, there are plenty of options. You can open up a self-directed traditional IRA or a Roth IRA through tons of different platforms. Either will provide the type of income tax deferral that is essential to building a healthy nest egg for retirement.

If you don’t have a retirement savings plan, what are you waiting for? Set one up today, and start funding it with any money you have available.

RELATED: 4 Ways to Maximize Your Retirement Right Now

Closing

Set aside some time each month to see how much progress you’ve made on your lifelong financial habits. How much debt have you paid off, and how much headway are you making on saving for a down payment on a home, or for that dream trip next year? Seeing results will help you stay on track. Plus, it’ll give you a boost in motivation, and could help you ramp up on saving.

There are tons of good financial habits you can start adopting this year. Some can be easy, stop eating out so often. And some can be a little more involved, like paying off debt. No matter what financial habit you decide to take up, you will be that much closer to achieving your financial goals. All that matters is that you start.

What new financial habits do you want to pick up?