4 Ways to Develop Good Spending Habits
Are Your Money Habits Helping Or Hindering?
- We all have habits, when it comes to money and how we handle it. Ask yourself, are your habits helping or hindering you? Are you ignoring your bank account or budget? Are you checking your budget daily, weekly, monthly or not at all? I don’t know about you, but when I am checking things more often, I am more aware of how I’m spending and where I am spending. I do a better job of adjusting, before chaos sets in.
Where Do You Begin When Creating a New Habit?
- Sometimes, the idea of doing something more, sounds overwhelming. When you are overwhelmed, many times, the best thing to do is to start small. Small little habits, can eventually become apart of your normal routine and will no longer seem so overwhelming. Think about attaching what you want to do daily (Checking your budget), to something you already do daily (brush your teeth). So, every morning (or night) when you brush your teeth, you know what is next, is to check your budget. This idea of attaching new habits, to old ones is a concept you can read in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.
4 Ways To Develop Good Spending Habits
Where do you begin when it comes to spending habits? There are 4 ideas that are a good place to start:
Tip 1: Set Your Budget Goals and Review Them Often.
- I have this saying I say to myself often, “This is for Future Nikki.” I often think what would she want? How do I get there? These are the first questions I ask myself when I am setting goals. Think about what you really want. Do you want to be debt free? Once you are debt free, how do you want that money to work for you? Maybe you want to save up for that vacation you always dreamed of or maybe you want open an investment account and start seeing your money grow. Everyone is different on what is important to them.
- It’s ok to change your goals. Maybe you were saving up for a trip to Paris, but realized want a new car. It’s ok, to change your mind and shift to something that aligns with you now. You may be even more motivated to go after it, because your goal now resonates more with you.
Tip 2: Plan Your Sinking Funds
Sinking funds are those things that you buy, but don’t fit into monthly bills or big goals. These things can include:
- Home maintenance
- Gifts: Birthday gifts, baby shower, wedding
- Car registration
- Pet care
- Date Night
Sometimes these expenses, can catch us by surprise, when in reality, we can plan for them. It just takes a little planning ahead and setting the money aside. It can help prevent you from getting into debt and “putting it on the card.”
Tip 3: Automate
- This is a simple, yet extremely effective way to build good money habits. You should automate everything that you can! This includes your bills and investments.
- When you automate, you protect yourself from “forgetting” to pay a bill and getting a late payment penalty….which creates more debt….or at the very least is annoying.
- It might take a little planning as to what day of month you want certain bills/investments taken out of your bank account. However, if you plan according to when you are paid, everything runs smoothly. So, don’t have everything come out on the first of the month, spread things out.
Tip 4: Spend Money on Your Wellness
- This may seem like a strange one, but it’s important to prioritize your physical and mental wellness. You can’t function at your best if you are compromising your health. Everyone’s list will look different, but it is important to make this a priority. It’s like the good old analogy that on a plane, during an emergency, you need to put your mask on first before you help others put on theirs. Here are a list of ideas that fall into this category:
- A budget for the gym or yoga.
- Vitamins and/or supplements
- Meditation class
- A Retreat
- Perhaps you are still overwhelmed with doing all four good spending habits? Then just pick one good money habit above, to start with. The key is, to just start! You don’t become good at something overnight. It starts with one habit, then the next, then keeps on building and then one day, you realize how far you have come. You can do this!
- If you are still working on getting yourself out of debt, please click HERE to get my “7 Secrets to Paying off Debt” for FREE.