13 Good Financial Habits to Start Cultivating Right NOW

Written by on February 1, 2016 in Economy with 3 Comments


By Ava | The Talko

It can often seem like you’re never quite where you want to be financially, no matter how hard you try. Sure, you have grand plans of saving huge chunks out of every paycheck, never splurging on anything ridiculous, and basically just making 100% responsible decisions. However, let’s be honest – what kind of life doesn’t include a bit of ridiculousness every now and then? If you’re constantly making yourself miserable denying yourself everything you want, from a $5.00 latte to an inexpensive dress, then you’re doing something wrong.

Related Article: 100 Great Ways to Start Saving Money (Even If You’re Currently Struggling Financially)

Resolutions involving finances are probably the second most common resolution that people make, after the resolution to lose those last few pounds, start eating healthier, and get in better shape. However, it can be easy to feel discouraged a few weeks into the year when you find yourself reverting back to old habits.

Instead of totally giving up, maybe it’s time to change your mindset a bit. You see, it’s not always about making perfect decisions 100% of the time. Instead, it’s about cultivating certain habits that will help you get to where you need to be financially without having to get down on yourself for a little splurge here and there.

Here are 13 financial habits you should cultivate in 2016 to make this year your best ever.

1) Create a budget

Okay, yeah – budgets aren’t exactly the sexiest thing in the world. However, if you have certain financial goals that you want to achieve, they’re basically a non-negotiable. You need a budget. Now, while it might seem tedious, it actually doesn’t take long to make one. First, you just jot down all the financial constants in your life – the amount that you’re making every month, and the amount that you absolutely need to be spending on things like rent, car payments, bills, etc. Then, look at what’s leftover and divide it up between things that are a bit more flexible – your entertainment money, groceries, shopping, etc. The beauty of it is that you make it work for yourself – so if you’d rather be a bit more economical with your grocery budget in order to

2) Now, create a realistic budget

Okay, okay – I know it’s tough enough to start creating a budget if you’ve never done it before, but take a moment to sit back and think. Sure, you might have drafted a phenomenal budget that has you saving a huge chunk of money every month. However… is your grocery bill really going to be that low unless you’re eating nothing but rice and beans? Are you going to be able to say no to your friends every single time they want to do something because your fun and entertainment budget is a strict $0.00. If you have really pressing goals that require you to buckle down and focus on nothing but saving, that’s totally fine. However, try to be realistic about your budget – that way you won’t feel guilty when you find it tough to keep your self-imposed regime.

3) Check things out regularly

We’re not saying that you need to be obsessively tracking every penny that’s entering and leaving your accounts, or calling up the bank every week to get an update. However, make it a habit to keep an eye on things – that way you won’t end up with the dreaded moment of checking your bank account after a month or two and realizing that you have way, way less than you thought. Thanks to technology, it doesn’t take long – download a finance tool like Mint or You Need A Budget, or even just download the app for whatever bank you do the majority of your banking with. Schedule ten minutes once a week to go through the week’s finances, and either see where you might be going wrong and quickly correct it, or give yourself a little pat on the back for kicking butt that week.

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4) Make things easy for yourself

Very few of us have just one card for all our banking needs. From your trusty debit card to the credit card that gets you the best rewards, to that other card you have from way back when… things can end up a little crazy if you don’t monitor them carefully. There are hidden fees, and deadlines for payments, and you can find yourself getting bogged down just trying to manage all your accounts. If at all possible, try to consolidate everything into one account. That way, it’s far, far easier to get a quick overview of how things are going, and you’re less likely to miss anything important.

5) Set up an automatic transfer to your savings

Everyone has heard the saying pay yourself first, but many tend to ignore it. After all, once you’ve made all the necessary payments towards bills, loans, and everything else in your life, it can be tough to take away a huge chunk of what’s left just to transfer it to your savings. Visions of girls’ dinners out and fabulous shoes might start to fill your head as you imagine what you could buy with that little bit extra at the end of each month. Don’t torture yourself with that kind of temptation – set up an automatic transfer that moves some of each paycheck into a savings account. If your budget is incredibly tight and you can only manage $20.00 each paycheck, that’s still something! Just automate it to make sure that you don’t talk yourself out of saving.

Related Article: 3 Key Steps You Need to Take to Get Rid of Your Family’s Financial Fears

6) Pay off your debt

Let’s be honest – nobody likes to be in debt. It’s just another bill to funnel money towards every month, and it can also be the source of a lot of anxiety. So, make it a habit to start addressing your debt, if you have it. After all, it does absolutely no good to just pay the minimum month after month – you end up getting nowhere. If you have a big car loan, or perhaps most common, a student loan, there’s a good chance that you won’t get out of debt within a single year. However, make a plan so that you can see an end in sight – it’ll make it that much easier to put some of your hard earned money towards paying it if you realize that it’ll be over in a few years.


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3 Reader Comments

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  1. 633138233456417@facebook.com' Bryan Weaver says:

    Every time you get paid, take 10% of your gross pay and save it and never, ever spend it.

  2. 955711367824264@facebook.com' Jose Klatter says:

    Don’t crave anything. Quit having desires. Money is not the root of all evil, it only brings out the bad or good in people.

  3. 10153878442302801@facebook.com' Drew Goodall says:

    a good financial habit would be understanding the financial system is a slave mechanism – conscious – life – “news”

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