5 Financial Habits that changed my life

Building good Financial habits is crucial for lasting financial success. Discover practical tips and effective strategies to manage your finances wisely and create a secure financial future.

When you feel the itch to swap out those familiar old habits for something fresh, these strategies might just be the key to unlocking your path to prosperity. If the constant struggle to save money has you feeling frustrated and anxious about your financial journey, perhaps it’s the perfect moment to embrace some new habits. These five could be real game-changers:

1. Pay yourself first 

In an ideal world, we would have been taught the art of saving, an act of kindness towards our future selves, from a young age. Someone would have instilled in us the importance of investing during our early gigs like babysitting or paper routes.

But reality hit differently for most of us. Instead of learning to save, we became experts in bill payments. The more we earned, the more financial responsibilities we shouldered. Unfortunately, this left us with limited resources to build a robust savings account or make smart investments.

What we missed out on was the lesson of prioritizing savings and paying ourselves first. Even if you’ve been stuck in the cycle of just paying bills for years, it’s time for a budget makeover. Find a way to set aside a portion of your earnings—whether it’s for unforeseen circumstances or a specific goal like a vacation, education, or retirement.

You don’t have to make drastic changes. If the idea of saving seems daunting, start with small steps. Every bit counts, especially since the interest on your savings grows over time. Let’s say you identify $100 per month to invest in a no-minimum IRA. In 30 years, at an 8% interest rate, that $100 a month could blossom into nearly $137,000. And that’s with just $100 per month. Imagine the potential if you started investing more and allowed interest to work its magic on your earnings.

2. Dance to the Beat of Your Own Drum

Some might believe that wealth is all about living a glamorous life, starring in your own reality show, or amassing millions of followers on Instagram. However, financial planner Tom Corley discovered a different truth after five years of researching the habits of the wealthy. Surprisingly, many of them share a common trait: they live below their means.

In his book, “Rich Habits,” Corley introduces the concept of “saver-investors”—individuals with modest incomes who prioritize their finances, faithfully saving despite not indulging in the latest fashions or trendiest cars. Their focus is on financial security, not on keeping up with others for validation. You exude confidence in making sound financial choices, regardless of what the rest of the world is up to.

3. Calculate costs in terms of life

Imagine this scenario: Your friends invite you to a concert, and the ticket costs $125. You make $25 per hour, which translates to about $18 after taxes. In other words, you’d have to dedicate almost seven hours of your time working to cover the ticket expense. Before making a purchase, consider how many hours of your life you’re willing to trade for it. Calculating costs in terms of the time you invest is a quick and simple way to figure out what truly matters to you.

4. Set goals

Setting realistic goals is a game-changer in staying focused. Picture what you’re striving for. For instance, if your aim is to spend six months in South America mastering Spanish, here’s how you can make it happen:

  1. Put your goal on paper, like stating, “I want to spend six months in Guatemala, immersing myself in the culture and becoming fluent in Spanish by the time I return home.”

  2. Break it down into manageable steps, such as:

    • Determine the cost of six months in Guatemala.
    • Calculate the time needed to save that money and the monthly savings goal.
    • Start learning basic Spanish while saving.
    • Check and prepare your passport, and explore travel rewards credit card options.
    • Stay updated on travel advisories from the State Department.
    • Plan your belongings and outline the places you want to explore.
    • Share your itinerary with your family.
    • Schedule regular calls and email updates with family and friends.
  3. Keep pushing forward, even if some steps take longer than expected. This approach isn’t limited to travel—it works for saving and investing too. Break your goals into small, achievable actions. If you encounter setbacks, don’t throw in the towel. Keep moving forward and charge ahead.

5. Break Free from the Notion that Wealth is Reserved for the Lucky

It’s tempting to think that only the lucky strike it rich. However, as Rich Habits reveals, wealth isn’t solely about your income—it’s about consistently contributing to your financial well-being. Your determination, ability to live within your means, and commitment to saving and investing outweigh luck every time.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a habit involves “regular tendencies or practices,” with emphasis on “regular.” Wealth-building financial habits are within reach, and the key is to integrate them regularly into your life.


Money can be unpredictable. Make sure you’re in control, using it to your advantage, not the other way around.

DigitalTrunck (Author)

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