Good money habits are the basics for everything you want to achieve financially in your life. It is not important whether you are aiming for financial freedom, your own house or getting out of debt. At the end it all comes down to what you execute and behave on every day.
Habits are something I am really fascinated of. I read books like “Atomic Habits” or “The Power Of Habits” pretty intense trying to find what might work for me. Inspired by an Instagram-Post I decided to develop this one concerning the generel mindset into six good money habits you can turn around your financial situation.
What are good money habits?
Our day to day life is full of habits. Some are good like going for walk every day or eating the apple instead of the chocolate bar. And others are bad. But bad in that case is nothing to compare with the devil.
Most of the bad habits do not feel like it. Chocolate is the same way tasty and comfortable like sitting on the sofa and watching Netflix.
So what makes good habits good habits?
Usually we already know the answer. The same way bad habits do not feel bad good habits do not have to feel good. So do not listen to your gut which habits might be good or not. He will always tell you what feels comfortable.
Good habits are those who will put you in a better place. Going for a walk daily or a run three times a week won’t make you fit as hell – but executing it you months and years it will have a huge impact on your health. The same is valid for your money habits. You good money habits will make sure you re working on your financial wellbeing.
Therefore, let’s dive into those 6 good money habits and find out, how to improve on them.
#1 SEEK CLARITY
You have to know you target clearly. “I want to lose weight” is the same crap as “I want to get rich”. Make your target measureable. Make it a number.
You do not want to “save money each month”. Make it a number. Like 10% of your income or 200EUR from you salary. You can check the goal if you saved the exact amount. And you cannot check the box, when it is 9,8% or 195EUR.
Clarity shortterm and longterm
Clarity is something you need for your longterm goals as well as your daily goals. When you want to become a longterm millioniare it is legit to ask yourself every day what action you have to take to hit your goal. You won’t become a millionaire by saving 10% from your income.
Average people “save money”. But that is not what it meant with good money habits. Therefore aim first of all at the upper 10%….than upper 1% and than upper 0,1%. No mater what numbers are necessary to hit – it is your goal!
Draw your vision of the endresult
There are so many posts on social media showing you “If you bought Tesla or Bitcoin or Netflix or you-name-it 15 years ago, you would now be wealthy by the amount of x”.
Draw your vision. Break down you vision into yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Coming back to the millionaire – the S&P500 has a annual interest yield of 10,5% since 1957. Breaking this numbers down in a period of 20 years, you monthly goal is to save and invest at least 1.225EUR. Sounds different to one million, right?
Answer yourself the following question to seek clartiy:
- How do I describe my ideal goal?
- What does it means for monthly/weekly/daily?
- What skills do I need to hit that daily goal?
#2 GENERATE ENERGY
Now that you have found out, what you are aiming for, people usually hurry up. And than they lose contact and quit.
To be honest, I am the best example. It took me months and years – and I am still working on it – to stay on track with my goals. There is a great quote from Henry Ford, which sums it all up:
If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done, You’ll Always Get What You’ve Always Got
The moment you decide to aim for a new financial goal, you need to work on yourself. Just imagine an engine in a car – how should it improve its power without doing anything? There are several and different ways on how to change, but without changing yourself, you won’t be able to change the outcome.
Understand how to influence your own performance
Your body is your “engine”; your brain is your “control device” and your time is your path. The longer and more intense you get there things together in the right direction, the faster you will be able to reach your goal.
You do not know how? Improve your body, improve your finances and make the processes smart. Save as much time as possible from so called distractions – which leads to the next point.
#3 RAISE NECESSITY
Making good money habits a necessity avoids financial failures in the future. But the word “necessity” is fundamentally important. Necessity means, that you relentlessly work on your goal.
It is like the piece of chocolate during your diet. Or the only single beer which is offered to you during your preparation for a race. The more important you handle your own goals and everything that is related to it, the easier it gets to stay on track.
Discipline versus necessity
Several people would name it “discipline”. And it probably is some kind of discipline. But while discipline is something like a special action, necessetiy is more from your inner soul. Do you only want to save those 10% OR do you make it necessary to save at least 10%+ EVERY DAMN MONTH in the future?
It is like making a decision now influencing your whole future until you hit the goal.
A habit is a decision which is made once. And from then on you never have to ask yourself the question again. There is no daily “shall I or skip it?” – the decision has already been made. Today is just executing on it.
Don’t question it every day – you made the decision
That is exactly the point a lot of people struggle with – including me. Reminding yourself you already made the decision and now it is time to work on it.
Raising the necessity means putting them on top of your priority list. There is no way they could be pushed down from there, as long as you do not allow it. Therefore it is your job to lift those things up and keep them on the table – EVERY DAY.
#4 INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
Whomever you follow in our society, you will always see one thing: GROWTH! There are two ways to grow and improve:
- you max out what you have or
- you increase what you have.
As we are all dependend from the same 24 hours of each day it is our task to max out the day. I do not recommend working 24 hours a day. But think about maxing out your working time. Again I would like to take myself as an example, as I made the experience some time ago.
Find out, what your performance is like
I am working as a SEO copy writer. Therefore your need to first get a topic pretty fast and second write down your text as well pretty fast. So I started working on it. First I tried to do some speed reading. While my performance was about 200 words per minute before, it was about 680 WpM in my last exercise – with the same level of understanding.
Secondly I wrote short texts under pressure. Nothing I would send to a client of mine, but just to improve. 10fastfingers is fun to do. I practiced it several times a day for 10 minutes. And I was able to improve my writte words per minute from about 65 to over 100.
Train you skills – you are never done
Adding this up I was able to increase my performance in reading by x3,5 and in writing by 1,5x. Depending on how much time I had to use in these areas I was able to work more productive within the same timeframe.
Is this already the end? Technically reading and writing is somehow limited. The next level of improvement for me was to work with speech-to-text. There is no end level. But get shit done before improving all the time.
#5 DEVELOP INFLUENCE
That is a critical point from my point of view. Looking at any society, there will be always an average. In my eyes it is okay to talk about average. By developing influence I mean to raise the average bar. So when a society saves about 10% from their monthly salary, try to make it 11%.
As society is quite a big group, try to start with those around you who are interested. You should not be the priest or teacher to tell them what to do. Just only offer your help to improve their performance.
Inspire without teaching
It sounds a little bit like a personal trainer, which is not what I am talking about. Let me give you an example: A friend of mine always admired me for saving from income. He said he would never be able to do so. I challenged him and we started saving together into one account.
This is now about five years ago. And while we started saving 5% from his income (and I put the same amount into the savings account), we are through several increases meanwhile at about 9%. Of course, this is not a huge thing or a amazing impact.
Would he have been able to save without me? Probably not. So this is my kind of very little impact I am trying to have on others and sharing my knowledge.
Wherever you are good at – share it with those, who are open to it. Think about my Income Reports – it is a kind of journaling for me, but it shows others what is possible also with very little money.
#6 DEMONSTRATE COURAGE
Do you think a lot of money, fame or whatever will make you not having problems? Billionaires, millionaires and average people always have problems. Maybe not the same, but still problems and challenges in life, which they have to overcome.
There is a famous quote, which says:
“You are the average of those five people around you”
I am absolutely convinced that this is correct. And it is something you can influence. Contact and share time with those people who you want to become. They will automatically lift you up. Those people behave “normal”, while it is something for you to learn and level up on.
Watch and be sure of being watched
Be the same for others. While we usually have an inner circle of those five people, you can still be the inner circle for someelse. You are looking for the accompany from five people and still be someone for others to look up.
Imagine working in the office. You are trying to level up in the company having an intense work spirit. Maybe you changed a bit. Maybe you increase your productivity.
And people around you recognize, that you are having first successes with this work ethic. Now they try copy your behaviour and improve their own performance.
Be the inspiring example
As a passionated runner I am always willing to do my workout. I do not care whether it is sunny or raining. To be honest, this is no big deal. But showing others how to oversome smaller and bigger challenges and stay on your goals inspires them.
Everytime you are willing to quit something, ask yourself: “Is my behaviour inspiring?” It is maybe only little things, but you are always watched and there is someone out there taking you as his personal idol. Be this idol and try to show how it is done!
Find out about your good money habits
What is it, what makes you special about money? Is your savings rate far above average? Are you increasing it every year or month?
Be open about talking with others. This does not include to share your wealth with others. Are you able to remember why you were interested in the field of finances?
I always wanted to be wealthy. Since my early days in the kindergarden. There have been several touching points with money and finances before, but then somebody came around to show me how to generate a solid investment strategy. Without being the often shown trader who loses his family and invests every minute into the topic.
When I first caught fire on that I read a lot, heard a lot and searched the internet for it on myself.
The moment you are able to light up others, you are having an impact. It is not necessary to go into detail with them. From my personal view it is just to create the moment when the lighter creates the flame. The rest will come on itself – or not. That does not nevessarily have to be your work.
Beat yesterday and level up
There will not always be people present in your life to lift you up. Create growth means to follow people and translate their behaviour into you own steps to take. Probably no one in the world is there to create your wealth – except you.
Try to be your own coach.
I do not know whether it is commonly working, but I experienced a good way by asking myself every time whether this action now moves me closer to my goal. Some people created a future self by defining how they look, what they have, etc.
Until today I was not able to do it that way. But this future me exist as a shadow in my head anwering my questions always by giving me a direction. This helps me to climb up after I struggled. But it also helps me to step up on the next level.
James Clear writes ins “Atomic Habits” that growing by only 1% per day, will make you increase by x37 per year. Focus on your result yesterday and try to improve the outcome by only 1% today. That is the focus – nothing more and nothing less. Winning the days will level you up automatically.