Personal finance DIY – 7 successful habits of the financially independent
A habit is something that is customary for you to practice – we all have them. Some of them are good, some of them are irritating and some of them are just downright dangerous. However, just like breaking a bad habit can take a bit of effort, creating new ones take an equal amount of effort. However, creating habits that lead to success can be worth the effort and provide you with years of benefit. Here are seven of the best habits for you to develop.
- Take charge of your life. No one is going to just give you money, it’s not going to fall out of the sky. You’ve got to work for it, and if you want your investments to look after you in the future, they have to work hard as well. You need to plan your finances, make the hard decisions and live with them.
- Be responsible for your decisions. Those once every now and then expenses, such as a car break down or a new washing machine, are going to pop up every single year – something is always going to break. It’s not an excuse for not reaching your goals, it’s lack of planning. Knowing this and owning the problem is an important habit to develop. Once you realise you’re the only one that can fix it, you can fix it. Further to this, it also means that you own your successes as well – which is very rewarding.
- Prioritise what you do with your money. There is only so much money in the world, and most likely, only so much in your bank account. You can’t have it all (even those that appear to have it all, are likely to want more). You have to prioritise what is most important to you. Obviously survival is important but once you’re past keeping a roof over your head and food on the table, the rest is up to you. Do you want to have fun? Is it more important than saving for something later? A big trip? A first property? There are times when you have to balance the now and the future and it’s important to develop this habit and understand the importance of that balance.
- Educate yourself. The more you know, the more you can do. Also, the more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feeling in doing. Fear holds us back a lot, and while it’s not possible to eradicate all fear, learning and understanding what you’re doing is going to go a long way. Learning more will make you more aware of your options and help you to make better decisions. However, be careful about analysis-paralysis. Thinking things through is important, however don’t allow the process of thinking things through stop you from actually making a decision.
- Get a good team around you. A builder is never going to build the entire house by themselves, they will have other tradespeople help out with areas of speciality. Your finances are the same. A good banker or mortgage broker is imperative. A good lawyer, a good financial planner and a good accountant will round out the team. Lean on their expertise as much and as often as you think appropriate providing they are adding value to your life and your finances. Understand that they know their trade better than you do (or should, that’s why you need to find a good team, not an average one) and they can offer your ideas, opportunities or advantages that will help you get ahead. Let asking for help become a habit so that the brains of others are a mere extension of your own.
- Be bold. Most people live their lives within the bounds of what they believe is possible. Learn to think outside of of these boundaries. We get into the habit of thinking things are not possible, that we can’t save enough, that mortgages take 30 years to pay off – learn more, work harder, make well informed decisions, step by step, dollar by dollar you’ll get there.
- Think long term. Good things come to those that wait and good things take time. You’ve read about that investor that only invested a few million and turned it into a billion dollars? Chances are, they took a long term, and a lot of hard work to get the few million in the first place. Overnight success? Definitely – with about 20 years of preplanning and hard work to make it happen. Fast returns are just that – fast. They are fast to come, and fast to go. Learn to think long term, it will help you to see the right long term and successful path.
Whether financial success means retiring early or securing your estate for future generations, or even paying off your home sooner, we can help. Contact Financial Spectrum to arrange your FREE meeting. You really have nothing to lose.
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