The start of the year is a great time to review and revamp our financial plans, including common resolutions like “save more money” or “pay down debt”. Here are some ways to develop better money habits for 2015.
True savings happen when we deviate from our habits. You might already be doing many (or all!) of the items below, but for the rest of us, it’s a reminder good money habits are all about small actions and important changes in mindset.
10. Keep Your Budget Simple
If you’re into personal finance, it’s easy to geek out on all the apps, graphs, and financial tools available, and it’s also easy for our finances to get too complicated with lots of budget categories and subcategories. Take a more minimalist approach and sticking to a budget might be much easier. Remember, you don’t have to track every single cent to maintain good money habits.
9. Establish Passive Spending Barriers To Save More Money
A few “rules/” you create for yourself — such as using a 30-day list for your wants, paring down your stuff with the “two items out for every item in” rule, and emphasising experiences over possessions — can help keep more money in your bank account. You can also use indecision (when you can’t decide between buying two things) as a trigger to not buy anything. Once you follow your rules a few times, these might turn into a wealth-building habit.
8. Cook At Home More Often
Cooking at home not only saves you money, it’s also healthier for you. Plan your meals each week, upgrade your packed lunch, and enjoy delicious meals at home without spending a lot. Or mix money matters and meals: Organise a workplace money lunch, which is part financial support club and part lunch club.
7. Maximise Your Superannuation
If you have spare money that you can invest in superannuation, this will pay off when you retire. That’s especially important once you’ve paid off a mortgage and eliminated others debts.
6. Put Your Money On Automatic
This isn’t really a habit, but once you set up your automatic payments and savings, you’ve got time and energy to focus on the other money habits. Using automatic bill payment and savings plans, most of your finances can be taken care of like clockwork. Just remember to check in regularly to make sure everything’s going as planned. Diagram your financial network to see how all of your financial services are linked together.