10 Important Tips On How To Build Better Money Habits

We all work hard to earn a living and provide for ourselves and our families. However, no one is perfect, especially when it comes to managing finances. 

It’s important to remember that there are ways you can improve your financial well-being.

In this blog we will discuss 10 important tips on how to build better money habits that will give you a clear path toward financial success.

How To Build Better Money Habits?

1. Build a monthly budget

One of the first steps to building better money habits is to create a monthly budget and follow it every month. There’s a wide range of budgeting plans, including the zero-based budget and envelope budget, so you can choose the one that suits you best.

You can also use budgeting software  such as Mint, Every Dollar, or You Need A Budget (YNAB) to streamline and automate parts of the process.

The key is to follow the budget as closely as possible. If you stray from the budget, don’t give up.  Don’t worry about the mistake, just learn from it and follow your budget for the rest of the month.

2. Crush your high-interest debt

Debt can be a big drag on your financial goals, especially high-interest debt, like credit card debt. Build better money habits by paying off this debt as quickly as your budget will allow. 

If you’re planning on paying off your debt using the debt avalanche method or the debt snowball method, it’s imperative that you start as soon as possible.

You can further streamline your debt repayment by using a debt consolidation loan or a lower-interest line of credit, which can help you lower your interest rate and reduce your number of monthly payments.

3. Get a good credit score

A good or excellent credit score can open many financial doors for you, including the ability to become a homeowner via a low-interest mortgage. This can help you on your way toward building net worth, which we will get to later.

Another advantage of having a mortgage is that it’s one of the best debts you can have because the value of your home will likely rise as the loan value falls, steadily increasing your wealth. And when it’s time to retire, you have a valuable asset you can either live in or sell and downsize, using the proceeds to further pad your retirement savings.

4. Save for an emergency

Emergency savings is a great way to build better money habits, as it keeps you from falling deeper into debt if an unexpected financial burden strikes.  The ability to cover three to six months of expenses will help you in unexpected situations such as job loss, auto repair, home repair, or medical expenses.

By automating the process, you can keep yourself on track with your savings. Saving money can be made easier with automatic bank transfers.

You can keep your savings in an interest-bearing bank account that is still easily accessible, like a high-yield savings account. By doing this, it can grow when it isn’t needed, while still remaining liquid when it is needed.

5. Boost your student loan payments

While federal student loans are generally a low-interest debt, they can be a decade-long drag on your finances. You can eliminate this burden as soon as possible by making extra payments on your loans. You can either allocate more money per month to them or begin a biweekly payment plan.

When you pay biweekly on your student loans, you end up making a total of 13 payments per year. That 13th payment will go 100% toward your principal balance, helping reduce the loan balance more quickly.

6. Monitor your net worth

Net worth is an indicator of your financial health. It is your total assets minus all your liabilities, such as debt. With a positive net worth, you have more value in your assets than you owe in debt, which means you’re managing your finances well.

By monitoring your net worth, you can take action if you see it dropping. If it goes down or becomes negative, you can adjust your spending to reduce your debt and bring your net worth back up.

7. Focus on you, not the Joneses

It is easy to want to keep up with the Joneses. Your neighbor buys a fancy new car, and you suddenly get the urge to do the same. This is a normal feeling, so it’s important to be aware and try not to fall victim to it. 

There’s a good chance your neighbor financed that vehicle and is stuck making monthly payments for the next five years, while your paid-off vehicle works just fine.

Focusing only on your needs and not the actions of others can help prevent you from falling into bad financial habits, like accumulating debt.

8. Make time for finances

Like physical fitness, financial fitness requires regular work. Set aside some time each week to review your finances. Ideally, you can spend an hour per week, but any amount of time will be helpful. The tasks may include entering and categorizing transactions in your budget, reviewing spending habits, tracking your savings, reviewing your credit report and more.

That one hour per week not only keeps your finances in order, but it can also help you spot and fix issues before they become larger financial problems.

9. Set up your retirement accounts

Tax-advantaged retirement accounts, like 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), can help you enjoy a comfortable retirement life. Setting up those accounts now and funding them with whatever your budget allows will put you on the path toward future financial freedom. Even if you can only invest 1% of your salary now, that is a good starting point.

As you get raises and bonuses, you can funnel those directly into your retirement accounts, letting you pad your future nest egg without impacting your quality of life today. For example, if you currently invest 1% of your salary and you get a 3% raise, you can increase your retirement contributions by that 3% raise.

This will mean you now save 4% of your salary and maintain the same standard of living. You can continue these increases every time you get extra money until you’ve maxed out your contribution limits. If needed, you can then move to other non-tax-advantaged retirement accounts, like a brokerage account.

10. Enhance your financial education

By becoming a student of personal finances, you can stay on top of your financial know-how and possibly improve your financial future. This might include regularly reading personal finance blogs or listening to finance podcasts.

Start better money habits for your financial future

By building better financial habits, you can steadily improve your financial situation and set yourself up for future success. These Tips On How To Build Better Money Habits will put you on the right path. 

To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 to $300.

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