The title hooked you, didn’t it? Take note that I did not say, “and have it all at the same time.” So, just simply remove that notion from your mind, effective immediately, LOL. All jokes aside, I wanted to write a blog post about how using certain habits and having a specific mindset have helped me to take full control over money, allowing me to enjoy the things in life I have always wanted. The gist is that you can have everything you want, but there are no shortcuts or quick fixes. And to be honest, 90% of it is really changing your perspective on the way you spend and save money (I will delve more into that in a separate blog post). Cue the song, Money Good by Megan Thee Stallion.
Here are the five habits in no particular order:
Habit #1 – Don’t buy everything you want at one time.
When it comes to big purchases (this will be different for everyone), I focus on one thing at a time per month or check. For example, you may want to overhaul your gym wardrobe but also need to book a trip soon. Figure out what the priority is, exercise patience, and spend accordingly. You will quickly realize that most of the things you want, don’t need to happen right away. This mindset will help you stick to any financial goals you’ve set, while still getting whatever it is you want. For example, we are planning to move in a month, so financially that is my main focus. However, there are other things that I want, so I am setting aside money for those things too, which brings us to the next habit.
Habit #2 – Save, then put it on credit.
I am not a big handbag person, but I have been crushing on this particular DeMellier London handbag (a fave brand of dutchess Meghan Markle). The brand is woman-owned plus with each bag sold, a set of lifesaving vaccines is given to a child in need. It ain’t cheap. So, instead of buying the bag outright, I decided to set aside ⅓ of the cost of the bag from each check. Once I have saved the total cost, I can buy the bag. But, instead of paying cash for the bag, I’ll buy it with my credit card. Why would I do this? So I can get the travel miles on my credit card (my husband and I love to travel). The crucial part here is to then pay my credit card in full with the cash I have saved. That way I get the points from using my credit card, but I have not created any debt for myself. Booyah!
Habit #3 – Always be setting goals.
I am not a natural saver, but I am a goal hitter. So it’s important for me to have financial goals–big or small–to keep me on track and engaged, so I don’t just spend until the cows come home. It also helps to have your goals listed on your budget sheet so every time you go to pay your bills, you are reminded of them.
Habit #4 – Sit on it for a minute.
Stay away from impulse buys. This is a really hard one…especially when I’m at Target. I literally bought a body oil that I didn’t even need and was mad at myself when I got home. It’s better for me if I Pin the item I want to buy, and give it a while to make sure it’s something I really want or need. I would say I usually get rid of 50% of the stuff on my “Add to Cart” Pinterest board. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before making an impulse buy:
How bad you do I want it?
How will it enhance my life?
Does it interfere with my long-term goals?
Am I just buying this because I saw it on IG or a blog?
Habit #5 – Don’t worry about the little things.
Get that latte (or matcha) girl! Buy that $20 lipstick. These simple pleasures will not interfere with or derail your financial goals. Now, if you buy these things in excess, they will, which brings us back to habit #1.
That’s it! These are the five habits that have helped me along my financial journey, especially after paying off my student loans. What money habit has stayed with you? Please let me know in the comments.