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Finances. If there was ever an aspect of life that we should all pay attention to – in order to live a fulfilling lifestyle – it is our finances. I don’t say this because money buys happiness, or a rich life. Sure, it can provide you with lots of toys and the ability to travel the world, but was it really money that enabled you to do so?
Maybe it is not money that allows us to live an extraordinary life. Maybe it’s something less obvious, more indirect.
Follow me here. You can choose to go ahead and spend all of your money every month. Live paycheck to paycheck neglecting the practice of solid financial principles. After sometime this kind of financial neglect becomes habit. For those of you who have, or are currently living the paycheck to paycheck routine, you know how stressful it can be; not much room for error or flexibility.
It’s easy to sit here and advocate the practice of good financial principles. Tell you step by step what you have to do in order to put yourself on track to becoming a millionaire. There’s a wealth of information out there to help you do so. However, if you’re anything like me, breaking that paycheck to paycheck habit is a struggle. And therein lies the problem. Habits.
Habits once formed, are much more difficult to break—this can either work for you, or against you depending on what decisions you make early on.
Although habits can be the problem, they can also become the solution. As we hinted earlier, it’s the mindset, the discipline, habits built early on, that allow someone to create enough net worth to live out their most luxurious fantasies. Money, or financial wealth is just the result of strong and healthy financial habits. It’s the product of a mindset formed long before the cash started rolling in.
Habits form over time, so like saving for retirement, the earlier you start the better. Educating yourself, and practicing financial wisdom early on will develop good habits along the road to financial independence. Do not put your financial stability in jeopardy, begin building a good foundation now. The longer you wait the more you will reinforce bad behavior. Creating bad financial habits early on will cost you time, and effort in the long run. In fact, some research suggests that habits – once formed – cannot be broken.
For a basic example of how destructive bad financial habits can become, we do not need to go far. It seems that every few months or so, we see celebrities that lose a sizable fortune due to bad spending behavior. You would think that with the amount of income these individuals rake-in a year, they would be set for life. However, these cases serve to remind us how crucially important it is to build, and nurture good fundamental financial practices.
So do not wait, do not put it off till you are 30, or when you start feeling like an “adult.” Don’t put it off till tomorrow. Act now. Heck, start when you are a teenager; the earlier the better. Take your financial future by the horns and create an environment that will enable you to build strong, and healthy financial habits. Your future self will thank you.
If you haven’t already, read our post on “5 Steps to Financial Success After College.” It covers simple first steps that will put you on the right track.
Feel free to comment below. Share your thoughts, challenge our thinking, or ask us questions.
Free Financial Checklist