Making money is a topic that’s on everyone's mind a lot of the time. Almost everyone wishes they could have more money. The problem is that making money is not nearly as easy as it should be.
Here are 9 simple habits that will help you increase your net worth. All it takes is a little consistency.
1. Spend Less Than You Earn
This is the simplest habit, yet somehow the one that most people don’t do. The average American carries $51,900 of debt. It’s impossible to get into debt in the first place if you always spend less than you earn.
2. Pay Yourself First
Put 10% of every paycheck into an investment account before you pay a single bill. As crazy as it sounds, you won’t even notice the money is gone after a while. After all, Social Security and Medicare take 12.4% out of every paycheck, and you probably don’t even notice.
If you invest right, that 10% will compound into a huge nest egg over the course of your working life.
3. Automate Your Bills
Automating your recurring bills is great for two reasons.
- Eliminates the risk of missing a payment
- Doesn’t require any effort on your part
Missed payments often lead to penalties, which are a complete waste of money. It is also important to make financial decisions as effortless as possible. There will be many financial decisions that require time and attention. Don’t waste your mental energy on simple things like paying recurring bills.
4. Have a Budget
Your budget does not have to be particularly detailed. But, it should exist. The reason budgets are important is that it tells you where your money is going. That way, if you are not happy with your current financial situation, you know exactly where you need to make adjustments.
5. Emergency Fund
Life sometimes sucks. Emergencies happen. It is important to have an emergency fund in place for when they do. The last thing you want is an emergency to push you into debt. Most experts recommend between 3–6 months of expenses. However, some people recommend up to 8 months.
6. Wait Three Days Before Buying
Impulse buys are one of the biggest things holding people back from financial success. If you have the money and something makes you happy, go ahead and buy it. Just avoid buying things in the heat of the moment that sits unused for decades.
A good way to avoid wasting money on impulse purchases is to wait three days. If the purchase is over $100, just wait. If you still want it in three days, go for it. If not, you just saved yourself some money.
7. Comparision Shop
In the old days, you used to have to travel from store to store to make sure you are getting a good price. Online shopping has made comparison-shopping much easier. Today all it takes is a quick Google search to see whether you can find the same product for cheaper.
8. Pack a Lunch
Eating out is convenient. Unfortunately, it is also expensive. Eating out too often is one of the biggest holes in most people’s budgets. Simply packing a lunch from home a couple of times a week will save you big over time. For example, saving $10 on lunch once a week is $520 after a year and $15,600 over a 30-year career.
9. Pay in Cash
Paying in cash is a great way to stay out of credit card debt. You can’t get into debt if you only ever spend cash. You also tend to spend less overall when you pay in cash.
The path to financial success is a long and winding road. There is no single article that will give you all the tools to get you there. However, the 9 habits listed above are a great start.