If you want to make long-term changes to your money habits, it’s hard. Because, in the end, it’s not a few grand sweeping decisions you’ll make. It’s ordinary, day-to-day decisions that lead to success.
Here are a few suggestions to make those mundane decisions support your new money habits.
Automate when you can
Never spend more time on financial activities than you need to. Routine bills should be automatically paid. Automate transfers to savings, so you’re not fiddling with it. Save your mental energy for planning and accomplishing beneficial changes.
Have a plan
Implementing new money habits is harder if you’re trying to ‘wing it.’ Having a plan takes away some of the decision fatigue. Asking yourself, “should I spend my money on this?” leads to complex thought patterns and decision trees. Asking “does this fit with my new financial plan?” is a shorter conversation with yourself, and it reinforces commitment to your plan.
Step by Step
Getting to where you want to be financially will likely require a fair amount of changes. Don’t do them all at once. Make adjustments in stages. Get comfortable with the new before adding or subtracting more.
Have a constructive, frank talk with yourself – on paper – about your progress. Put down a few words about that day’s financial activities. Take note of wins and losses. I like to score myself, but that’s probably not a good idea. I’m likely working against myself. So don’t do that.
To sum up, changing your money habits is a grueling daily grind towards a new you. But the tips above make it moderately less exhausting.