These Are My 3 Best Financial Habits
by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on May 25, 2021
To help manage your finances, consider adopting these habits.
Your habits can help shape your personal finances. Developing good habits can encourage you to do smart things with your money. This can help set you up for financial success.
Of course, there's a flip side to this -- bad habits can lead to financial disaster.
Like most people, I have some good habits and some bad ones. But when it comes to managing money, there are three behaviors I've adopted that go a long way toward helping me achieve my financial goals over time.
Here's what they are.
1. I check my credit score
When you sign up for utilities, get a cell phone contract, apply for a job, or get auto insurance, the company you're trying to do business with is probably going to pull your credit. That's why your credit score matters.
I check my score regularly because I don't want a low score to affect my financial life or limit my options. Checking helps me stay on top of my finances. It also helps me understand how certain things affect my score, such as paying off my mortgage or charging a lot on my credit cards.
Checking my score also helps me protect against identity theft and helps to ensure there are no mistakes on my report. If there were errors, I'd be able to correct them right away before they affect my ability to get approved for a credit card or enter into other financial transactions.
2. I pay off my credit cards in full every month
I love credit cards because of the rewards and perks they provide. But I also know that interest on credit cards can be incredibly expensive.
I don't want to waste money by making credit card companies richer. And I especially don't want to get stuck in a cycle where every paycheck I receive is already committed to paying for past purchases. As a result, I always pay off my credit card bill in full every month. In fact, I've set automated payments to make sure that happens without any action from me.
3. I live on a budget
Living on a budget is my third great financial habit, and it's one that makes many of my other decisions possible. My budget establishes what I can and can't spend on different types of purchases, as well as how much I'll save.
Because I've set a budget -- and stick to it -- I know that I'll have the money to pay off my credit card balance without owing interest. I'm able to build a good credit score by making all of my payments on time and not maxing out my cards. And I can use my money in a way that helps me achieve my life goals.
Sticking to a budget was a more difficult habit to adopt than either checking my credit regularly or paying off my cards in full. It requires me to plan my spending in advance and keep track of where my money is going.
On the other hand, checking my credit just takes a few minutes and paying my cards off requires no effort at all since my payments are automated. But the benefits, including being able to spend guilt free, have made these habits well worth sticking to.
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