If you’re looking to improve your financial health, no matter what stage of life you’re in, one easy thing to do is focus on one new habit at a time.
This is something I’ve consistently done over the years and has had an amazing compounding effect.
Here are nine financial habits you can try to incorporate into your routine.
Balance Your Checkbook Weekly
Do you balance your checkbook or do you just look at your bank balance online to get a sense of where you stand? If you do the latter that could be a big mistake – especially if you don’t have a large buffer in your checking account.
Balance your checkbook at least weekly. This will give you a true sense of how much you’re spending and on what. Not to mention you won’t accidentally overdraw your account.
Use a Cashback Website
Using a cashback website, like Top Cashback (which in my research, offers the best deals) should be a no brainer. Especially if you do a lot of shopping online.
By using a cashback website you can effortlessly earn back hundreds of dollars per year without ever having to work for it.
Consistently Declutter Your Home
Decluttering your home can be so huge for your finances in ways you’d least expect.
When you constantly declutter you are aware of the things you buy and never use. And if you’re like me you’ll find out that you’re buying more of things you already had, but were misplaced.
Create a Second Source of Income
I’m a huge proponent of not having all of your eggs in one basket. Not only does having multiple income streams protect you in the event you were to lose one of them, but sometimes those streams you least expected can become the most powerful.
Our traditional economy still isn’t stable. You need to put at least part of your income in your own hands. Develop working on a second stream of income.
Putting your investments on autopilot is one habit that’s easy to pick up. After you set it up you never have to think about it again.
Automatically investing has been a huge life saver for me.
Increase Your Savings Rate by a Percentage Each Year
Next, it’s smart to increase your savings/investing rate as your income grows. You can do this by increasing your savings in small incremental amounts – say, 1% per month or 10% per year. (Do more if you can.)
Since you’re already used to saving, it will be easy to pick up these habits and since 10-12% per year is a relatively small increase this shouldn’t be difficult to do.
Reinvest Your Dividends
If you’re investing in dividend stocks make sure that your dividends are automatically reinvested. This will help you grow your investments at a much faster pace.
Come Up with a Retirement Savings Plan
It can be hard to think about retirement – especially since it seems like it’s so far in the future for many of us. But this is something you need to be thinking about and planning for.
There are many different ways to save for retirement.
Some people choose real estate and rental properties, other max out their 401ks, and Roth IRAs each year and others do a mixture of both.
Determine how much you’re going to need in retirement
Practicing Gratitude on a Daily Basis
We’re all in different places but no matter where your financial life is right now there’s always something to be grateful for. Start a practice of gratitude and continually be thankful for what you’ve got.
I know this can sound a little new age-y or even weird to some, but practicing gratitude cultivates contentment. This can radically change your entire life – financial and beyond.
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.