The 10 Best Things You’re Already Doing With Your Finances

Posted on March 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

We know, we know — at LearnVest, we tell you a lot of things you should do, like:

  • Save for retirement
  • Pay off any debt you have
  • Reevaluate your budget (because you already have a budget, right?)
  • Stress out about all the aforementioned to-dos

We tell you because they’re all good for you, financially speaking… well, all but that last one.

But sometimes, with all the worrying we do, it’s easy to forget to take a time out and give ourselves a pat on the back. And we bet there are already a lot of things you’re doing exactly right with your money.

Read on to find out how many of these 10 excellent financial habits you’ve already adopted, then sit back and feel super-proud of yourself.

1. You Always Shop on Sale
According to industry research, 62 percent of U.S. consumers say they rarely pay full price for clothing. So it sounds like you already know the art of scoring the best deal possible (just don’t let yourself get suckered in by the secret ways stores seduce us into buying). Keep up the good work!

2. You’re Creative About Cutting Your Costs
And, we know this one is true! Time after time, LearnVest members have told us stories about their innovative ways to save, from clipping coupons, to DIYing just about everything. You understand the value of a dollar… and get that even nickels can add up. For a creative way to save your spare change, check out our five dollar jar idea. And for crafty do-it-yourself tips for everything from homemade sorbet to hand-mixed hair conditioner, check this out.

3. You’re Resilient
In one study, people were grouped into “resilient” and “overwhelmed” personalities: When faced with adversity, the overwhelmed group felt like the situation ganged up on them and there was nothing to be done. When faced with similar circumstances, the resilient group’s instinct was to pick back up and start over. Upon examining these traits from an emotional perspective, researchers found that those who were resilient had higher levels of wealth.

4. You Give a Damn
In the same study of personality traits and wealth, people who are too distracted to even deal with their finances were statistically shown to do a worse job of managing their money (which is pretty intuitive). For that reason, the fact that you’re on LearnVest and reading this story means that you care about your financial future, and that simple caring puts you ahead of the curve.

5. You Have a Budget
Whether or not you occasionally give in to impulse buying, you’re ahead of the game for simply having a budget. Knowing how much you have to spend each month, and how much your basic expenses cost, is the single best way to not go overboard. Your budget could take the form of a basic ledger… or a custom breakdown courtesy of the LearnVest My Money Center, which pulls in data from all of your accounts to show your spending, saving and investments in one place.

6. You Don’t Hide From the Future
Since the recession, 80 percent of people are showing more caution with their finances than they used to, including saving more and investing for retirement. That’s good news, because studies have shown that people who have backup plans — which can be as simple as building up your fund — tend to have a higher degree of wealth in general.

7. You Go to the Gym
In one study, women who were fit (OK, let’s say it: thin) made as much as $16,000 more per year than the norm. But, before you go on a flash diet, know that you don’t need to be supermodel skinny to reap these financial rewards! Simply working out may do the trick: Runners and serious athletes are better money managers because they cultivate mental traits that help them maintain focus. For some tips on cultivating those mental traits without being a total gym rat, check this out.

8. You’re Confident in Yourself
Those who aren’t swayed by the crowd are better at taking control of their finances. That’s because friends and family can often steer you astray. In fact, they can affect everything from whether you buy that sweater you don’t really need (meet “The Enabler — and seven other types of friends who are bad for your finances”) to whether you make a bad investment. See how the concept of “social proof” can actively hurt your portfolio.

9. You Save Your Change
You understand that little things add up over time, and every day you make money decisions that will help you in the long run. For example, instead of letting your change pile up, you’re actually putting it somewhere you won’t lose it — and that adds up. Collecting just 25 cents a day would add up to nearly $100 after a year!

10. You Pay Your Bills on Time
One of the most basic — and most powerful — ways to stay on top of your spending is to simply pay all your bills on time (and in full, wherever possible). Avoiding just a few bills now and again will cost you in interest payments. And that doesn’t even mention the hit your credit score will take for missing payments. For a sense of just how important your credit score is, and how much money you can save by having a good one, play with our interactive tool.

Ready to take the next step in your financial life? Make the leap from what you are doing to where you want to be by seeing all your spending in one place with the LearnVest My Money Center.

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