4 Habits You Must Adopt to Win with Money

February 7, 2017

4 Habits You Must Adopt to Win with Money

It’s no secret that if you’re looking to win with money, you need to make some changes to what you are currently doing. Otherwise, you will remain exactly where you are.

Knowing and doing are two different things, though, and when it comes to change, the doing is hard. It’s difficult to break away from familiar and comfortable behaviors — even if they impact us negatively. Those negative behaviors have become habits, and we all know habits are hard to break.

That’s why adopting new habits and swapping them in for some of your current behaviors is essential if you want to win with money. There are many to consider, but we’ll look at four. These habits can also be referred to as attitudes or characteristics, but I’m calling them habits because they need to be practiced and exercised over and over until demonstrating them becomes routine.

Here are four habits you must adopt to win with money.

Contentment

I talk a lot about contentment because I think it’s a factor that affects our finances so deeply. Whether or not you practice the habit of contentment determines your outlook of where you are financially and where you are headed next.

When contentment is absent, you can easily make decisions that harm you financially. My own lack of contentment is what led me to pile on over $74,000 of debt. Finding contentment is what allowed me to pay it off and make a life of debt a thing of the past.

Contentment is not to be confused with complacency. I think sometimes, people hear the word contentment and equate it with settling. The opposite is true. Contentment does not mean “just be happy with what you have.” No, it means you can (and should) still work on your goals and aim for where you want to be, but you’re doing that while recognizing, acknowledging, and appreciating what you have and where you are.

Practicing contentment allows you to have a healthy perspective on the state of your finances and life in general.

Gratitude

Contentment and gratitude go hand-in-hand. When you have a real sense of contentment, that naturally leads you to gratitude for where you are financially.

We can easily get caught up in thinking about what we lack and what we want, but practicing the habit of gratitude puts the spotlight back on the many things we have to be grateful for.

No matter where we are financially, there are several things that we each can and should celebrate. Take a moment, daily, to identify a few things you can be grateful for. Adopting this practice will keep gratitude at the forefront of your mind and will cast a healthy perspective on where you are financially.

Focus

Our culture struggles with focus. If you have children, you may have witnessed their inability to just watch television anymore. No, they’re watching TV, while playing a game or doing something else on another screen.

We adults are no better. When it comes to our finances, we sometimes want to do everything all at once. We want to save for retirement, buy a house, pay off debt — all the while we have no cash on hand in the event of an emergency.

When we attempt to do too many things financially at the same time, we sabotage our chances of making significant progress in even one of the areas in which we are seeking change. We experience similar results to the person who is trying to lose weight and goes all in by cutting carbs, slashing their caloric intake, and working out seven days a week all at once. They dilute their efforts by trying to do too many things at the same time and quickly give up.

The same will happen to you if you attempt to tackle too many things financially. Set yourself up for success by focusing on one thing at a time before moving on to the next.

Discipline

I think this may be one of the most challenging habits to practice and develop — but one of the most necessary. As challenging as it is to develop discipline, the good news is that once it’s in place in one area of your life, it will spread to other areas of your life.

Many people who have developed discipline in their finances also experience discipline in their physical health, work life, time management, and other aspects of their lives.

Like all habits, acquiring discipline requires constant practice. And even the “most disciplined” continue to be challenged at times, but once this habit is in place, you will see radical effects on your finances. Being disciplined allows you to say “no” when you need to and “yes” when you can.

Practice Makes Perfect

When contentment, gratitude, focus, and discipline are in place, you will see an amazing transformation in your finances — and in your life.

Adopting these habits requires practice. And not only practice but the daily commitment to practice them. The more you attempt to exercise these habits, the quicker they will become just that — habits. As we said earlier, negative habits are hard to break, but thankfully, so are good ones!

Do you agree that these habits are necessary to win with money? What other habits would you add?