People who have mastered a skill are considered experts. If the skill is in high demand, that mastery can open doors to wealth, fame and great achievement.
How do some become masters at something? By being a master of habits.
But not just any habits – the *right* habits. Those habits that work toward mastery and develop the right mindset.
If you can identify the right habits for yourself – those that have the greatest positive effect on your goals – and master them, you’ll be an expert, too.
In this post, I’ll be recommending the 3 best habits for saving money and developing a money saving mindset. These aren’t specifically financial habits (they can apply to other areas besides money), but if you develop these habits in your own life then you’ll soon have greater mastery over your finances.
Will you acquire wealth, fame, and great achievement?
Who knows … that all depends on you.
1. Achieving goals
Notice I didn’t say setting goals.
Heck, I’m a master at setting goals. But I can tell you right now, that’s not the kind of habit that will build wealth.
You must be a master of achieving your goals. Not just stopping at a list in your pretty journal. Or going as far as your willpower will allow until it runs out. Or trying until it’s just too hard.
Being able to set, work toward, and reach your goals requires daily, consistent, decisions:
- planning your day so your actions are always moving you closer to your goals
- breaking down your big vision into small pieces so you always know what your next step should be
- reviewing your goals on a daily basis to gauge your progress and identify pivot points
- practicing affirmations and visualization to strengthen your mindset
- avoiding situations that add negativity to your life
- reading books and listening to podcasts that build up your confidence and motivation
You might be asking how can I control if I achieve my goals or not? I can’t dictate what circumstances I’ll have to deal with!
Of course you can’t. But that doesn’t matter. The only thing that *does* matter is what you can control, which is your own thoughts, feelings, and actions.
This might be a very different mindset than what you’re used to. You may find it hard to believe that just thinking different thoughts will make any difference.
But a positive, abundant mindset to save money is the key to achieving financial goals. Not only must you know the mechanics of achieving them, you have to build a strong belief that you are fully capable of being successful.
Once you do that, your habits will be sustainable and your achievement will be unstoppable.
2. Delayed gratification
The ability to pause between a trigger and a response can save you from getting a divorce, losing your job, landing in jail, and regretting many other decisions that were a result of being impulsive.
It’s called self-control, and without it, your life could spiral downwards very quickly.
In a similar sense, having the discipline to walk away from the temptation to make an emotional purchase will keep you from excessive debt, limited income, and the retirement of your dreams.
And just like lust or anger or drugs, emotional spending can overcome our willpower and result in decisions that cause much more pain than the pleasure promised in the moment.
If you want to build wealth, you must master the habit of delayed gratification. In fact, research has shown that delayed gratification is a top predictor of financial success. When you learn to control your desire to be satisfied in the moment, you develop the ability to withstand temporary discomfort so you can receive a greater reward in the future. In this instance, that reward would be *wealth*.
Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t support the practice of enduring a little pain now to reap a benefit later. From instant credit approval to free 2-day shipping, we’ve gotten used to having our desires immediately fulfilled. And the marketing we’re exposed to on our phones, the internet, the computer, the tv – everywhere – just makes this habit a very difficult one to keep.
But, it’s not impossible! Here are a few things you can do to help build the habit of delayed gratification:
- Review your goals every day. Write them down in places you’ll see them often. Laminate them on an index card and keep it in your wallet. Look at them whenever you feel the pull to spend emotionally. This practice alone will strengthen your daily habits for saving money, paying off debt, and increasing your income.
- Follow a budget where every penny is accounted for. Update your spending every day, so you’re constantly aware of where your money is going.
- Read personal finance books that deepen your knowledge of wise money management and investing. Be aware of the “opportunity cost”, which is the benefit you lose out on when choosing one alternative over another. In personal finance, this is often the interest you could gain from saving your money versus the lesser benefit from spending that money now.
- Keep a tracking system to stay consistent. For example, mark an “x” every day on a calendar to show how many days in a row you’ve saved instead of spent. As your chain of x’s gets longer, you’ll be more motivated to keep going, and your ability to delay gratification will strengthen.
James Clear says, “Success usually comes down to choosing the pain of discipline over the ease of distraction.”
Learn to resist your distractions, choose the pain of discipline, and develop the habit of delayed gratification. You’ll reach your financial goals so much faster.
3. Adopt a growth mindset
Right now I’m sitting in a high school science classroom (as a substitute teacher), and on the wall is a poster that reads:
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
The mind is everything.
What we think, we shall become.
And even though I believe there is more to the human being than just the mind, I totally agree that our thoughts have the power to create our reality. What we think of ourselves and our own capabilities can lead us on amazing adventures or through an average existence.
Our actions begin with our thoughts, and our expectations are developed from our perspectives. The great thing is that our thoughts aren’t “fixed”. We can all choose what we think, change our thought patterns, and learn new belief sets.
So, if you *desire* for your income to grow, for your relationships to grow, for your life to extend beyond your limited beliefs, then you must start thinking that all of these things are possible.
Actually, not just possible. Inevitable.
If you’re stuck in a thought loop that has convinced you there is no way out of your situation, there are no possibilities for you to increase your income, and all you have is all you’ll ever have – all of those thoughts are going to continue to keep you in a place of lack and hopelessness.
I wrote a whole post on how to change your mindset, but I’ll give you a few simple ideas here:
- create a vision for your life so compelling that you are emotionally connected to it
- journal daily to build self-awareness and gain a deeper understanding of the thoughts you need to challenge
- reframe a challenge or difficulty as an opportunity – this will create a sense of curiosity and motivation
- keep a list of affirmations that you read daily, and use them to “talk back” to your limiting beliefs
- seek out books, podcasts, blogs, and any other input that will foster positivity and inspiration
- be a pursuer of knowledge, always learning something new
Because of the brain’s ability to change and grow, you have the power to change your thoughts, your limiting beliefs, and the negative loops in your mind.
And once you get in the habit of looking at your situation from an abundant perspective, you’ll begin to see all of the opportunities around you to build wealth and create the life you want.
How To Master the 3 Best Habits For Saving Money
Real change requires patience and persistence.
Developing healthy habits for saving money takes time and consistent effort.
Some habits, like drinking 8 cups of water a day, may come easy for you. But others, like the 3 listed here, are a bit more difficult to master.
If you’re used to giving up, thinking negatively, and ignoring your spouse, then it’s going to take some extra effort and sacrifice on your part to change these bad habits. And time. Maybe lots of time.
It’s not going to be comfortable or convenient. You will want to skip days or just give up altogether. This is what most people do.
But you don’t want to be like most people. You’re ready for change, and you’re willing to put in the effort.
The great thing about habits, though, is after a while, your efforts diminish as the habit becomes automatic. Eventually, the behavior will become second nature, improving your life effortlessly. You’ll grow a mindset for saving money that will positively influence your financial decisions.
So be persistent, but be patient. Your financial future is worth it.