7 Powerful Habits of Financially Savvy People: And How You Can Use Them In Your Life

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: June 28, 2023

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Managing your finances effectively is a valuable skill that impacts every aspect of your life. Financially savvy people understand that attaining a secure financial future requires consistent effort, discipline, and continuous self-improvement.

In this article, we will explore seven powerful habits that financially successful individuals have cultivated by examining their mindset, strategies, and decision-making processes.

Delaying Short-Term Gratification In Service Of A Greater Long-Term Purpose

Financially savvy people know the importance of delaying short-term gratification in favor of a more rewarding long-term goal.

By practicing self-control, you can make significant progress towards a financially secure future.

One essential habit to develop is setting personally-inspiring long-term financial goals. When you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve–and a burning desire to achieve it–it’s easier to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential items.

To help with this approach, create a list of your short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial priorities and revisit it regularly to stay focused.

Another valuable habit is to distinguish between your wants and needs.

This makes it easier for you to determine which expenses are crucial and which can be reduced or eliminated.

For example, a need may be the monthly mortgage payment, whereas a want might be a new pair of shoes. By identifying and prioritizing your needs, you can allocate your resources more effectively.

Practicing mindful spending is also vital for delaying short-term gratification. Before making a purchase, take a moment to evaluate the reasons behind it.

Are you shopping out of boredom or stress?

Is it an impulse buy?

By understanding your spending triggers, you can curb those urges and make better financial choices in the long run.

By embracing habits that delay short-term gratification in service of a long-term purpose, you’ll almost certainly make faster progress toward your biggest, most inspiring goals.

Saving Before Spending

One powerful habit of financially savvy people is prioritizing saving before spending. This, in my opinion, is one of the key habits necessary for achieving financial success.

To achieve this, start by creating a budget to track your income and expenses. List down your sources of income and your essential expenses, such as housing, utilities, and groceries.

Then, determine a percentage of your income that you want to save on a regular basis, and move that percentage of every paycheck you earn into your savings account the moment you receive it.

A good rule of thumb is to aim for a 20% savings rate, but you may need to start smaller when you’re just getting started.

Saying ‘No’ To “Net Worth Reducers”

If you want to increase your net worth, one of the easiest things you can do is reduce the number of net worth reducers in your financial life.

Net worth reducers are expenses, debt, or lifestyle choices that decrease your overall net worth.

These can include costly habits, credit card debt, personal loans, student loans, and impulsive purchasing behavior. By identifying and eliminating these reducers from your financial life, you’ll be one step closer to achieving financial success.

To start cutting back on net worth reducers, examine your current spending habits. Are there any unnecessary expenses that are draining your finances? Common examples include dining out frequently, excessive shopping, or having an expensive daily coffee habit.

I know…how dare I say anything about your daily coffee run!

By cutting back on these activities, you can immediately increase your savings and, in turn, your net worth.

When it comes to debt, the less of it you have, the easier your life will be–especially when it comes to high interest debt like credit cards and personal loans.

So, make it a priority to pay these off as quickly as possible, and do your best to avoid taking on new debt.

We live in a world where people assume consumer debt is just a fact of life. However, the real truth is that most people are just too impatient to save up enough money to pay for things in cash.

Another crucial aspect of avoiding net worth reducers is making mindful decisions about your lifestyle.

In every case, before making a purchase, consider its long-term impact on your finances.

Is it a temporary pleasure or something that will provide lasting value?

By carefully evaluating your choices, you can prevent impulsive purchases and maintain control over your financial well-being.

Challenging Financial ‘Norms’

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to follow the same financial path as everyone else. In order to become financially savvy, it’s essential to challenge financial norms and look for your own unique solutions.

I subscribe to the idea that if most people do one thing, then it probably makes sense to do the opposite.

It’s crucial to question “conventional advice” when it comes to your finances.

For instance, my wife and I haven’t used a credit card in nearly 5 years. When most people hear that, they’re shocked!

But here’s the thing, we also haven’t had to pay a single credit card balance, a penny of credit card interest, and in that same amount of time, we’ve built our net worth to over six-figures.

I realize most people won’t agree with our choice to abandon credit cards, but the truth is, it doesn’t matter. When you challenge financial norms, and do something vastly different from the rest of the world, you have to be willing to deal with criticism.

Our decision was simple, if we abandon credit cards and pay for everything on a debit card, then we completely eliminate the chance of ending up in credit card debt–which was something I was sick and tired of dealing with.

To be clear, I’m not telling you what to do. I’m only telling you that going in the opposite direction of the “normal financial path” often leads to much better outcomes.

I challenge you to give it a try!

Consistent Self-Education And Improvement

Financially savvy people don’t rely on luck or chance in managing their money and financial future. They consistently seek self-education and self-improvement to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to grow in their financial journey.

In today’s ever-changing financial landscape, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with skills, tools, and techniques to make the most of your financial resources.

The most practical habit you can develop is regularly reading books, articles, and blogs about personal finance.

This habit not only expands your knowledge but also exposes you to new ideas and strategies that can be beneficial in managing your finances.

You can also listen to finance podcasts or watch financial YouTube videos.

Another aspect of self-education involves learning from your past financial experiences.

Analyze your spending and saving habits, identify any inefficiencies or mistakes you’ve made, and use that insight to improve upon them. By looking into your financial history, you can avoid repeating past errors and make better decisions moving forward.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to seek advice and guidance from financial professionals, such as financial planners, accountants, or investment advisors.

While they may come at a cost, they can provide valuable insights on financial planning, investments, and tax strategies that can enhance your overall financial well-being. And the money that you pay them could end up saving you time, money, and resources that you would have otherwise wasted.

Put simply, adopting a consistent self-education and self-improvement approach to your finances enables you to make informed decisions and empowers you to take control of your financial journey.

Taking Advice From People That Have ‘Been There, Done That’

Financially savvy people surround themselves with individuals who have already achieved the financial goals they aspire to achieve.

If you want to become more financially savvy, this is one of the best things you can do.

By learning from their experiences and applying their advice, you can shorten your learning curve and avoid common pitfalls.

For a start, look for people with a proven track record in managing their finances. This may include successful entrepreneurs, investors, or even friends and family members who consistently demonstrate good financial habits.

Observe their mindset and strategies, and take note of valuable insights they share.

But remember, not all advice is created equal.

It’s essential to filter the information you receive and only apply what resonates with your own financial goals and beliefs. Don’t be afraid to question the advice given or seek alternative opinions.

Additionally, you should always consider the credibility of your sources, as some individuals may only appear financially successful on the surface.

Taking advice doesn’t mean you should blindly follow what others say. Instead, successful people know when to take advice, when to question advice, and when to seek advice from a different source.

Quick To Take Ownership Of Their Financial Successes And Failures

Financially savvy people are quick to take ownership of their financial successes and failures.

They understand that in order to achieve financial prosperity, they must be accountable for their actions and decisions.

By acknowledging their mistakes and celebrating their wins, they empower themselves to learn and grow.

Taking ownership means recognizing that the choices you make directly impact your financial future.

Whether you choose to do something, or fail to do something, the resulting outcome is in your hands.

It’s crucial to evaluate your spending habits, saving strategies, and investment decisions. When you make wise choices, celebrate your achievements and use them as motivation to continue on your path to financial success.

Similarly, it’s essential to take responsibility for any financial missteps. Instead of blaming external factors or other people, examine what you could have done differently and learn from those experiences.

This will help you avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

Being proactive and embracing both your successes and failures allows you to maintain control over your finances.

Taking ownership of your financial decisions gives you the power to shape your financial destiny. By holding yourself accountable for your actions, you can move forward with confidence and a clear understanding of how to achieve financial success.

My Questions To You

Which of these habits do you think would have the biggest impact on your financial situation?

And how do you think your financial life would change if you stuck to the habit for the next 5 years?

If you’re feeling adventurous, drop your answers in the comments below.

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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