Don’t be ignorant
Making a budget is only part of the equation. Yes, it tells your money where to go, but it is important to follow up and track where it actually went. People who are winning with money know what they owe, to whom, and can account for each dollar that comes in and goes out. Bills/statements are opened promptly and thoroughly reviewed for accuracy. Money is controlled by the person, instead of being controlled by their money.
Pay yourself first
As Warren Buffett would tell you, don’t save what is left after spending. You spend what is left after saving. Saving money is important, and it can and should be done even while paying off debt. There are smart ways to do this, and people with healthy finances make this a regular practice.
Fiercely defend your wallet
Debt-free folks don’t spend their money impulsively. Also, while indulging is perfectly acceptable now and then, it is done with planning and without derailing the budget plan. Deals are sought after so as to not pay more than necessary on items. They definitely try to squeeze every bit of value from their dollars and cents.
Watch out for waste
The money smart will review every line on the credit card or bank statement for accuracy. And they don’t pay fees unnecessarily. Paying on-time to avoid late fees and knowing what fees each of their bank/credit card companies charge are just two more ways to avoid wasted money.
Curb your spending
One of the most common traits of the financially healthy is their ability to resist the impulse buy and plan for the things they want. Also, many don’t put a premium on things. Instead, they value relationships and experiences.
Knowledge is power
You cannot be a passive participant in your finances and expect everything to work out in your favor. Taking control of your financial education and learning about money is the single most important thing you can do to affect your financial situation. When you know better, you do better. The good news is, if you are reading this, then you have already demonstrated your want to grow and be better. Keep up the good work!