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Making Good Financial Habits Stick

Making Good Financial Habits Stick

By Melina Duffett • July 18, 2019

You’ve learned money hacks and formed financial habits that can benefit you everywhere from the grocery store to the stock market. You’ve listened to friends, done your research, maybe even found some useful tips from our featured financial experts. So, what’s next? Putting those smart moves into action! Making a good habit stick isn’t as hard as it may sound. Here are some tips on how to put your new knowledge into practice and actually keep maintaining your new financial routine.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Aside from commitment, planning is key to maintaining any habit. Carve out some time in your schedule to have regular budget check-in meetings with yourself. During each check-in, review your progress and see where you can improve.

It’s easy for a slipup or busy schedule to derail you, but keep at it! When life gets in the way, regroup and reschedule. Here are some ways to stick to it:

  • Set an alarm on your phone: Each day when it goes off, that’s your cue to have your budget check-in meeting

  • Use a wall calendar or planner: At the start of each week, block off time in your schedule that’s most convenient for you

  • Write a note: Keep a sticky note on the corner of your computer or on your desk as a constant reminder

  • Use Google Calendar or online app: Setup recurring events to make regular budget check-ins a part of your life

Support Your Plan

If you’re having trouble sticking to your regular budget check-ins, don’t give up, reach out! Find an accountability partner — a spouse, a friend, a parent, or a credible financial coach. Get together on a regular basis to check on your progress, or schedule phone or video calls. Remember to put them on your schedule too and set reminders for your meetings.

Reward Your Hard Work and Planning

Each time you monitor your budget and financial progress, reward your achievement. Find a low-cost reward, like a walk with a beautiful view, a sweet treat, or plan to cook your favorite dinner after your check-in. This way, you’ll begin to associate your budget check-ins with a positive feeling that will reinforce the habit and keep you coming back.

Streamline Your Finances

Automate Make the work of financial planning easier for yourself by breaking down big goals into smaller tasks and finding ways to achieve them through automation. If your broader goal is reducing credit card debt, see if automatic payments are available. This can reduce the stress of having to remember to make payments and helps you know when you can afford a little flexibility for fun.

If your broader goal is increasing your savings, setup automatic withdrawals from your paycheck to a separate savings account. This way, you won’t have to think about transferring money and you’re not tempted to overspend. Remember to always pay yourself first — automatic deposits are a great way to ensure this happens regularly.

Organize Find a file organization system that works for you and use it. Make it easy to find information such as the contact number for a credit card company or the latest statement on your car loan. If remembering your passwords is a hurdle, have them securely stored on your computer. When you know where everything is, you can easily access your information in a way that makes sense to you.

Choose a Strategy and Stick to It

There are lots of ways to improve your financial well-being, but the biggest one is following through on your goals.

Choose a strategy from one of our blog posts and take action. Make a goal and don’t be afraid to follow through! Simply take the first step and keep on moving.

The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. The companies and individuals (other than OneMain Financial’s sponsored partners) referred to in this message are not sponsors of, do not endorse, and are not otherwise affiliated with OneMain Financial.