From http://www.cheapskatemonthly.com/EC/EC_041807/EC_041807.htm :
Funny thing about habits. Bad ones just happen while good ones are usually the result of considerable effort.
Habits are what personal character is made of, and basically they come in just two varieties: good and bad.
Some people act as if their habits were as predetermined as their blood type and are about as likely to ever change. But there are a select few who live by the truth: It is possible to learn good habits and unlearn bad ones, no matter how ingrained they are. It's all a matter of choice.
The secret of learning good habits or breaking bad ones is in choosing to repeat—or refrain from doing—something over and over and over again until it becomes a natural response, a habit.
Want to become more financially responsible? Here are the habits of those who are. Consciously focus on these actions, then repeat them over and over until they become natural responses.
Habit 1: Financially responsible people regularly balance their checkbooks. They calculate a current balance after every transaction and always know the exact state of their money.
Habit 2: Financially responsible people think first and spend later. Thinking means weighing needs and acknowledging wants. It means exercising discipline and delaying gratification—saving the money first and then buying the item.
Habit 3: Financially responsible people save money consistently. They never spend all they have because they are habitual savers. They see saving as a long-term process and make the sacrifices necessary to reach their goals. They are patient, steady, consistent and find saving money to be a necessity.
Habit 4: Financially responsible people fund their own emergencies. They don't buy into the notion that the purpose of credit cards is to pay for unexpected emergencies. Financially responsible people realize that life happens, and so they maintain significant emergency funds. Just in case.
Habit 5: Financially responsible people know their financial condition precisely. These folks usually know within a few bucks the current balance on their mortgage or other secured loans. They regularly update their net worth, which is the difference between the value of their assets and their liabilities. They make each financial move in light of the effect it will have on their net worth.
Habit 6: Financially responsible people refuse to live under the fantasy of entitlement. While others feel entitled to run up huge credit-card debt simply because they have an approved limit and uncontrollable desires, financially responsible people don't approach life with this feeling of entitlement. They are not driven to keep up with their neighbors at any cost. They are content to live within the limitations of their income.
Becoming financially responsible is a process. I sabotaged myself for many years, convinced that I could never change. But I was wrong. I have changed and continue to make new progress every single day.
It all starts with a single step: A decision to become financially responsible. And then it's just one step at a time—again and again. One good habit after another. EC
- Mary Hunt
Your Good News Merchant
Come learn how I am buying my life back.