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HABITS TO ACQUIRE FOR AN ABUNDANT 2019


Is your bank account looking sparse after countless holiday shopping trips? Food platters and gifts leave quite a dent on a budget after all the confetti has settled. If you feel like you've fallen a few steps behind on your quest to build wealth, fret not. Once you've conditioned yourself into practicing these habits, you'll be back on the path to an abundant 2019.

We expend so much energy on reprimanding actions frowned upon by money gurus. Instead of focusing on the negative, why not channel our efforts towards reinforcing productive habits? This alternative approach alleviates anxieties over past mistakes. We're less likely to stress if we focus all our thoughts and efforts on things we can change. This forward looking method has better chances for success because it gives us a sense of control and restores the willpower back in our hands.

TAKE A MOMENT TO PAUSE BEFORE MAKING A PURCHASE

Shopping becomes a compulsion in times of distress. Whether we're reeling from a breakup or are simply having a bad day at work, emotional turmoil is what drives us to compulsively shop. We thirst for immediate gratification only an empowering transaction can provide. This momentary high counteracts the grief stricken state we are currently embroiled in. That's why we call it "retail therapy."

The best way to combat this is with time. Some enforce a 24-hour rule, others implement a 30-minute interval before swiping a credit card or clicking on the "place order" button. It may take a few minutes or a few days. Eventually, the urge to buy dissipates as rational thinking is reinstated. Think about approaching money the same way you do with food. Before ordering a slice of cheesecake at the end of a meal, allow your stomach to catch up and digest. You'll find that you may not want that extra slice. That momentary gap saves you from unnecessary expenses along with a large dose of buyer's remorse.

CHECK YOUR ACCOUNTS REGULARLY

Consistently monitoring your monthly statement and account balance keeps you aware of spending limits. Knowing how much money you have enables you to make better money decisions. It's important to know whether spending on a vacation or splurging on a pair of designer shoes is within you means. Start by initiating this checkup on a monthly basis. The more often you do it, the better.

Besides bank accounts, your credit report also plays a part in determining your buying power. Once a year, check your free yearly credit report through Annualcreditreport.com. Inquire if your bank offers free access to your FICO score. This is another way to tract your financial health.

This habit is also a means of protecting yourself from identity theft and fraud. It enables you to catch suspicious transactions in a timely manner. If you take too long to file a report or claim, the bank may deny you coverage for lost funds. Initially, this process may feel tedious and difficult to stomach if your finances are not in order. Once you get your net worth up to more respectable levels, you'll find this ritual motivating. As your balance makes its way up, your confidence builds.

TRACK BARGAINS WHEN PURCHASING NECESSITIES

If you make it a habit to know when sales events happen, you save big on routine purchases. This significantly boosts your yearly savings. One additional tip is to pay attention to when gas prices drop. Find out when these dips occur by checking the news or through an app on your smartphone. Grocery stores have cyclical as well as sporadic sales. Ask to receive notifications by signing up with their mailing list. Awareness pays you back tenfold when it comes to buying items which are fixtures on your shopping list. Toiletries and food are nonnegotiable. Purchasing them on sale substantially reduces their blow on your budget. This opens up possibilities to save for other short-term or long term goals.

CONDITION YOURSELF TO SAVE 

This habit applies to a number of different behaviors. Saving leftovers at a restaurant is a familiar money saving tactic. Applying this mentality to the rest of your lifestyle radically increases your net worth in the long run. Cutting down excess usage on everything you buy, including toiletries and other household supplies, decreases monthly expenses. It also reduces the number of trips you have to make to the store.

Being conscious of how much you consume and how much you set aside yields a myriad of benefits. This principle also comes into play when maintaining your health. Curb unhealthy eating habits by cultivating a saving mindset.  Swap expensive junk food for cheaper produce. Reducing overall consumption keeps your body trim and your pockets full. The healthier you are, the less likely you might incur medical expenses later on. These habits employ small changes that have immense long term effects in multiple aspects of your life.

Instead of using up your entire paycheck, consider putting aside extra money into a separate savings account. If you need a stronger motivator, try switching to cash. Tucking away money in a drawer gives you a sense of how quickly it compounds. Having a tangible representation of your assets brings awareness to how much you are giving up when you make unnecessary purchases. This mental conditioning aids in successfully establishing a frugal mindset. Setting aside money reaps immeasurable benefits later on.

KEEP YOUR SPACE ORGANIZED AND CLEAN

Maintaining the space where you live and work has a direct correlation with your ability to function efficiently and think clearly. Knowing where everything is saves you time and energy when trying to get work done. Maintaining a clean and comfy haven allows for a more restful sleep in the evenings. Creating a system that suits you prevents mishaps like forgetting to file your taxes or getting audited by the IRS. Start with a simple to-do list. Over time, the habit sticks and you'll find creative ways to adjust your behavior to optimize performance in any task you're entangled in.


LEAVE ROOM FOR ASPIRATION AND DAYDREAMS EACH DAY THAT PASSES

Foresight is the key to never losing your way. Knowing where you wish to be and who you aspire to become keeps you on the path to a fruitful life. If you're a visual person, tack on pictures and cutouts of things you're drawn to. If you're a wordy person like me, journaling is vital in painting a vivid picture of your future. Hone in on successful influencers and public figures that you admire. Pining for a particular lifestyle may seem like pointless daydreaming at first. In time, these aspirations become stepping stones towards achievable goals. You need to first pinpoint a destination before getting somewhere. Harness those dreams as a source of inspiration, not expectation. Think of the future as a fluid entity, vacillating between different possibilities. As long as you stay passionate in all your endeavors, you'll be on a path of abundance free from regret.

Habits are tiny building blocks for manifesting a desired outcome. Productive behaviors counteract perceived limitations and greatly improve quality of life.

Photo by: Shannon Litt & Elsa Noblet

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