How are your money habits these days? Do you have a budget and savings plan? Do you invest your money? Do you participate in an employer match program at work for retirement?
Oh, your financial plans are nonexistent? Well, don’t expect to be successful if you can’t manage your money.
However, if you’re reading this, I think you want to learn something. You want to get better. If so, then why not learn what the great ones do with their money?
Consider these financial lessons from top entrepreneurs and business owners. How can you incorporate them into your own money habits?
They don’t live extravagantly.
Mark Cuban eats fast food from 7-Eleven. Warren Buffet has lived in the same house forever. Steve Jobs wore the same outfit everyday (or maybe he had a lot of black shirts and jeans like a superhero outfit or something).
The point is that those who truly make it don’t feel the need to flaunt their cash. That goes double for us who don’t have even a fraction of their net worth.
You don’t need the latest smart phone or the latest car. What you need to focus on is developing solid money habits not spending habits.
They share and put others’ needs before their own.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re wealthy or not. You should learn to give to others. It’s the hallmark of a grateful heart.
Giving doesn’t only have to involve money either. You can give your time or share a skill.
Then again, in James Altucher’s case, you can give ideas. In an article with Time, Altucher explained that ideas are the “currency of life.” He went on to say: “I’ve been amazed how many times I’ve given out free ideas, and abundance has come back to me not just in the form of money, but in the form of contacts, connections and future opportunities.”
Budgets are their friend and help them maintain strong money habits.
If you fail to develop all but one of the money habits discussed here, don’t fail at this one. Budget. Budget. Budget. It’s so important to know how much money is coming in and how much is going out.
As consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch explains:
While taking on a huge financial risk to grow a business or brand, it’s crucial to build a budget that incorporates savings in case of emergencies — whether personal or business related. Get in the habit of putting toward savings first before other needs and wants and incorporate any retirement savings, emergency savings, 529 college savings into your budget.
You don’t have to get crazy with it. Just put together a monthly spreadsheet in Excel or Google Docs. There are plenty of mobile apps out there as well to help you with this. Check out Mint or You Need a Budget.
Just don’t neglect to do it. It’s a crucial money habit for life and your business.
They focus on growing their money, not spending it.
This one relates to #1. Are you wasting your money? Do you see your paycheck hit your account while you’re waiting to play the ponies?
If you’ve spent your money before you earned it, we have a problem. Like Bob Newhart said, “Just stop it!”
Instead, learn to invest. I hear that Warren Buffet guy is pretty good at it. If you’re unsure where to start, read a book about it like The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.
Start small with a mobile app like Acorns that rounds up your purchases. So, that $10.61 latte becomes an investment of $0.39 (whoa there, high roller). The point is you’re developing good money habits and financial aptitude.
They set aside time to think and grow.
Growth is crucial in life and business. If you’re not growing, why even bother getting out of bed? When it comes to developing money habits, you must invest the time to learn and decide how you will incorporate the new knowledge into your life.
Find time in your schedule to do this. Don’t skip this step. The time is there. Check Facebook one or two times less each day. There you go. That’s at least 20 to 30 minutes right there.
Now feed your brain with something that will actually benefit your life instead of stalking your friends on social media.
They ask questions and remain humble.
Here’s a question for you. Do you ask questions?
If you don’t ask questions, how do you learn? How do you understand what people smarter than you or more successful than you know?
If you do ask questions, how do you receive the lesson? Do you try to “one-up” the person or are you listening actively?
Being humble is actually a beautiful thing if you look at it. You have a chance to learn something without the filter of pride. But, we don’t always look at it like that, do we?
Instead, we’re consumed by how much we think we know. Don’t be that person.
Ask questions. Be humble. Develop solid money habits. It’s a simple concept.
Conclusion: You’re only at the beginning.
This is the starting point on your journey to better money habits. Take what you learned here and share it with others.
The best way to learn something is to teach it. So, master these money habits and be the go-to person in your social circle and business. Know that it doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen quickly if you apply yourself.
Dave Domzalski is a Freedym contributor. He talks about the intersection of financial health and physical health at his blog, RunTheMoney.com.