Financial freedom isn’t just reserved for the wealthy. It’s not about having or earning a lot of money, instead it’s about having peace about your finances and not feeling anxious or stressed about them. It’s about creating alignment in your relationship with money. Financial freedom is often more accessible and is an important step for wealth creation as well. This makes learning money habits for financial freedom an essential stepping stone regardless of your financial goals. Here are 9 unusual habits to get you started.
1. Change Your Thoughts
Likely the most important money habit for financial freedom is to change your thoughts about money. This means creating affirmations about your financial management ability and changing your mindset about money. many of us have been indoctrinated to believe complete untruths about the scarcity of money, value of money, and morality of money. Having financial freedom (or even wealth) are morally neutral. You will not become a bad or evil person if you have money. You do deserve to feel confident and financially secure. Changing your money mindset can be incredibly difficult. If you need help with this, be sure to check out our Affirmation Masterclass and Take Control of Your Money course in Inner Circle.
2. Find Money
I know… this one might sound a bit crazy but it’s does work! “Find Money” is a two part money habit for financial freedom.
Firstly, literally find and collect money. Stop passing up that dime or penny you see laying on the sidewalk and pick them up! Keep a jar on your counter and add all of your found money to it. Seeing how it accumulates is a powerful reminder that money is everywhere. This practice is one of the easiest ways to break through financial scarcity mentality.
Secondly, look for additional ways to find money. This may mean avoiding or paying off high interest loans or credit cards, taking advantage of points programs, or simply creating a meal plan to reduce your grocery bill. Finding ways to save and taking advantage of discount and point plans is a great way to find money and finding money isn’t just good for your bottom line, it also helps you feel more successful and confident.
3. Set Mini Financial Goals
Many articles about building wealth suggest creating S.M.A.R.T financial goals. BUT… the better money habit for financial freedom is to set mini financial goals. Feeling successful with money will help you stay the course and build confidence which are key to long term financial freedom. Rather than setting a goal for retirement or a large purchase like a car or house start with something small. Perhaps you’d like to set a little money aside each month for a date night, to go toward holiday gift purchases, or for a new piece of tech. Or you could even set a goal of paying an extra $10 or $20 per month on your credit card debt. Remember to be mindful of your progress and celebrate your success. Every financial goal you achieve is a step closer to achieving financial freedom no matter how small it is.
4. Track Everything
Ever feel like you have no idea where your money is going. You’re struggling to save or even to figure out how bills will get paid but you aren’t sure why? Welcome to the club! Most people struggle with this and find themselves feeling overwhelmed by it. Everything costs something and over time it all adds up.
Tracking what’s coming in and what’s going out is an important money habit for financial freedom. It can be a real wake up call to see the way those lattes are adding up and a down right shock to figure out what you’re paying in taxes (income, property, sales, etc…). And for those of you who are thinking “not everyone is piddling their money away at Starbucks”, I get it. I’ve lived on a very tight budget and was always frustrated with the assumption that the problem is always mindless spending. But tracking can also help you prioritize all of your spending and even make wise decisions about how much time you’re willing to invest in earning. (There is a detailed lesson and worksheet for just this, using my exclusive EPD approach in our Take Control of Your Money Course in Inner Circle).
5. Check-In on Your Money
If you’ve been struggling financially you might prefer to take the ostrich approach to your money… you know… burying your head in the sand. But the only way to build financial freedom is to schedule regular money check ins. This will help prevent urgent or impulsive financial choices and also empower you to make mindful choices about your finances. Financial freedom and self-made wealth don’t just happen. They are carefully planned for and that includes checking in on your money regularly.
6. Relationships ARE Business
We so underestimate the way our relationships impact our financial status but they are an enormous factor. Understanding that there is a financial component or influence in every relationships we have is essential. And creating money habits for financial freedom includes being mindful of how our relationships effect our finances. Whether that means we are feeling pressured to spend more going out with some of our friends, we’re in a partnership with someone who has different financial goals, or we find ourselves loaning or borrowing often from family members taking a closer look can make a huge difference.
This doesn’t mean that we need to end relationships where we don’t feel financially aligned but we do need to be in the habit of creating boundaries for ourselves and others.
7. Save Realistically
When it comes to saving it all counts! It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that saving is only worthwhile if you can put hundreds or thousands of dollars away but that isn’t true. Saving what you can is an excellent money habit for financial freedom. Even if you’re starting by setting aside $5 per month it will accumulate and you can feel great about your progress.
8. Invest Early
One of the things wealthy people know that many don’t is that investing early really pays off. This is because of the way interest accumulates. And, for those of you thinking you have to be experts in investing or have loads of money to get started, let me assure you, you don’t. Many employers offer investment opportunities such as 401Ks and for those of you who are hoping to save for your kid’s education, a 529 account may be the perfect fit. And the best part is many investment opportunities allow you to use pre-tax dollars (which is a great way to decrease your tax money and find more to invest).
Often the biggest enemy of financial freedom is impulsivity. This means one of the best money habits for financial freedom is to simply pause. Before you take on a second job, start a side hustle, buy that new bag, or even that muffin at the coffee shop take a moment to ask yourself if it’s aligned with your personal values, financial goals, and the intentional life you’re building. Money is only one resource we are managing and what we choose to do financial has a ripple effect throughout our lives. Taking control of our money impacts our energy and stress levels, relationships, time availability and so much more. Creating excellent money habits for financial freedom can be the first step to creating an intentional and aligned life.