Important Behaviors for Financial FitnessDecember 28, 2015
Throughout the past few years of improving our finances, we’ve narrowed down a few key behaviors that have strengthened our overall level of financial fitness. In today’s podcast, we break down four of those behaviors.
1) Learn continuously (read books)
Having a willingness to continually learn about your finances (or any skill for that matter) is a crucial aspect of life. But while simply reading blogs or watching videos can be helpful in short bursts, your greatest source of knowledge often comes from a good book on the topic.
In our view, having enough passion and interest to lead you to read a book about finances means that you’re much more likely to make excellent strides with your money, especially when compared to someone who simply gained everything they know about money from a single, questionable source.
Don’t be afraid to make changes! Early in our marriage, we budgeted using a simple spreadsheet. When we started to grow frustrated with it, we switched to YNAB. Taking frequent looks at your finances and making changes where necessary is crucial to building a healthy financial life. If a certain money habit isn’t causing positive changes, stop doing it and try something new!
3) Find a money mentor
Having a mentor can be an important part of anyone’s life, especially when it comes to finances. Americans are notoriously under-educated when it comes to money, so it’s important to seek out knowledge from someone (or multiple people) who will bring about positive impacts on your finances.
4) Be open, be honest, and talk about money
It’s common to be uncomfortable talking about money, but it simply shouldn’t be that way. Whether we intend it or not, we’re all having conversations about money when we buy new cars or show off our new gadgets to friends. Worse, we often only discuss money with bankers or advisors who might not have our best interest in mind.
There’s quite a lot that can be learned from others when it comes to positive or negative money habits. Don’t let pride, shame, or confusion lead you to avoiding having conversations with others about money.
Tools and resources mentioned in this episode
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel
- The Four Pillars of Investing by William J. Bernstein
- Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker