Do you have financial discipline?
You may be asking, “What is financial discipline?” Regardless of whether you have heard this term before, this post will help you understand what it takes to be disciplined with money and help you on your path to a debt-free life.
I like to consider myself somewhat disciplined. Mostly with goals -but not so much with cleaning. haha
Training for Discipline
Last fall, I decided to run a 15k race. (That’s 9.3 miles). I was scared and wondered if I could even run that far, but I set weekly running goals and ran one “long-run” each week to get me there. Little by little, I was able to run farther. Each week I would run four miles, then five miles, then six, seven, eight, and saved the 9.3 miles for the big race day.
I’m happy to say, I finished the race and was able to run the whole thing. Although it was hard along the way and I had thoughts of stopping and walking, I used my training and running habits to get me through. (Plus a lot of good music.)
Using discipline, I was able to achieve my goal.
But what if I was not disciplined with my training? I definitely would have quit somewhere between mile three or four -which was about what I could run before I started my training.
Discipline is just one of those things. It may seem painful at the time, but the results outway the suffering.
Many were raised with discipline. As children, we were told what to do, made to do our chores, and even had a strict nap and bedtime schedules. All of these little life lessons helped instill discipline in our tiny growing brains, which in turn signals the brain to develop a habit.
Yet, even though many of us were raised with discipline, as adults, we choose to only use it at times of convenience. For example, given the choice between getting out of bed at 5:00 AM to work out and hitting the snooze button, most of us will choose to snooze.
Regardless of whether or not you want to live a military-style life in your daily life, it always pays to be disciplined with money. Yes, financial discipline is essential for a balanced, healthy money life, whether you choose to exert discipline in other areas of your life.
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Financial discipline meaning
What does financial discipline actually mean? Let’s start with habits…
According to a study published by the European Journal of Social Psychology, on average it takes people more than two months to form a habit and make the new behavior automatic.
And of course, habits can be good or bad. Take smoking, for example, this is a habit many would like to kick. Just like impulse buys or overspending. And in order to do this, it is important to figure out your spending cues and replace them with other positive habits.
It’s easy to let money habits slide and fall into using credit cards. Yet, this behavior will lead you into debt. Financial discipline means to take control of your money and be able to stop spending when needed.
Yes, using will power to train your brain to stop the spending habit. Yes, it is true, a person that often impulse buys has little financial discipline. Yet, one that can put items back out of their cart after looking at their budget has the financial discipline to curb unnecessary spending.
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Control Your Finances
Financial discipline means being in control of your money. You are able to avoid impulse spending and less likely to blow all of your money before paying your bills.
If you have financial discipline you will save up for an item and can set aside sinking funds without spending the money on something else.
After reading this, you can see how financial discipline is advantageous. In fact, it pays to know how much money you have coming in and going out, and using a budget that works for you will help you ease the burden of financial setbacks and leave you with more money to live the life you want.
Do you have financial discipline?
If you are asking this question, it may be a sign you need to evaluate your money situation. If you answer yes to all three of we question you definitely are on the right track.
- Do you pay your bills on time?
- Do you have money in savings?
- Are you saving for retirement?
- Do you have an emergency fund?
- Do you use sinking funds to help save up for larger items or holidays?
- Do you live below your means and practice frugal living?
Answering yes to these questions is a sign you have financial discipline.
Importance of financial DIY
Financial Discipline is essential in keeping your finances above water. However, learning financial DIY can help save money in the long run too. If you can handle your own finances, you are able to avoid paying fees for financial advisors and lawyers.
Also, learning how to budget your own money gives you a feeling of self-empowerment and financial security.
Hence, financial DIY means you create your own budget instead of paying a financial adviser to handle your money. It is not hard and you can use my free budget template to help you get started.
How to be disciplined with money
Educating yourself on financial discipline is the key to overcoming obstacles and learning to be successful with your money. As with anything, if you learn how to handle your finances, you can create a DIY budget and handle your finances.
Start small with savings goals and continue to grow. Small habits turn into big habits and eventually are life-changing habits.
Your habits start with small daily tasks. It is the small things that form habits and lead to big change. So start by tracking your spending from now on. If you are in the know about how much you spend, you can keep a better eye on your finances and in turn, stop overspending.
Once you have mastered overspending, try save a little out of each check with your extra money. You will feel a sense of fulfillment as you watch your money grow.
Now that you have money in your savings account, start saving for specific goals such as an emergency fund, down payments for cars/houses, even vacations… The sky is the limit!
Hold yourself accountable. Write down your goals and check in every two weeks. Furthermore, you can also find an accountability partner that has similar financial goals.
If you are looking for a good way to set SMART goals and stick to them, click here.
#4 Track Your Savings
One way to be more disciplined with money is by tracking your savings. Having a visual of how much you are saving will help you feel like you are making an improvement or accomplishment.
Do you need a savings tracker? Check out my savings tracker and budget pack in the printable shop!
By tracking your savings, you can display a visual that will give you the motivation to keep going.
How to be more disciplined with money
If you want to take it a step further, you can start by educating yourself, but then you need to find things that work for you. You can read all you want, but taking action will create a positive change in your finances. Do what you need to do to learn, and put the steps in place.
If this seems overwhelming, and it can be if you are starting from scratch, set aside 20 minutes per day for reading and note taking. Start small, but just start. You will get there. After you read one book, you will understand more of the next book and so on.
Financial discipline books
One way to have more financial discipline is through education. It helps to educate yourself on finances as much as possible. The more you understand, you can take action and learn to save money and get ahead.
Here are some websites I recommend to help you learn more about money:
IWT with Remit Sethi
These offer valuable money tips and there are many more out there, but these will help get you started on the right path, and of course, check for more resources on this sight, including my printable budget planner found in my printable shop.
Education is key to learning how to be more disciplined with money and these books do not disappoint. I have personally read the following books and highly recommend them if you want to learn more about finances.
This book will teach you everything you need to know about getting your financial life in order.
Check out this book to learn more about changing habits and this book to help you learn how little steps can create a big wave in your habits.
This book is a classic in the finance world and a must-read to give you a financial vision..
If you are looking for a total money makeover, this book will give you the baby steps to figure it out..
This book is a research-based depiction of how to become a millionaire using frugal ways.
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These books are game-changers and will help you learn how to DIY your own finances. If you can only buy one of these books, I recommend I Will Teach You to be Rich if you are trying to learn how to make savings automatic and invest in your future.
Importance of financial discipline
Like most things in life, it pays to start small and build good habits including financial habits.
Nonetheless, learning to become disciplined with money will help you improve your life for the long haul, and eventually, you will wipe out money stress and be able to afford the things you love in life.
Take it from me… A girl that worked 40 hours per week while attending college full time and only keeping $10 spending money for myself for years of my life, but I learned to build good money habits at a young age and now my net worth outways my debt, which will be gone this year (mortgage).
This is life-changing stuff people and you are here reading this, which means you are interested in bettering yourself. I am here to tell you it is possible and you CAN do it. Learn better habits and your life will be better all around.
Financial Discipline Final Thoughts…
After learning how to be disciplined, apply this to money habits, and save money and pay down debt. Your dream-life is possible if you start small and continue to build on your success. Even if you are not disciplined now, learning discipline is achievable and by next year, you will have more money and success.
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