Self-Discipline and Your Quest for Financial Freedom
The reality to any change in one’s life is that the change that the person is hoping or wishing for doesn’t just occur. There needs to be a change in one’s thinking and this, in turn, affects the actions of the individual.
If this process is followed long enough new habits are developed and change occurs as a result.
This formula is pretty standard for every aspect of our life. Some of those different changes we wish for include lifestyle changes (weight loss or gain, exercising, eating right, giving up smoking, etc.), leaving or entering into a relationship, career change, etc. The list is almost endless.
One other common change that is pervasively sought after by most of us is our quest for financial freedom. Often, the trap of indebtedness, purchasing high price tickets items now, not saving for the future and other poor financial choices create monetary hardships and often leaves most of us paying for “I want it now” purchases years and years into the future.
This practice robs us of our financial freedom and leaves our future financial security in jeopardy.
With these in mind, I feel that it’s appropriate and timely to address one’s financial situation by having a discussion about self-discipline.
First of all, we can never underestimate the value of having a challenge in life and meeting that challenge successfully. The truth is, more often than not the meeting of that challenge requires self-discipline. It is a crucial skill in the quest for financial freedom. Lack of it means you will never accumulate any savings. Without self-discipline, accomplishing anything is next to impossible.
Self-discipline drives you to say no and propels you towards saving your cash rather than using it.
It means being able to do things that you do not want to but need to. It is all about pushing yourself to do what is necessary for all areas of your life including with your finances. Discipline gets better with practice. The more you apply it in a single area of your life, the easier it will be to transfer it to all other areas of your life.
Exercising discipline in your life will result in dramatic improvement!
In finances, discipline is all about taking charge of your spending and ensuring that all bills are paid on time. With most people, controlling their spending is the biggest challenge. Unfortunately, when you are not in control of your spending, regardless of how much money you earn, it will never be sufficient. We all wish to save up as much as we can from our income.
Taking charge of our spending is crucial if this is to be achieved. This includes saying no to impulse buying. Such purchases are the key contributors to people not sticking to their budget.
Setting a budget is meant to help you sort out your impulse buying trends. However, a budget is only as good as your self-discipline.
If you lack in financial discipline, you must earn it the hard way. This includes learning by practicing in small amounts.
Set milestone and stick to your budget.
For instance, start by setting daily budgets, then weekly and as you get in tune, you will find it easy to stick to your monthly budget.
What most people think as a “must” is in reality not, but something conjured up in the mind to justify impulse spending.
Impulse buying is also a habit. As such, your financial success is dependent on how well you learn self-discipline as a skill to break this habit.
Once the above is accomplished, you are all set on the path to financial solvency with a well-managed portfolio.
A key consideration to keep in mind that self-discipline is a skill that can be learned. Learning is the basic foundation of awareness and change in attitude which eventually leads to a change in behavior and therefore actions.
In the book No Excuses: The power of self-discipline, author Brian Tracy stated that if you want to be successful, your first job is to learn what you need to learn in order to achieve the success your desire.
How do you learn self-discipline in your financial life? Read books, learn from the experts and take action. Discussed below are some tips that you might find of use:
Learning demands that you take time to sit under a tree or somewhere silent all by yourself and have a talk with yourself. Take the time alone to learn about your likes and dislikes and how to proceed with your financial life. Set a realistic goal and envision a great future or a successful career.
Brainstorm your life
To do this, list the things you want and do not want in your financial life. Borrow from your experience and what you are yet to do that will help you achieve financial stability. Connect the dots and trust yourself. Find your purpose, start growing your life and learn the steps to financial peace of mind.
Set a plan and know your limits
Planning your finances is critical. However, no plan is concrete, and this is something to keep in mind. Another thing to note is that a plan is only good when followed. If you wish to stay financially solvent, you should know your limitations and stay within your means. It is crucial not to spend more than what is coming into the household.
Another key to real financial change is to ensure that you start a savings account with continual deposits occurring on a frequent and regular basis. For you to save, you must be able to deny yourself when the urge to spend comes over you.
Reward and punishment
The reward-punishment strategy is the ultimate way to learn self-discipline in your finance. This may seem contrary to what the definition of self-discipline is, but is, quite frankly, part of that process.
Assume you have a set budget that you have adhered to for the past two months. It is okay to “treat” yourself. That is because money is to be enjoyed as well and not necessarily hoarded in a miserly way. On the other hand, you can deny yourself pleasurable activities to avoid going over your set budget
Having a financial advisor makes you accountable to them. It is common to want to appear competent to others and thus curtailing your spending to please your financial advisor. However, you do not need a financial advisor to be financially accountable. Your spouse can play the same role. The main objective is accountability, which helps break your bad habits and earn new ones.
Change Your Habits
If some of your habits impede your financial success, it is time to break them. Such habits include smoking which, besides costing you cash, it adds to your health concerns.
Work on your weaknesses
Stop spending money that you do not have!
Believe in yourself and identify weaknesses in your financial life. Work on those weaknesses to boost your self-esteem in your financial life. However, if you continue talking down your efforts, you will ultimately fail in your quest.
Work on your strengths
If you are good at certain things, take full advantage of your strengths. If you are a great planner, employ your skills in your finances. Sign up for events to learn how others are coping with their financial issues. If you are an excellent saver, such events will help you learn smart ways to save your hard-earned cash. The end goal is identifying what you are already doing and improving on it.
Keep like-minded friends close
If you are happy, people will gravitate towards you. The same case applies to financial discipline. Hang out with folks working to better their financial status. Such people are likely to inspire you to achieve your goal. On the other hand, if the group you hang out with does not have the same financial goals as you, and their idea of fun entail spending every dime on outings, you are equally likely to suffer financially. Choose friends who will help you stick to your financial lane!
Lastly, never shy from asking for when you need it. Everyone fails at some point in their life. Lack of self-discipline in finances is a common problem that can be dealt with successfully. If you are unable to deal with the problem on your own, signup for programs designed for people dealing with such problems.
Self-discipline is the foundational basis for all successful endeavors in life. Let nothing stand in your way to financial freedom.