Remember the other week when I posted that tweet about the 7 habits that have a high rate of return in life? Where I rocked almost all of them except for the “exercising 3x a week” one where I appropriately scored an F-?
Well, not any longer my friends!! That silly little tweet stirred something in me and I did something that day I haven’t done in over a year and a half:
I WENT RUNNING!!!!
And then I did it again, and again, and again – all throughout the last three weeks!
It’s way too early to call it a habit yet, or even label me as a “runner” for that matter (hah), but WOW does it feel good finally *doing something* about it for once! I even discovered a trail down the street full of creeks and boulders and these cute little waterfalls!
Now my runs weren’t Forrest Gump impressive or anything (the first one lasted 3 minutes, and we’re now up to the 20’ish mark) but hey – I *started*. And more importantly than that – I haven’t given up!! ;)
Which brings me to the point of all this humble bragging: sometimes you have to hear things over and over again until it finally moves you to take action.
So with that in mind, I’m going to post those 7 habits again below in hopes they spark something inside of you too! The 7 habits that have a high rate of return in life, via James Clear (I swear I’m not obsessed with him… or am I?):
- Sleep 8+ hours each day
- Lift weights 3x week (I substituted this for “exercising” 3x a week)
- Go for a walk each day
- Save at least 10 percent of your income
- Read every day
- Drink more water and less of everything else
- Leave your phone in another room while you work
BOOM. Solves so many areas in life with those!
Now unfortunately there was only *one* bullet dedicated there to finances which we all know is cuckoo, so the second point of today’s post is to share what a list focused on that might look like.
Here’s what I came up with:
The 7 *financial* habits that have a high rate of return in life
#1. Tracking your money every month
Whether you budget or prefer tracking your net worth, you have to know where your money’s going if you want to improve! And getting into the habit of doing this monthly can have a profound effect on not only your wealth, but your mindset as well. It’s amazing what a little paying attention can do over time!
#2. Grabbing those (FREE!) 401(k) matches
It still blows my mind that people leave thousands of dollars on the table every year just because they don’t think they can live without the 2% or 3% siphoned from their paychecks. EVEN IF YOU PUT MONEY IN YOUR 401(K) AND THEN CASHED IT OUT AFTER GETTING THE MATCHES AND WERE HIT WITH ALL THE PENALTIES, YOU’D *STILL* COME OUT AHEAD VS NOT PARTICIPATING AT ALL! Not that I’d ever – EVER – recommend that, of course, but financially speaking it just doesn’t make sense to not take advantage of this perk.
Jack up your contributions *at least* to what your company is matching, and even if you never do a thing again with it at least you’re doubling – or coming close to it, depending on the plan – your contributions. And it’s pre-tax so you’ll feel it even less! (If at all!)
#3. Paying off your credit card(s) in full
I don’t care if you put $10,000 on there or $1.00 on there, if you can pay it off every single month you will be a financial ROCK STAR and people will swoon all over you… Bonus points if you can hack the system too and score mad credit card rewards along the way! (But don’t you dare dance with the devil if you don’t trust yourself! Better to be DEBT-FREE with no rewards than DEBT-FULL with them! 💃😈)
#4. Automating your savings/investments
I won’t try to put a % here as we’re all in different stages with this stuff, but obviously the more you can manage to stash away the better. And more important than that is getting into the habit of *increasing* it over time so that snowball keeps compounding as it rolls! All the while keeping that wretched lifestyle inflation at bay!
#5. Setting aside “fun” money
I know this sounds the opposite of what I just said, but unfortunately we have these things called “emotions” as humans, and the last thing you want to do in your financial journey is burn out :) If you can set aside X amount of money to blow every month, it’ll not only help keep you sane throughout the years, but it’ll also make this stuff more FUN because who just wants to hoard it all the time and never be able to touch it?? You have to have a release valve with this stuff, and so long as you’re keeping it within reason you’re not going to get arrested by the money police. Enjoy your spoils a little!
#6. Experimenting, experimenting, experimenting!
This is my favorite of the bunch, just because there’s an ENDLESS supply of ways to get from A to a Million, and once you stumble across something that works it feels rewarding as hell. Whether it’s finding a good side hustle, dabbling in stocks or real estate, trying your hand at a “No Spend” month, rocking a new savings hack, or simply taking on a fun challenge. The more you experiment, the better chances of finding that game changer!
#7. Learning to be content with what you have
This is probably the hardest habit of them all, but also the most rewarding as you go. The less you “need” in life, the more options it opens up for you! In terms of both finances (savings) as well as lifestyle (freedom). There’s a reason so many money people are also minimalists: they realize owning more is not the answer to happiness – being content is! And the more you can get in the habit of remembering this, the quicker you’ll reach your FIRE goals.
So those are my 7 favorite financial habits! What I miss? Can you check off a number of these? Can you check off these – AND – the other 7 habits too?
You’d be a rare breed if so, but a rare breed I’d very much enjoy being friends with ;) Perhaps we could even be running buddies, if that’s a thing? Rundies?
‘Till next time…
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!