12 Effective Tips For Financial Discipline

Financial neglect can cost you in the long run. Here are effective tips to help you be financially disciplined to support your journey to financial freedom.

So you have set your Financial Goal target. Whether it’s improving the quality of life, paying credit card debt, having retirement savings, and so on.

Happy! Your first step is correct! But being consistent and unyielding to take the path you choose is not easy. You need to adapt, change habits to be more productive, keep motivation and enthusiasm burning. The closer you get to your goal, the bigger the temptation.

For that you must build financial discipline so that you have a handle to guide you through all obstacles and resist the temptations that arise. Thebusinesspost provides 12 effective tips for you to start building financial discipline habits that will make a difference in your life.

What is Financial Discipline?

With the rise of social media, influencer culture, and our increasingly digitally connected society, we are exposed to a myriad of seemingly attractive lifestyles, great deals from big brands, and a variety of other “inspirations” that if followed will cost us a lot. financially. This is what causes the 90s and later generations to have difficulty holding back and being disciplined.

The perception of Unhappy Childhood arising from the creation of many new pleasures that were not available when we were children, coupled with all the conveniences offered from credit cards, interest-free installments, to credit without collateral, we have a tendency to overspending. Roughly speaking, we use “future money” to fulfill today’s desires which are practically unimportant.

The short definition for Financial Discipline is control over our money and avoiding impulsive spending (hungry eyes). We need to make sure our monthly needs are met, the allocation of funds for savings and investment is filled, then we use the rest to entertain ourselves.

Practicing Financial Discipline

To help you understand what it takes to practice financial discipline, here is a general story.

In our childhood, the adults around us emphasized to live with discipline. We have to get up early and sleep on time, to teach us to save using a piggy bank to collect pocket money.

These small activities form the habit of discipline in us. But as we grow older, these habits formed from childhood often break down because of the freedom that is increasingly opening up to us.

One of them is our habit of setting aside money to save little by little lost. This is very unfortunate, because under any circumstances, the habit of saving always produces better results than spending time.

The exhaustion of salaries for expenses each month is not directly related to the size of the income generated. Many high-income people cannot have savings due to their lifestyle and negligence in managing their financial conditions.

The big question WHY?

Because they do not understand how to manage money efficiently. People who like to overspend often buy things they don’t really need, are often hungry for their eyes and are less observant in maximizing the purchasing power of their money.

Practicing Financial Discipline means paying attention when we buy something, making sure we pay for something that will bring ease or positive change in our life, and ultimately have to contribute towards a point of financial stability, and then financial freedom which is our main target of being financially disciplined.

By achieving financial stability, we will have the time and energy to think about our future financial plans, to open our eyes to see other potential sources of income.

12 Tips For Practicing Financial Discipline

1. Realistic

Setting unrealistic goals is tantamount to injuring yourself. You will feel small and powerless against walls that are too high. Instead of making progress, you may give up halfway through, and return to the wasteful habits you used to have.

Being realistic does not mean setting targets that are very easy to achieve, because without enough effort, your achievements will not feel rewarding. Maybe now you don’t have enough capital to achieve the target you want, but with time and effort you will be able to get through the challenges you created for yourself.

2. Create Your Target List

Not just a list, but prioritize the targets you want to achieve. This practice of making a priority list is useful to give you a real picture of your progress.

In addition, this list will be your role model in deciding whether your expenses are really useful or just for short pleasures. Motivate yourself by writing down for example the places you want to visit if traveling is one of your goals for financial discipline.

From here you can assess how much effort you have to spend to achieve these targets. Don’t forget to mark the targets that have been achieved so you can see your progress in real.\

3. Focus on Budgeting

Before creating a budget, note how much you spend monthly – and for what. For example, boarding fees, electricity costs, meals, savings, installments if any, and so on.

After that separate expenses that are fixed and routine. You can allocate some of the rest for self-reward, but don’t overdo it. You will realize that you have quite fantastic expenses by practicing this point. If you are basically already quite frugal, then you can assess where you can increase your financial efficiency.

Use the principle of compensation. For example, if you want to eat at a restaurant that is quite expensive, then you have to save money on going to the cinema to stay within your budget limit.

4. Evaluate Your Current Condition

Before you make a fantastic plan to start saving, try to understand your current state. See how much you earn, what your responsibilities are so you can prioritize the right things.

For example, if you have an obligation to pay debts to several parties, evaluate each of those debts and make a plan for priority repayments. Don’t let debt with high interest hang for a long time and instead focus on debt that is more flexible.

5. Peg Money To Save Every Month

Regardless of your monthly income, you can definitely start saving even if you have a penny. You can increase the amount you can save by, for example, reducing your daily bottled drink purchases, limiting the number of cigarettes you smoke, and other prints.

Each of your frugal efforts may seem insignificant, but if you calculate it in total, you might be able to save 250 Naira per day – if you collect it for a month you can save 7500 Naira you know!

Of course, we must be aware that saving this amount has not been able to meet big targets such as having enough pension funds for 3-years, for example. But the main purpose of this practice is to form your tolerance and habits for discipline and frugality.

After you have successfully gone through the process of eliminating these little things and know how much you can save per month, commit that amount to your savings from the start you receive your salary, not from the rest of the month. And force yourself not to interfere with those savings except for emergencies.

6. Set Your Targets Specifically

You must have a clear target – vacation yes, but where and how do you envision the vacation, what to eat, where to live, with whom. The more real and specific your target is, the easier it will be to plan to achieve it.

Your plan should detail how you will meet your goals without going bankrupt. It’s a good idea to complete small and short-term goals before moving on to bigger goals.

As an illustration, here are examples of targets that you might have,

Short-term

  • Have X Naira in cash to save every month
  • Trying 2 new dishes every month with friends

Medium-term

  • Bought silver wedding anniversary gifts for mom and dad
  • Own a fully featured X car in 3 years

Long-term

  • Have sufficient retirement funds for 30 years before the age of 40
  • Own 1 house and 2 houses for rent in 15 years

7. Be careful about spending money

As technology develops, it becomes easier for us to become consumptive. Digital storefronts are very clever to tempt us to buy interesting items with very easy payments, even with just one click.

However, to have financial discipline, we must have a filter that can keep our wallets from “leaking” from impulse spending.

Being careful doesn’t mean you can’t buy cute things or just “want to have”. You also need to do self-rewarding for the efforts you have made to save and save money. But before making a payment, ask yourself this,

  • Do I NEED to buy this?
  • Will this item bring positive things to my daily life?
  • How long can I enjoy purchasing this item?
  • Am I really looking for this item?

After answering that question, you can assess whether or not you need to make the purchase. And more importantly, you will be more aware that not all, even most of your purchases are based on desire and hunger rather than needs. From there you will be wiser in deciding when, where and for what you spend money.

8. Changing Lifestyle

One of the things that hinders millennials from having financial discipline is our lifestyle that is shaped by the times. Starting from the clothes we wear, the food we devour, places to hang out, gadgets that are getting more and more popular, we all want to look “trendy” by those around us.

When you look further ahead, you will begin to realize that these superficial things are not very important and have a minimal or even negative contribution in your progress towards achieving financial freedom.

Maybe you don’t need to have the latest iPhone series every year. Maybe partying every week is too wasteful and time-consuming. You can use your resources for more productive things, such as self-development – ​​or you can invest the funds you save by not changing your cellphone every year.9.

9. Create Motivation To Save

Changing lifestyle is not as easy as turning the palm of the hand. Activities that have become daily routines seem to have a strong magnet ready to attract those of you who try to stay away from them.

Therefore, the motivation for you to be persistent and consistent in changing your lifestyle to be more productive is very important. Start by making small changes around you.

Use visual aids to remind you of your target and bring your imagination to life, for example, display photos of tourist destinations you want to visit on your desk, or as a background on your computer.

10. Gamification and Challenges

Perceive the change you want to make as a game or a challenge.

For example, if you want to reduce spending on hanging out “slang”, challenge yourself to order only one food and one drink. Give extra points for every more drink your friends order.

That way you will be motivated to reduce expenses and will also be able to see how much you save by doing things as easy as sipping your drink slowly.

11. Don’t Forget Self-Rewards

As you journey to discipline yourself financially, you have put in a lot of effort and sacrifice. If not interspersed with vents in the lapse of time, you can become bored and lose motivation.

Allocate your budget to reward yourself for that hard work and sacrifice. Better yet, include this self-reward as one of your goals. Include some of these “gifts” in each of your short, medium and long term goals.

But remember, don’t overdo this self-reward and even result in a setback in your progress towards financial freedom.

12. Don’t Give Up

Disciplining yourself financially is not easy. You need to evaluate yourself, set targets, make plans, consistently run them, to change your lifestyle. It’s only natural that you fail the first time you try to undergo this change.

Keep in mind, failing once does not mean the end of your efforts to achieve financial freedom. You just need to look back at what made you fail and devise a strategy to jump over those obstacles. The second, third, umpteenth try from you will only make you have more experience to be able to face tougher challenges.

As the saying goes “What doesn’t kill you make you stronger”, failure is a stepping stone to success. Only a fool would stop trying just because he tripped over a pebble. Remember, discipline requires persistence and consistency.

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