How to build better money habits: 4 tips

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 15:14:14-05
With the New Year comes new resolutions and goals and for many, a common ambition may be to pay off debt or get personal finances in order. But, when it comes to money, the pitfalls that plague us can be hard to avoid. Take stock of the tips below provided by experts at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union to start building better money habits and take control of your finances in the New Year: 
1. Identify Your Habits
In order to build better money habits, it’s important to first identify the habits in need of improvement. It could be overspending on lunches, too many daily lattes, or not keeping track of smaller expenses that add up. Once you’ve identified the habit or habits that need improving, write them down to help keep yourself accountable. Allow yourself to spend money on those items you’ve identified only occasionally and make them a special treat.
2. Set financial goals
Once you’ve identified the habits that you’d like to change, you should set a realistic financial goal. Be very specific on what you would like to accomplish each year. For example: save $4,000 by the end of the year or double last year’s 401K contributions. Whatever they may be, make sure you are setting goals that are realistic and tailored to your specific lifestyle. 
3. Be flexible
To ensure success with your new and improved habits you must be flexible. Unfortunately, there will always be unexpected expenses that arise, like medical bills and household repairs. Make sure you allocate some flexibility in your budget to accommodate these surprises.
4. Automate your money
If you can’t be consistent with transferring a certain amount into your savings each month, set up an automatic transfer through your bank or have a set amount automatically deposited into savings through your employer.
With a little practice, mindfulness and resolve, poor financial practices can truly be a thing of the past, paving the way for good financial habits moving forward.
Trying to stay financially fit? Check out more money-saving stories in our Financial Fitness Zone .
The information listed may not reflect the capabilities or practices at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, but is rather meant to serve as a unbiased advisement and support of the financial health of our community.