Incorporating tiny habits into our everyday routine can lay the foundation for short and long-term success in investing. It's vital that we continuously examine our repetitive behaviors to ensure we are getting the most out of our money.
Remember, a habit is either moving you closer to your financial goals or further away from them!
The simplest daily habit that you can put into motion right now is automating your savings and there's plenty of apps that offer this function. Auto-saving apps aim to squirrel away some of your cash without you even noticing and have proven very useful for people who find it difficult to save money.
Some auto-saving apps calculate how much you can afford to save each week or month and automatically transfer this money into a separate savings or investment account. Other versions 'round up' your purchases to the nearest dollar and save the change for you in a vault within the app. Essentially, these features allow you to save with minimal effort, which can result in more cash building up allowing you to invest more regularly.
Chime is a mobile banking app that includes a spending account and debit card so you can safely deposit funds, see transactions instantly and track spending. The banking app also offers an automatic savings account, which allows you to automatically deposit 10% of your paycheck into Chime. Conveniently, you can also round-up your purchases to the nearest dollar and have the difference transferred to your savings every time you use the Chime debit card.
Download the Chime app here: iOS | Web
Remember, you don't need thousands to start investing. Saving even $18 a month, at a conservative 10% return, could result in a staggering $310,283 over 50 years. Check out the below table to see how much money you can make with the power of compounding.
Another micro habit to help you save money for investing is reducing the amount of stuff you buy. Sometimes spending more money in the short-term can actually save you money long-term.
Buying quality clothing is a great example. You might think that buying a cheaper coat will save you money but if you have to replace it after only a few wears it might make more sense to opt for a better quality brand that will last you longer.
Bulk buying when you're shopping for household goods is also a great way to save some extra dollars. Alcohol, cosmetics, stationary, and diapers are all examples of items which are usually cheaper if you buy in larger quantities. Watching out for 2 for 1 deals can also cut down your grocery bill significantly.
If you turn this small daily habit into a new mindset, you should start to see a significant difference in the amount you spend on material possessions.
Setting a spend waiting time period before you can buy another item is another great rule to follow. This technique works by the buyer waiting a certain length of time before they make a new purchase. Of course, small transactions like a cup of coffee or a newspaper do not have to be included in this rule.
Instead, you might wait 24 hours before buying anything else over $50. This option gives you time to sleep on it and to do some comparison shopping to see if you could find it somewhere else for a better price. Oftentimes, you might find the item was an impulse buy that you really didn't need.
Another relevant question when it comes to spending is comparing the amount to how much you earn a day at your job. Ask yourself, is another designer shirt equivalent to a hard day's work? Maybe you should invest in Stitch Fix instead.
Your investment plan is personal and no one is going to get you on the path to financial freedom but yourself. That's why it's okay to say no to things you can't afford. Buying more affordable gifts, searching for cheaper plane tickets, and only going to fancy bars and restaurants for special occasions means that you can still have fun with your friends and family whilst keeping your savings looking healthy.
Investing as much as you can, as often as you can, brings you closer to achieving your financial goals earlier. Be it traveling the world, retiring when your kids are still young, or maybe even a luxury wedding -- your dreams are your own so it's okay to put your finances first. Being smart with your money sometimes means saying no but if you establish a good plan you should be able to live your best life while still saving for future plans.
Any spare cash saved using the above methods can be put towards investing in the stock market. This financial mindset will not only give you the confidence to form the life you want, but it will also give your bank balance a nice boost.
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