The way you handle anything is the way you handle everything. This saying simply means that we are the same person when we approach anything and to a greater extent we handle all things the same way whether they are big or small. So just as certain non-money behaviours can hurt your finances there are also non-money behaviours that can help with your personal finances. The latter is what we would like to delve into today and explain how people who tend to the behaviours we are going to mention are well poised to handle their finances better.
To quote another popular saying, time is money. This line advises us that as human beings we use our time to create money and therefore time is money. It’s true. It also encourages us to manage our money like we would manage our time. The behaviour of timeliness is very useful in getting your financial management in order. A timely person pays dues on time and avoids penalties or reconnection fees. A timely person handles things as soon as they come up instead of waiting for things to hit the fever pitch before taking action. By then it’s usually too late. Timeliness will do your finances a world of good.
The behaviour of being intentional in your actions also helps you along the way with your finances. Ever gone to the supermarket for one thing and come back with 6 things? It’s a nightmare anywhere but even more devastating in this economy. An intentional person is in control of their actions and goes after things they desire while possessing the ability to disdain things that they do not desire or are not part of their plan. This behaviour also goes hand in hand with being mindful.
Mindfulness is the state or quality of being present in thought at all times to the extent that one is always aware of not only what they are doing but how it will impact their plans in the future. Knowing is not enough, mindfulness is about sticking to courses of action that create the results we want. So mindful people are better positioned to consider the impact of their financial and non-financial actions.
Acting on ideas
Taking action is a big part of the success equation, many would argue it is the biggest factor in the success equation. I am inclined to agree with that school of thought. The action doesn’t discriminate and for the pertest, if you take action you will get the results. See a lot of people want to do things. I speak to many people who want to start saving, investing, buying a car, buying a house and many other goals and the biggest separator between those who still want 3 years later from those who have three years later is action.
Forward-thinking and Planning
Action is the biggest separator but not the only one. Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse and all the propensity to act in the world counts for little if the action is not guided by planning. Remember planning has two parts; firstly creating good plans and then being to follow up on those plans with execution. Many people are surprised by just how much planning is involved in getting finances right. I’ve seen people plan expenditure as far as 5 years out. Of course, your planning is as good as your ability to look forward and that’s why we have the two combined here.
Planning, taking action, being intentional and timeliness are all different activities but there is one behaviour that brings them all together. Your ability to keep records of what you do. I will repeat what I say to people who are reluctant to keep records; if you are not willing to commit ink to paper then why or how will you be able to commit time, money and effort to things. In my experience, those who fail at record-keeping succeed at no other part of getting their finances in order. Some plans have needed nothing more than being written down for them to come to fruition.
Don’t despair if you possess none of these behaviours. They are behaviours rather than personality traits so they can be developed with time and diligence.