If you take a look at my blogroll, you’ll see that not all the blogs I read are in English. This week I’d like to share with you a post from a Russian-language blog written by Anastasiya Milkova called O bogatstve, which translates literally as About wealth. It’s an excellent blog with a down-to-earth approach and sensible advice, and I’m glad to be able to post this translation here. You’ll find a link to the original post, in Russian, at the end of the translation. Enjoy!
Good and bad habits
We do know what to do in theory. When it comes to practice, though, all our knowledge somehow flies out of the window and we keep on repeating the same old mistakes. That’s down to our financial habits, which can be either good or bad. If you know what it is that enables you to live within your means, you’ll learn to control yourself and your money better.
The thing is, most people buy things for emotional reasons, not rational ones. People knowingly live beyond their means because they’re used to the nice feelings they get from buying things. They spend more than they earn, and nothing stops them. Bad financial habits make you spend too much money; good ones help you achieve financial prosperity. Your current financial situation is the result of your habits, and a small adjustment to them can make a big difference to your finances.
Bad financial habits are emotional. If shopping makes you happy and cheerful, those feelings make you go back to the shops again and again.
Good financial habits are rational. If your habits are good, you don’t buy things you don’t need.
Bad financial habits:
- Going to the shops for fun
- Going to the shops because you haven’t got anything better to do
- Buying something new and then not using it
- Buying on credit, unless you plan to pay the money back the same month
- Justifying unnecessary purchases by saying you need a bit of pampering
- Hiding your spending from your nearest and dearest
- Thinking small amounts of money don’t matter. Small daily expenses add up to a lot at the end of the year.
- Gambling and anything physically addictive
- Convincing yourself you deserve this nice new thing when that’s not actually true
- Wanting everything right now: a car, a flat, a winter coat and a new pair of shoes. Right now, even if it means buying on credit.
- Thinking that buying things will make you feel better about yourself or make you cleverer or happier
- Not planning your life, not wanting to change your life, just going with the flow and living from paycheque to paycheque
- Reassuring herself, telling yourself that some day you’ll come into an inheritance and then you’ll sort out all your financial problems
Good financial habits:
- Planning all your spending, from food to your car. Deciding in advance how much each thing will cost and when to buy it.
- Giving yourself a couple of days to cool off before you buy anything unplanned and really nice
- Avoiding any kind of addiction: alcohol, smoking, drugs or gambling
- Planning your future: major purchases, babies, retirement
- Buying only what you can pay for right now in cash or with your debit card
- Putting off all the nicest, most fun things until you’ve achieved financial stability
- Getting your priorities right. It’s interesting work, education and self-fulfilment that really matter, not entertainment or lazing about.
- Keeping your purchases and your self-esteem separate. How much you spend or what you buy is not the same as how successful you are.
- Being sensible: have ordinary needs, not extravagant demands
- If you have some bad financial habits, get rid of them. If you have a lot, do something about it right now! Step by step, change the things you do every day: they’re what’s led to the situation you’re in now. Live within your means, track your spending, swap your bad financial habits for good ones – then you’ll be able to live comfortably and achieve financial prosperity.
Original article in Russian published by Anastasiya Milkova at http://obogatstve.ru/psikhologiya-bogatstva/378-vrednye-i-poleznye-privychki (homepage www.obogatstve.ru). Russian title: Вредные и полезные привычки (Vrednye i poleznye privychki).