Managing your finances is extremely important for financial success. Improper management can lead to debt and other money problems. If you find yourself struggling to be disciplined when it comes to finances, here are some tips that can help you stay on track and complete your financial goals.

Follow a Budget: No matter how much money you have, everyone should follow a budget. A budget is the best way to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and maximise every dollar. Following a budget involves setting up spending limits in spending categories and staying within those limits. For example, if you set a limit of $200 a month on entertainment, don’t spend more than $200 a month on things like going to the movies, eating out, attending concerts, etc. This will help you control your finances and ensure your money is going where it should be.

Pay yourself First: Saving money is extremely important, but it is hard to do when you spend all your money elsewhere. Paying yourself first forces you to save. Take out the money you want to save as soon as you get your check and before you spend another dime. Make it a category in your budget.

Spend Less than you Earn: If you spend more money than you earn, you will go into debt. If you spend less than you earn, you will save money. It’s a simple definition that isn’t as difficult as you think. Fortunately, a strong budget will make this much simpler. Beware of sales and coupons. Sometimes people think it’s okay to spend more if it’s a good deal. Spending more on things you don’t need is wasting money no matter how good the deal is.

Pay Off and Avoid Consumer Debt: Consumer debt includes debt such as credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans. This is the worst kind of debt because it’s easy to get and the interest rates are so high. Pay it off as soon as possible and avoid accumulating new debt. Focus your ‘pay yourself first’ savings on paying off debt until it’s gone. Student loans aren’t considered consumer debt, but it’s important to pay all other loans off quickly as well.

Build an Emergency Fund: Have you ever been stuck with an emergency expense that broke the the bank? Having an emergency fund will make such problems much less stressful because it gives you the extra cash you need in these situations. Emergencies include losing a job, health emergency expenses, a broken down vehicle, etc. Save at least 6 months worth of living expenses in a savings account to cover emergency expenses.

Define your Financial Goals: If you have no financial goals, the money you save has no purpose. This will make it tempting to use that cash for things that won’t help your financial future. Set long term and short term financial goals such as paying off debt, saving an emergency fund, buying a house, saving for retirement, saving for vacations, etc. Be sure to prioritise your goals as well.

Prepare for Retirement: Do not depend on social security for retirement. Relying on a pension can be tricky, too. Starting to save early will help better prepare you for retirement. These accounts give you tax advantages to allow you to invest more and increase your future available funds.

Get Well-Insured: Insurance can seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s very important. If you drive a vehicle, you are required by state law to get a minimum amount of liability coverage. Going without health insurance could result in huge bills if the unfortunate happened and you ended up in the hospital. Life insurance is important to make dealing with your estate and supporting those you leave behind more manageable.

Maintain Good Financial Records: Follow a budget and track your spending. Good financial records will make life easier when it comes to filing taxes. It also helps to ensure your staying on track with your budget and financial goals.

Don’t Let your Finances Consume your Life: Proper financial management is important, but don’t let it stress you out and consume your life. Ease into better financial decisions and enjoy the benefits you will receive from better financial management.

This guest post was written by Mark, a writer and researcher for a free credit cards comparison website based in Australia that helps people to low rate credit cards that save you money with lower interest rates.


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27 Responses to How to Be Disciplined When It Comes to Finances

  1. Ileane says:

    Hi Jimi, thanks for the encouragement to stay on track and within budget. Freedom from credit card debt is truly a beautiful thing! One thing that helps me out when I get the urge to spend money is to look around and take inventory of all the “stuff” I have already. LOL!! That keeps me away from the mall and here at home blogging. I end up paying for bandwidth instead – but it’s the lesser of two evils (trust me on that) :)

    Have a great day and I’ll chat with you soon.
    Ileane´s last blog post ..Facebook Fan Page Photos Tutorial

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Ileane.

      How are you, friend? Busy as usual, I’m certain. :-)

      I know what you mean about the urge to shop for something new. Many years ago, after having found myself in debt up to my eardrums I determined to never allow that to happen again. I adopted a 90-day rule, meaning that if I cannot pay something off in 3 payments, I’m really not in a position to purchase.

      These days I pay cash for just about everything, except for home and cars of course. But people have to really be disciplined about the use of credit as you are borrowing against your future.

      One of the greatest feelings in the world is knowing that you owe very little, if anything to anyone.

      Thanks for visiting, catch up to you soon.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..How to Be Disciplined When It Comes to Finances

  2. Hi Jimi,
    Mark has written an awesome post.
    i am very bad to save money but I hate debts and interests on these debts so I managed to live in my earnings.
    nazimwarriach´s last blog post ..Allergy Superstore Coupon Codes

    • Jimi Jones says:

      It’s the only way to go, Nazim.

      Otherwise we end up with far more trouble than we bargained for, which can be a very hard lesson in the long run. These things are super easy to get into, but most difficult to settle and get out of once you’ve run up a huge bill. It can literally be years getting back to even board.

      I appreciated Mark putting this article together to help spread the word and make people more aware.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..How to Be Disciplined When It Comes to Finances

  3. Hi Jimi,
    Your finance tips are cool.
    It will surely help the one who is unable to manage his finances. If its my case, I will use a small notebook to jot down all the expenses at the end of each day that I had done. I think this would help me to keep a track of where I have spent, and at the end of the month I can be assured of not spending on an extra item in the preceding month, that I did in the month before that.
    Samantha Dermot´s last blog post ..Symptoms Of Teeth Grinding

  4. Dana says:

    I think the most financial disaster is created by consumer debts. Consumer debts are surely a big no if we want to have a healthy financial. So, it is a must to have dicipline to avoid the consumer debts since it may be very tempting sometimes.
    Dana´s last blog post ..HTC Sensation 4G- An Exclusive T-Mobile’s Android Gingerbread Cell Phone

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Dana.

      I agree. One of the major problems is that the lending institutions make it so easy for anyone to get into debt, then they have you on the hook long-term. As you say, we have to be disciplined enough to avoid the trap. It comes down to living within our ability to pay back in a reasonable time frame.

      Another problem is the “:gotta have it now” crowd. Those who cannot wait but must have everything they want today. This is what the banks and lenders make a living on.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..7 Ways to Create Enthusiasm

  5. Mohammed says:

    These are very good tips, especially for me, since I have recently quit my job. The idea of overspending is now following me everywhere like an obsession. I think I’ve spent less this past month than any other month in my life. :)
    Mohammed´s last blog post ..Cheyletiella Mange

  6. Hi Jimi, these are some great tips. It reminds me of a story I read about NFL football players who are locked out. They were warned by the union to save a few paychecks just in case, but apparently many players didn’t listen. Just a month later, a bunch of players are already desperate and taking out high interest loans. It just goes to show that even rich people can blow all their money without a budget.
    Jennifer Barry´s last blog post ..Just In Case

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Jennifer.
      Wow, that’s quite a story, although not at all surprising. It does seem odd that top earners would find themselves in such a situation, but as you’ve pointed out, it happens.

      I was watching a lottery winners show late one night when I could not sleep, and of course there was story after story of how folks had pretty much blown it all.

      Unreal.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..New Site Launch!

  7. Maria Pavel says:

    Self-explanatory advices, but so difficult to follow!
    Some people manage to follow these rules pretty easy, unfortunately i’m not one of those people. For example, if i go out to have some fun, i’m unable to just say ‘stop’ and go home once i’m over my budget.
    I guess it’s a discipline thing, and i’m lacking it in more than one area.
    Still, i’m working on it, maybe i’ll get wiser once i grow older :)
    Maria Pavel´s last blog post ..Tips for CNA Job Interview

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Maria.
      Sorry for the delayed reply, had to fish you out of the spam folder. :-)

      You’ve nailed it, it’s about recognizing that there may be a consequence later for over-spending. Striking a balance and handling things on the business side of life is how we can avoid problems later.

      But I know exactly what you are saying, I’ve been there myself but gave it up long ago for other advancements in life. I suspect you’ll do the same. :-)
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..New Site Launch!

  8. Maria Pavel says:

    Hi Jim,

    No problem for the late reply, do you have any idea why my comment was in the spam folder? Quite weird, it didn’t happen before :)
    Regarding your advice, I know you are right but sometimes is so hard for me to keep thing balanced, no matter how hard I try :)
    Maria Pavel´s last blog post ..Red Cross CNA Training

  9. James says:

    Hi Jimi,

    I really needed some advices and a ‘how to’ for being disciplined when it comes to finances, it really helped me out, I did a lot of things wrong hehe. I will respect these rules and guide through them, thank you very much!

    Best wishes,

    Jimi
    James´s last blog post ..Earthwise CCS30008 18-Volt 8-Inch Cordless Chain Saw

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi James.

      I’m really happy this post has helped you. Know that you’re not the only one who has done things the wrong way with regard to finances. :-)

      Many of us make mistakes and find ourselves in situations we wish we had avoided but the important thing is to learn from the missteps and steer clear of future trouble.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..Bridge Over Susquehana

  10. Very helpful tips and recommendations! It is very important to be highly disciplined when it comes to finances in online business. As to advice “Spend Less than you Earn” I would like to say that sometimes (especially at the beginning of launching business) it makes sense to invest more money in online business if you feel that it is really profitable. If you select the right marketing strategy you will manage to obtain higher revenue in the end and success will not keep you waiting for a long time.
    Terje Sannarnes´s last blog post ..Why an Online Entrepreneur Should Not Trust SEO Companies

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Terje.

      I would agree that you need to invest in your business, particularly early on, so in that instance, one would spend more than they are earning. This would be one of the few exceptions to that advice.

      As they say and is true, it takes money to make money. :-)

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave your comment.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..End of the Line

  11. Joshua says:

    Being disciplined in terms of your finances can always avert you from big trobles. You should always have a maximum limit for each project that you can bear, if even the entire investment goes into loss, so that you are not affected much with the flops of a project.
    Joshua´s last blog post ..Why Choose Plumbing as a Career

  12. Robert Miras says:

    Hello Jimi, Thank you for this post. You were absolutely appreciated by this post. I am that a person who always finds nothing left in my pocket.I don’t know but money slips to my hand easily. However, your blog could be a great help if learned to follow on it.

    coin counters
    http://www.betterbusinesselectronics.com/Coin-Counters-c26/

  13. Hi Jimi,

    I am new to your blog. Found you through Steve Scott. I am sure you are familiar with him. He highlighted you as one of his favorite commentor. Way to go.

    Thanks for the tips in this financial post. I really needed this one as I am struggling with a bit of consumer debt.

    Question: If you are buried with a ton of consumer debt, should you still pay yourself first? We all know about the importance of giving back to charity. How about contributing to charity when you have debts?

    My one tip to save money when you still want to enjoy certain decent lifestyle like eating out well – use groupons. These are great money savers and the quality is still there.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Cheers

  14. Absolutely fantastic posting!
    Thanks a lot.
    Newton

    Government Jobs, IT Jobs

  15. MaryPablate says:

    Great financial stuffs and saving tips, now I would try to follow them to be more financially stronger.
    MaryPablate´s last blog post ..Backlink Service

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