It all boils down to self control

9/19/2017


Our economy is not doing so great, many people are struggling and more and more people are spiraling into debt. While you can't control what is happening in our country currently, you can definitely control your money. And the only way to do that is by exercising financial self-control.

Self-control essentially means discipline. This means controlling impulses, delaying gratification, pushing through frustration, persevering when challenged, and waiting patiently for your turn. Sometimes, self-control means an almighty push to change and develop new habits.

Sadly, our culture doesn't encourage that. Instead, we are encouraged to “buy it now and pay later!” with easy monthly payments. Advertisers also know how to play into our insecurities as consumers and tell us infinite ways their products will satisfy our needs. In turn, we spend with a vengeance because we subconsciously believe that we are meeting our needs.

This overconsumption does not add up in our favour and it also produces a payment to payment lifestyle that never ends and keeps us stressed, depressed, and enslaved to debt.  This can be quite detrimental and counterproductive to achieving long-term financial goals.

If you want to see your financial dreams come true you must properly manage your income. Otherwise, the money will soon be gone with little to show for it.

If you always overspend or have an unrestrained need for pleasure, you may find maintaining self-control and discipline to be a little more difficult than others. So try this tips for a month and see what happens:

Get an adviser. Managing money is an emotional experience for many of us and when we are faced with financially distressing situations, we tend to bury our heads in the sand. So an outside point of view can come in handy. Good advice might save you money in the long run.

Be mindful of your spending. What you spend your money reflects what you value. Pay attention and think carefully and logically about the decisions you make with money. Choosing to effectively spend will always be a battle of self-control.

Identify your needs from wants. There will always be something to want. Once one desire is fulfilled, the eyes will turn to something else. Each time you’re tempted to buy something related to your hobbies, pause, take a deep breath—and then plan to actually spend on things related to your interests instead.

Do not purchase items on impulse. Consider thinking if you really need the item, or maybe you can still put it off for later when you really have the need for it.

If you want to get out of debt, stop using credit.  That’s like eating a slap chips every night before bed and wondering why your jeans keep getting tighter. Keeping away from credit cards and other forms of debt keeps you from digging for yourself a deeper hole.

I’m a huge fan of paying yourself first. If you can set up an automated deposit from your checking to your savings at the start of each month it helps even more. The less you have to consciously deal with setting aside the money, the less likely you are to spend it. I’ve had R200 coming out of my account every month for the past 8 years now and that small amount has accumulated nicely.

You don’t need to be a math genius to handle your money matters and build wealth. It takes a bit of common sense, being adaptive, understanding how our minds work, and practicing the art of setting personal limitations (and goals) and following through.

How much discipline and self-control do you practice in your everyday life? Do you spend more money each month than your budget allows?

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