Financial success means a different thing to each of us- but for the most part, financial success means financial stability. And while we may believe that financial success is an unreachable goal, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

On the contrary, financial success lies within our habits and our mindset. Those who are successful with their financial endeavors realize this, and they live by a different set of rules and habits that set them apart. Aligning yourself with these same habits and mindsets can completely change your world- and honestly, they aren’t difficult to use.

Here are the 12 major things that separate financially successful people from those who struggle with their finances.

1. They have a budget and follow it.

A budget is financial stability 101. Sit down, and write out all of your bills for the month, and all of your necessities. Each time you get to pay, allocate the money you have to use towards them, and make a budget for extras. Set the rest in a safe place of savings. You’d be surprised at how much money you are likely wasting, and a budget will help you get that under control.

2. They educate themselves about the unknown.

Is there an area of your financial journey you are unsure of? Don’t be afraid to brush up and teach yourself about it. For example, if you don’t know how a 401k account works, take a course or read some books. This could be said for any aspect of your journey you don’t understand. Sure, no one wants to admit they don’t know everything- but it’s the first step to learning more!

3. They have long-term goals.

Long-term goals force us to look at the big picture. It’s important to have a clear vision of the financial goals you have for the future, as it provides the incentive and commitment you will need to structure yourself and fix your finances.

4. They make saving a priority.

Pay yourself first! When you get paid, set aside a reasonable amount of money that is realistic and that you won’t have to use. Then, pay your bills and budget the amount you can spend on other necessities and wants.

5. They don’t keep up with the Joneses.

Do not compete with others! You do not know how much the person you are comparing yourself to is struggling behind the scenes, or how much money they make to support their lifestyle. Regardless, you are not them! Don’t worry about impressing others, worry about maintaining stability.

6. They don’t deprive themselves.

Saving up money doesn’t mean you can’t splurge sometimes. Splurging or giving yourself treats along the way encourages you to work and save harder when you aren’t giving yourself a treat.

7. They avoid debt and pay off necessary debts quickly.

Financial experts, like Dave Ramsey, suggest paying off debt as quickly as possible. Why? Because loan companies charge massive interest on high-balance debts. The longer it takes you to pay, the more interest you pay on your loan. Pay more towards your loans to pay them off faster. Dave Ramsey suggests paying off the highest balance or the highest interest rate loan first.

8. They don’t waste time complaining.

Complaining has NEVER solved anyone’s problems. Instead, it’s a waste of time that could otherwise be spent on other useful activities. Stop complaining.

9. They don’t play the blame game.

It’s easy to blame the government, the economy, or a bad start for why you don’t have money or financial stability. But- it’s a waste of time to worry about blaming when you could be taking action towards fixing your circumstances. Financially successful people realize that.

10. They understand they have more to learn.

Financially successful people don’t stop learning, ever. They know they don’t know everything and stay open to learning more.

11. They have side-hustles.

Hear me out: you don’t have to work 7 jobs to have enough money to survive, but if there is something you love to do or make, find creative ways to offer your services to others and make some extra money. Even if it’s just you selling your extra clothes or makeup, that extra money adds up.

12. They control impulse spending.

We all have triggers and things that make it difficult to control our spending. For example, I have a major problem with Amazon. I just can’t help myself when I am on there, so I avoid it altogether. Find out where it is that you lose control, and find a means for controlling your spending triggers.

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