Habits allow us to focus on other things. Willpower is a limited resource, and when it runs out, you fall back on habits.
I’m hanging this script on all my workplaces – my desk with the devices, art table and the kitchen.
Yes, it is time to set New Year resolutions, and soon after, willpower will run out. You might as well create a framework for desired habits.
Don’t be obsessed with change and introducing something new. Anything that has served you well over weeks and years should continue.
WHAT ABOUT A FINANCIAL PLAN?
Don’t you have one already? You invest to save taxes. You stash away a decent sum for your child’s future. And you were disciplined enough not to buy new footwear or bags in the last two years.
Are these acts in line with your financial goals, or driven by circumstances? They are useful by all means, but need to be more focussed on targets. And targets need to be defined better.
Modalities are a framework to hold your plan.
You are wise enough to know your short-term and long-term goals, and that you need a financial plan.
Do you know what and how much will you need, and what you need to do to reach there? Are your existing resources enough to fund a long-term venture, or do you need to ramp up the income front?
What are you doing to prevent leakages?
Sub-modalities are the small steps you take every day, every week to realize your dreams. Your goals and plans are not something that you will tackle in a meeting with a financial advisor someday. And that someday isn’t happening soon.
Procrastination is a symptom of hidden fears. A small step in a day gives you the confidence that you are on the way.
Are habits sub-conscious or unconscious? They can be planted in the subconscious with a conscious effort.
- Insurance for protection
Devote at least one hour a week on researching insurance plans. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself well-covered.
You need to know new products in the market. If you need to ramp up health insurance, or add riders, you should know where to go at the time of renewal.
Don’t let the banker impose a home loan protection plan on you. Maybe, a term plan for life works better. The cover should be sufficient to repay the outstanding home loan, and leave a balance for your family’s other needs.
Follow Youtube channels like AssetYogi or Subodh Gupta’s legal advice. You gain good insights in 15 minutes a day.
2. Are your systems fraud-proof?
Well, none of the systems are. But let’s have a few checkpoints.
- Do you use a mobile hotspot for internet banking and making online payments?
- Do you change your passwords every 60 days, and note down the new ones for reference?
- Have you learnt how to devise safe passwords and remember those?
- Have you set limits for electronic fund transfers and expenses on add-on cards? You can change the same whenever needed. It might take 24 hours for the changes to become effective.
- Do you fall victim to payment method traps, that compel you to use a particular payment method, download an app or open a Buy Now Pay Later account? It makes sense to say goodbye to those sites.
- Have you memorized your 16-digit card number, or tokenised it on frequently used shopping sites? The secret to remembering numbers is using only 1-2 cards. Keying the same number 8-10 times entrenches it in memory.
Learn how to set new and safe passwords here.
Budgets are not a dirty word to be ridiculed. If you take pride in being vengefully wasteful, you will soon be working on debt management plans.
The hardest part is to differentiate between needs and wants. Your family members may have a different concept on essential expenses. First, decide on the amount you want to save, and set auto-debit on the account.
Can habits change your life, and let you set family goals?
Give everyone a fixed amount to spend, and let them prioritize the various things they want. When you choose one thing over another, you know what is more important. If you can postpone or forego something, you know it is a want.
Experience is the best teacher. They will share stories of success and failure after that. Help them in making the failures a springboard to the next spending plan or budget.
Make the budget flexible to a certain point, so that you don’t feel asphyxiated.
Do not sacrifice anything and carry a burden. Just postpone the purchase, and save money for it by cutting out unnecessary things. It makes the final deal sweeter.
WHAT ABOUT MONEY APPS?
The right ones are good enough to build the right habits.
Money apps fall in three categories.
- Budgeting apps
- Expense-splitting apps
- Investing apps
Choose what suits your needs.
And speaking about apps, do you give permissions to all and sundry to access your Contacts, Gallery, Photos, Messages and Mic? And do you store pictures of your KYC documents and signature in your gallery?
Think again. Check if your phone has a feature to disable permissions on unused apps. It may be a good idea to delete the apps not in use. You can always download them later if required.
WHAT ARE BLIND SPOTS?
All of us have blind spots. We do certain things out of habit, and do not realize it delays certain results we want.
- We do not think of opportunity costs while blocking money in a venture or scheme.
- Assumption of continuity can be erroneous at times.
- Historical performance of a scheme or stock does not accurately predict the future.
- We trust advisors blindly, and follow traditions which are not in our best interest.
Are habits hard to break? Not when you become aware of those.
What can we do about it?
- Seek different opinions. Talk to people who hold different views.
- Don’t be afraid of entertaining weird thoughts – there can be a beacon of light somewhere.
- Listen to feedback on different options. It may be on a water cooler chat.
- Be aware of confirmation bias.
Related post – Priming your Lifestyle for Prosperity