overdrawn accounts, and too little income can drain you emotionally.
This situation is all too common. But some people have discovered how to be
financially happy. What's their secret? It really isn't a mystery. In most
cases, it's all about adopting smarter financial habits — something anyone can
1. They take steps to reach goals.
Wanting to find your financial happiness is one thing; taking steps to
achieve this is an entirely different story.
Financially happy people don't wait for money to fall into their lap. They
pave their own path. Here's the thing: if all you do is sit back and moan about
your finances, things may never change. Identify where you need to make
improvements, and then create a realistic financial plan that works for you. If
you need a little help, get a financial planner.
2. They spend within a budget.
These individuals realize that there are limits to what they can do —
financially speaking. Like anyone, they would probably enjoy shopping whenever
they like, going on vacations whenever they like, and spending money however
they like. But this isn't the reality for most people, and financially happy
people know this. They stick with a budget, which is how they avoid unnecessary
debt and have enough income to pay bills.
3. They pay credit balances and maintain good credit.
Being financially happy starts with being financially responsible. These
individuals understand the dangers of credit cards and the importance of good
credit. They may only use a credit card when absolutely necessary and pay off
the balance each month. Their habit of timely payments and only buying what they
can afford contributes to low debt and a higher credit score.
4. They plan for financial misfortune.
It may look as if financially happy people have zero financial worries. But
they know that misfortune can happen at anytime, and they take steps to protect
themselves and their families against unforeseen events.
For example, they will have life insurance to protect their spouses and
children in the event of an untimely death. And they will have set aside a cash
reserve as backup in a financial crisis. Careful preparation provides peace of
5. They don't define success by the size of their bank accounts.
While these individuals work hard to care for themselves and family,
happiness and success isn't necessarily determined by the number of zeros in
their bank accounts. They recognize the danger of basing success on a dollar
amount, as this type of thinking may trigger dissatisfaction. Financial
happiness comes from knowing that they're on the right path and making
responsible choices with their money.
6. They find satisfaction in what they have.
Financially happy people live within their means and ignore the temptation to
keep up with everybody else. Income levels vary and they realize that keeping
up with the Joneses can bring more headaches than joy. They do what they can
according to their income and they're content with their life — even if it means
driving a regular car and living in a smaller house.
7. They control impulse spending.
Impulsive spending can bust budgets and drain finances. A person who's
financially happy doesn't shop on a whim and know that this is the faster way
"not" to reach financial goals. They typically plan purchases and only spend if
it's in the budget.
8. They are well-informed borrowers.
Whether they're applying for a credit card or applying for a mortgage loan,
they always compare different products and do their homework to ensure they're
getting the best deal. If they don't feel comfortable with a particular offer,
they're not afraid to walk away.
9. They haven't avoided retirement planning.
If you're in your 20s or early 30s, retirement planning may be the farthest
thing from your mind. But if you want to be financially happy in your later
years, you need to start now.
Retirement planning isn't something to put off until you're in your mid-30s.
The age that you start preparing dictates your quality of life in retirement.
Financially happy people think long-term and they know that the decisions they
make today have a major impact on their financial future.
10. They don't give up.
Even with a good financial plan, setbacks can happen. Losing your job and
living off savings can wipe out everything you've stashed over the past couple
of years. And unexpected bills or illnesses can delay goals, such as paying off
debt and buying a home. However, a financially happy person knows that life
happens and they don't quickly throw in the towel. They believe in comebacks and
do whatever it takes to reach their goals.
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