Are you an impulsive or a careful shopper? Do you plan your purchases or whip out your credit card on a whim? Your answers to these questions will make you see whether or not you have financial discipline.
Children usually resort to tears or tantrums when they do not get what they want. Fortunately, we all generally outgrow that stage, growing up into more mature and disciplined adults.
When it comes to personal finances, such self-control is especially important.
Knowing how to handle money matters is considered a hallmark of adulthood. That’s where financial discipline comes in.
What Is Financial Discipline?
Financial discipline means being responsible for managing your income and expenses wisely. A little bit of discipline takes you a long way in life, and the same concept is applied here too.
Everything good for you does not come easy. That is the first thing you need to understand about financial discipline. Your resolve is the only thing standing between a good amount of saving and overspending on your daily wants.
All the celebrities and people in business have a strict routine and a lot of discipline. These practices enabled them to get ahead of the curve. They have a good financial plan that helps them reach their financial goals.
You can also create a budget, manage your finances, and look for investment opportunities to keep the cash flow running.
Why Do You Need Financial Discipline?
Money doesn’t bring happiness. It might not be true, but it isn’t completely false, either. Money does bring a certain level of comfort.
So, financial planning and money management are essential to achieve your goals.
Financial discipline will ensure that your vision for your future becomes a reality because when you practice financial discipline, you control your money rather than the money controlling you.
It’s easy to give in to your desires and vigorously shop online or keep upgrading to the next mobile phone or other accessories. Everyone likes to own the next big thing or whatever their heart wants, whether they need it or not.
The difference between wanting and needing something is that list of things you want is endless. It’s part of human nature.
Ask yourself. Do you need those $800 heels or simply want them? Soon, you’ll find yourself saving money. Those savings will fuel whatever goals you have for your future. Maybe you need to save for retirement or have an emergency fund.
You can use the extra cash in a savings account, giving you a monthly profit that will boost your savings without you doing anything. Being fiscally responsible is good for you and the people around you, your friends, and your family.
Being financially responsible will make you a great financial planner. The skills you’ll learn will benefit your long-term goals and also others. For example, you could help your friends with their retirement planning and living expenses, help them pay off their debts, or teach them how to save or to invest.
15 Tips in Practicing Financial Discipline
Managing your finances is easier said than done. Frankly, it can be intimidating.
Luckily, there are a couple of points you could follow and try to incorporate into your daily life that’ll help you practice financial discipline.
1. Have a Realistic Goal
Having a goal is good, but having a realistic goal will get you through tough times. For example, you can set a goal to save $1,000 each month, but how can you do that when most of your salary goes towards paying rent, car insurance, utility bills, and other living expenses.
What you can do is set a specific percentage to set aside. It can be 5% or 10% or 20%, whatever you can manage without compromising the stability of your daily life.
2. Visualize your Goal
Your goal could be anything from buying a new car to a new apartment or maybe even starting your clothing line. Your goal and dreams are your own, and only you can make them a reality.
Visualizing your goal will help you make sound and rational decisions. It will help you save money and help strengthen your financial future. This practice will help you keep your goal ahead of your mind.
So, whenever you’re about to purchase something, you’ll think about your goal and whether this purchase will set you back or not. Such a practice will improve your spending habits.
3. Make a Road Map
Making a road map will help you keep track of progress.
It will work in two ways. First, follow the road map you’ve set. You hold yourself accountable for staying true to it or deviating from it.
Second, it will help you gauge progress and highlight financial liabilities. These factors combined will help you manage your money in a better way.
4. Take a Breather
Once in a while, take a breather. As important as being strict with yourself and following the road map is, it’s just as important to let yourself enjoy it. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. I’m sure you’ve heard of that before; that same concept applies here.
Spend a little on yourself and get something nice as a reward for a job well done. This can encourage and boost your resolve. You’ll see how far you’ve come and how much further you can go if you keep managing your finances.
Budgeting and financial planning will be crucial factors in your journey to achieve financial discipline. However, if you don’t know how to create a budget, then you can enlist the help of a financial advisor or a friend who is good at it.
List all your expenses that occur in a month, then filter out the necessary expenses such as bills, medicine, rent, etc. After that, you should be left with a specific amount. Take a percentage out of that amount, which will be your savings.
Then, you can spend the money left on whatever you want but don’t cut into your savings.
6. Use Banking Services
For some, it might be challenging to set aside a specific amount each month when they have cash in hand. An alternative method is to direct that specific amount from your salary into a different account.
Each month a certain amount will be deposited in that savings account, and you’ll get the rest in the account of your choice. That way, you can utilize the money without worrying about saving.
7. Savings Applications
There are loads of saving applications available that you can utilize to save more money. For example, Trim is one application that will help you save on subscriptions, bills, etc. It might not be a lot, but every penny counts in the long run.
By using the services of such applications, you can reach the goal of setting aside that specific amount much more quickly. You may read our full Trim review for more details on the platform.
You can also earn money while you shop through these cashback apps:
- Rakuten. Want to get a cashback while you shop at over 3,500 stores? Check out this rewards site to save some shopping money. Read our full Rakuten review here.
- Ibotta. Earn cashback rewards when you purchase using the Ibotta app. Check out our full Ibotta review for more details on the platform.
- MyPoints. In this rewards platform, you can earn points from shopping online and doing microtasks, such as taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and more. For more details, here is our complete MyPoints review.
- Fetch Rewards. An easy-to-use, mobile-only application, Fetch Rewards offers you the chance to earn points for redemption as gift cards or extra money. Our full Fetch Rewards review gives you an idea of this app’s benefits.
8. Help From a Friend
The road to practicing financial discipline might be long and challenging, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. Ask a friend to help you stay on track, or, even better, you can go on this journey together.
That way, you can help each other follow the rules you’ve set, talk about finances and how you can better manage them, keep a check on how much the other is spending, etc.
9. Make Personal Changes
These factors above will not help you if you’re unwilling to change.
Changing your spending habits will lead to better money management skills. In addition, better money management skills will lead to more financial literacy.
It’s a chain, and one thing leads to another, and at the end is the throne of financial discipline.
Motivation is crucial if you want to make changes. However, it’s understandable if you feel unmotivated because motivation does not come in an infinite amount.
Small doses and constant reminders are the best way to motivate yourself to stay on the path. They will keep reminding you of your goal and that it will be worth it.
Set a daily reminder or count down that will greet you in the morning and tell you how many days are left till your goal is reached.
11. Challenging Yourself
Challenging yourself will help you keep on track and hold yourself accountable. If you have a friend to help you or are accompanying you on this journey, you can make it a challenge between you two.
See who reaches the goal of, let’s say, $5,000 first. It will be a fun and competitive way to keep yourself motivated, like completing a money-saving challenge or, later, accomplishing your short-term financial goals.
12. Needs vs. Wants
Strike a healthy balance between your needs and wants. For example, do you need a new mobile or just want it? Do you need that sofa or do you want it?
You’ll see that a lot of the time, you spend your money on stuff you don’t need.
13. Side Hustles
There are countless ways through which you can earn money on the side.
- Participate in online surveys and earn cash or gift cards with the following platforms:
- Swagbucks. This rewards program lets you earn points by browsing the web, shopping online, and taking surveys. Signing up with Swagbucks is completely free. Your points are then converted into free gift cards or cash-backs. Read our full Swagbucks review here.
- InboxDollars. Sign up, start doing the online tasks, and earn extra cash with Inbox Dollars. Take the surveys, redeem coupons, play games online, watch videos, search the web, and more. Making money can’t get any easier than that! Read our full InboxDollars review here.
- Survey Junkie. You can earn extra cash through Survey Junkie by completing online surveys or sharing your data. You will be paid with gift cards or cash through Paypal. Read our full Survey Junkie review for more information.
- Be a pet sitter or walker. Get paid to walk dogs or pet sit with Rover and earn over $1,000 monthly. The working hours are flexible, which will allow you to incorporate walking jobs into your part-time schedule.
- Become an Instagram influencer. You can make money on Instagram by creating posts for brands, endorsing different products, or selling your merchandise. A micro-influencer, defined by Vox as someone with a minimum of 10,000 followers, can make at least $40,000 annually.
- Start blogging. Check this guide on how to start a blog and head on to this reliable web host, BlueHost, that provides various feature-packed web hosting options to help you build your website without a sweat.
- Be an online transcriptionist. If you’re good at grammar and can pay keen attention to details, you can work as a transcriptionist on sites such as GoTranscript. Check out these Transcribe Anywhere courses for beginners or experienced transcriptionists. Here’s a transcription guide to get you started.
- Work as a Virtual Assistant. Working from home with flexible hours, you can do your tasks as virtual support for the company’s full-time staff. The work could range from routine office stuff like answering emails to managing the boss’s schedule.
- Flip items for profit. Turn those pre-loved or unused household or personal items into quick cash by selling them online and decluttering your home in the bargain. You may post them on Craigslist or in an online flea market.
Or, if you are good at finding saleable new or secondhand goods and reselling them at a profit, there are many online sites like Craigslist, Letgo, Decluttr, eBay, and Amazon where you can earn cash by buying and selling.
- Play online games. If you are a gamer, this activity is the perfect side hustle. With platforms like Mistplay, InboxDollars, or Gamehag, you can play to your heart’s content as you earn exchangeable points for cash or gift cards. Start a YouTube gaming channel or a video gaming blog where you can also earn extra cash.
- Drive, deliver, and earn. Make money delivering food using your own car or bike. You can make as much as $500 a week with DoorDash or Postmates. Read our DoorDash review or check out our comparison of DoorDash vs. Postmates and see what best fits you.
- Get paid to shop. With Instacart, you act as a personal shopper for customers; you also have the option for more work as a contractor by driving and delivering their groceries to their doorstep.
14. Check for Money Bleeds
Tiny transactions can go unnoticed; the same goes for bills and subscriptions. Sure, a dollar or fifty cents won’t hurt, but when you add up all these small purchases, you’ll see that the total amount is pretty significant.
Save up by cutting on online subscriptions. For example, you can use two screens instead of four on Netflix, save up on the water and electricity bills by turning off the lights and fans when they aren’t in use, etc.
15. Don’t Give Up
Not giving up is the most crucial factor you must remember. A negative mindset will never let you see what you’re truly capable of. You must have a winning mentality and the drive to complement it to win.
Never give up on your goals and dreams. Always remind yourself of that, be a cut above the rest, and prove it by sticking to your chosen path.
The following success stories may inspire you to persevere toward your goals:
- Aaron Rodgers Net Worth: The Unwanted Quarterback’s Journey to the Top
- Sharelle Rosado Net Worth: Empowering Women in the World of Real Estate
- Pardison Fontaine Net Worth: From the Shadows of the Stars
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Financial Discipline
How Can I Have Financial Discipline?
You can get financial discipline by setting rules for yourself that you have to follow, balancing your wants and needs, changing your spending habits, and so on.
What Does It Mean to Be Disciplined With Money?
To be disciplined with money means to manage it responsibly. For example, you earn $4,500 per month, but you’re spending more than what you earn, meaning you’re probably cutting into your savings. That is highly irresponsible.
Saving a percentage of your earnings, using the rest to pay off the essentials and monthly expenses, and managing everything within that amount is practicing financial discipline.
Why Is Financial Discipline Important?
Financial discipline is important to achieve your goals and make your dreams a reality. A financially responsible person has more stable financial health and is prone to enjoying the best that life offers.
You have to take a few steps back to save up, giving you more room to run and make the leap towards greatness and financial independence.
Conclusion – Financial Discipline
Financial discipline consists of making financial goals and ensuring that they are achieved. Controlling your emotions when it comes to spending and managing your money is also a key factor in financial discipline,
To quote Mac Duke The Strategist, “If you don’t take care of your money, your money won’t take care of you.” Your future can be more prosperous and stable when you practice financial discipline.
Start your smart money habits now. Here’s to your financial success and empowerment!
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.