Most financially successful people believe they have significant control over their lives and that success comes from focus, hard work, persistence, patience and a positive attitude. You can't control everything in life but you can prepare to deal with the unexpected.
Five behaviors that many successful people have followed to achieve financial security include:
- Establish and maintain a healthy view of money. Many people neglect or avoid their finances because they don't understand them, they think of money as dirty or they feel undeserving of wealth. Financially successful people, on the other hand, view money as a powerful tool to accomplish positive things in their lives. Money can provide a comfortable lifestyle, help you care for your family and allow you to contribute to your community. Financial success requires a conscious effort to embrace and manage money as a positive force toward achieving goals. Strive to understand the fundamentals of finance and investment and start putting your money to work.
- Take personal financial responsibility. If you want financial success, take responsibility to make it happen. Seek out opportunities and take initiative to move forward toward your goals. Take responsibility for creating your success and avoid a victim mentality of blaming your parents, boss, company or the government for disappointments. Sure you will run into obstacles, but stay focused and continue working toward your goal. Maintain a positive attitude and surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
- Set goals. It's difficult to take action and make a plan without some direction on what you want to achieve. Start by considering your values and what is most important to you. With your values in mind, write down some long-term goals. Prioritize two or three goals you need to work on first and create a plan to accomplish each goal. Periodically review and update goals to continue moving forward toward your plan.
- Maintain a long-term perspective. Achieving financial security requires a balance between immediate satisfaction and long-term needs. Meeting long-term goals requires making short-term trade-offs for long-term gain. Create a budget that aligns with your long-term goals. Stay focused on spending money on what is truly important and avoid spending to impress others.
- Invest in yourself. Financially successful people never stop learning. While it's necessary to obtain the requisite education and training to get started in your chosen field, it is also important to continue learning. Ongoing education is essential to stay current and progress in your career. Successful people are continually reading, attending conferences, taking classes and networking to learn about new opportunities and better ways to perform their jobs. They are also continually learning to be prepared for future career opportunities.
Jane Young, a fee-only certified financial planner, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.