I think many of us will agree on the fact that learning financial responsibility as a youngster is likely the best way to adopt good financial habits. When you start practicing responsible money management early, it tends to stick with you over the years.
However, even if you didn't pick up good financial habits early, it's okay. There is GOOD NEWS!
There are ways to be financially responsible, even if you're not that financially responsible....That is, there are some essential things to keep in mind when you make purchases. If you let these principles guide you, you will be more financially responsible, without really even doing much!
Okay, first...Buy less and choose well. It can mean the difference between having a little extra money to save and blowing your entire paycheck. No one likes living paycheck to paycheck, so when purchasing, be picky! Think first...Do you REALLY need that item?
I have faced this dilemma many-a-time in the store. Here's an example: I was buying groceries, an obvious necessity. I was strolling through the aisles, when I stopped to think...."Besides being extremely satisfying to the taste buds, are these chips going to benefit me in any way?" The answer was no, they won't. So, one by one, I returned unnecessary items to the shelves, and figured out what I truly needed. By practicing this "buy less, choose well" habit, I am forced to be more creative in my cooking. For example, creating my own french fries by baking potatoes cut into the shape of fries and adding a touch of sea salt and safflower oil.
I can't think of many 18 - 25 year olds who have struck gold in their lives, just yet....So keep that in mind! A good idea, and a good practice of financially responsible people is to live below your means. That way, you always have a little extra to save, and a little extra cushion just in case. In other words, maybe the new Dodge Viper on the lot isn't the best choice for your first vehicle.
THREE. YUP, JUST DO IT!
Think long term on this one. Don't waste your money on the little things that will only satisfy you for the moment. Keep the big picture in mind. Look ahead. What do you really want in life? Would you rather have a comfortable home, or a new closet full of trendy clothes? I can't tell you which is right....that's up to you!
Take care, everyone!