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10 Things Financially Happy People Do Differently

10 Things Financially Happy People Do Differently

Face it–money is one of the biggest sources of stress in most people’s lives. You can’t live without it, but worrying about it all the time can make you go crazy! Here are ten things financially happy people do differently. Read up and follow their lead so you can be financially happy, too.

1. They take steps to reach their goals.

Financially happy people realize you don’t have to accomplish everything all at once. So you can’t buy a car with cash–why not start saving up for a used one? Break every financial goal you have into steps, and you’ll see how easy it actually is to achieve.

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2. They don’t obsess over their bank balances.

Money makes you crazy because you can’t stop thinking about it. It’s understandable, when living paycheck to paycheck, to worry about how much money you have to live on. But obsessing won’t change the number on that bank statement. Financially happy people, whether they have money or not, don’t obsess over their bank balances. They push it to the back of their minds and focus on other things, like making said money, to keep from stressing themselves out over something they can’t easily change.

3. They spend within a budget.

Financially happy people know how much they make each month, and they know how much they have to spend. They allot enough money to pay their necessary bills, and make sure to not overspending whatever is leftover.

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4. They pay off credit balances to maintain good credit.

Financially happy people don’t have debt hanging over their heads. They pay down credit card bills every month to keep their credit scores up. Good credit scores that, by the way, will help them achieve more of those financial goals mentioned in step one.

5. They plan for financial misfortune.

No one wants it to happen, no one expects it to happen, but misfortunes will come your way. It might be a car accident, it might be a tree damaging your roof, or it might be getting laid off from your job. It’s going to be scary and will put you in a bad place, financially. But financially happy people worry about these troubles a little less. They’ve planned ahead for such misfortunes, and have at least six months of money in savings to live off of, in case they’re unable to work or need to make an unexpected major purchase.

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    6. They don’t buy impulsively.

    Shopping sprees might make you feel better when you’re down, but they’re not necessary. Financially happy people don’t buy impulsively. They don’t go out and buy three new pairs of shoes–they buy one, and only when they need them. This doesn’t mean they’re frugal or cheap, they just don’t make impulse purchases, which is usually when you pay more for something that’s worth less, just because you want it right then.

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    7. They find satisfaction with what they have.

    Another reason financially happy people don’t buy impulsively is because they’re happy with what they have. They don’t want to own the latest and greatest in technology, and they don’t need a closet overflowing with clothes. They realize those things aren’t as important as financial stability, so they curb the desire to spend money on such things.

    8. They’re smart borrowers.

    Financially stable people research all options before taking out a loan. This way, they’re not stuck paying an insanely high interest rate for the next twenty years. They make sure they understand all terms and shop around to get the loan that fits exactly what they need, and they don’t take on a payment that’s more than they can afford.

    9. They don’t avoid retirement planning.

    When you’re in your twenties, retirement planning sounds crazy. It’s so far in the future that you can’t imagine needing it. Or maybe you think that it’s better to have access to that money now, instead of putting it away for forty years down the line. Financially happy people see it differently. They realize that this money is an investment, and it’s going to pay off when they need it most.

    10. They don’t give up.

    Don’t let money get you down. Anything is possible if you work for it. Financially happy people don’t see their bank balance and give up all their saving, goal-making, and retirement planning. They don’t go out and blow whatever money they have left, or start taking out loans from fly-by-night companies. They don’t get depressed, and they don’t give up. It’s always possible to turn over a new leaf and start saving your money and spending it smartly.

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    Last Updated on March 4, 2019

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

    Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

    I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

    Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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    Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

    Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

    Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

    I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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    I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

    If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

    Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

    The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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    Using Credit Cards with Rewards

    Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

    You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

    I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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    So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

    What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

    Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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