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3: Analyze Your Circumstances

Habits that Build Financial Well-Being

Definition of Financial Well-Being

According to the CFPB, financial well-being is defined as:

“A state of being wherein you have control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances; have the capacity to absorb a financial shock; are on track to meet your financial goals; and have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow you to enjoy life.”

With this definition in mind, SAM suggests these guiding principles for structuring your financial habits:

  • Spend less than you earn. Bolster your savings and reduce your expenses. Remember, just because you can have something doesn’t mean you need it.
  • Save for future spending. Get yourself into a habit of saving. Start simple by taking advantage of any automated savings or investments that exist. Then build your habit, checking in as you get closer to your goal.
  • Only borrow what you can afford. Don’t deny yourself, but avoid spending for an outward show or status symbol. Consider the loss to your long-range goals when you choose to spend now. Remember, every dollar borrowed today is a dollar less to spend tomorrow.
  • Grow your money. Work with a financial or tax advisor to structure investments so you can gain tax advantages. Contribute as much as you can to employer-sponsored retirement plans, especially if your employer makes matching contributions.
  • Boost your earning capacity. Even as your earnings increase, try to live off a set income level and add to your investments. Allowing your interest-earning accounts to grow will help you offset any downturns or emergency expenses.
  • Protect what you have. This applies to not only insurance for yourself, your property and income, but also your investments.

list of ways to structure your financial habits

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