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Naina Rajgopalan has a thing for numbers and a deep fascination to learn about all things finance. She’s been money-wise from a young age and has always shared her knowledge and tips with those around her. Being a part of the content team at Freo, a neobank that offers flexible and customized financial products, along with benefits such as insurance on balance, safe & secure banking, and so on, Naina stays updated with the latest of what happens in the banking and fintech industries. She has taken it upon herself to share her knowledge with readers across all walks of life to help them manage their finances and budgets better, so they can make better decisions while spending, borrowing, investing and saving.
Do I have enough money to fall back on in times of emergencies? Have I saved enough to purchase my dream car or plan the most-awaited vacation? We often ask these questions to ourselves, especially when we do not have financial freedom. But financial freedom isn’t something we are usually blessed with; it comes when we are disciplined and dedicated to our goals.
Financial discipline requires practice. In this article, we talk about how you can build it in 5 practical steps. Let’s first quickly understand what precisely financial discipline means.
Financial Discipline Meaning
Financial discipline refers to the ability to control and manage our financial behavior, spending habits, and overall financial decisions responsibly and intentionally. It involves exercising self-control, making conscious choices, and sticking to a financial plan or budget we have created for ourselves. It can be immensely helpful in managing debt better, saving for emergencies and investments, achieving financial milestones, and living a well-rounded life.
5 Steps to Build Financial Discipline
How do you have financial discipline? And most importantly, how do you stay disciplined with money? These five steps will help you:
Listing Down Financial Goals
Listing financial goals is essential for effective budgeting; it provides clarity, focus, and motivation in managing personal finances. It allows you to calculate the ideal amount you must set aside for your monthly goals to meet them on time. With clear financial goals in place, you can track and measure your progress over time, which can help tremendously in staying accountable for your money and expenditures.
Creating a Budget
A budget helps you gain control over your spending. By tracking your expenses and setting limits for different categories, you can avoid overspending and make conscious choices about allocating your resources. It lets you prioritize your spending based on your financial goals and values. And with this, you can be so financially stable that you do not need to accumulate excessive debt.
Moreover, knowing that you have a budget in place and are actively managing your finances brings peace of mind. It reduces financial stress, provides a sense of control, and helps you plan better for the future.
Financial discipline should ideally be forced when necessary. The best financial habit is to pay bills, transfer loan installments, and set aside the monthly savings amount immediately to avoid late payment charges or depleting the money. An ideal and most useful way to ensure this is to automate payments like credit card payments, bill payments, debt installments, investment transactions, etc. This way, you can stay on track and prevent these expenses from piling up.
If you’re looking for a risk-free way to save where you can also automate recurring payments, you can open Fixed Deposit (FD) or Recurring Deposit (RD) accounts with your bank. But first, educate yourself on the difference between RD and FD to reap the most benefits.
Tracking your spending provides a clear picture that visualizes your spending patterns, identify areas of excessive or unnecessary expenses, and gain insight into your overall financial situation. This awareness is crucial for making informed financial decisions and taking control of your money.
Spend tracking also helps you stay aligned with your financial goals and ensure that you’re adhering to your financial plan. By regularly reviewing your expenses, you can identify any deviations, make necessary adjustments, and avoid overspending.
Saving the Emergency Fund in a High-Yield Savings Account
If you are creating an emergency track and have a savings account, you are already on track. But if you’re not earning any interest on the saved amount, you may miss out since it can increase your savings rate.
High-yield savings accounts have interest rates higher than ever. And the difference in the benefits when you are saving with a bank or online can also be huge. So, make sure to explore your options and find out what makes the most sense. You can also consider factors like liquidity, stability, safety, etc.
Financial discipline is crucial for maintaining stability, achieving financial goals, managing debt, being prepared for emergencies, cultivating responsible habits, and attaining financial freedom. By practicing discipline in financial matters using the tips above, you can build a solid financial foundation and work towards a more secure future!
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