Laura Rowley’s Four Habits of Financially Peaceful People

Reader Dave sent me a link to Laura Rowley’s Four Habits of Financially Peaceful People.

The Habits (along with my thoughts on each one):

1. They know exactly where their money goes. I’ll admit that I pay less attention to this now than I used to. But, if my finances were really tight and I had to make changes, I would definitely want to know where every dollar was going.

2. They know what they want their money to do. You have to have goals otherwise you’ll see no point in saving your money. The biggie goal for everyone is retirement. Other goals could be an adequate emergency fund, downpayment for a house, college fund for kids, money for a new car, or anything else that will require a significant chunk of change.

3. They either don’t carry revolving debt, or have a specific plan to pay it down. We paid off our credit cards two years ago and have never looked back. It is SO AWESOME to not have credit card debt! I can’t tell you how good it feels! It’s amazing how quickly you can save up for something when you don’t have to use your money to pay off credit cards.

4. They invest in their job skills, and don’t expand their lifestyles as fast as their salaries. This is really the only way to get ahead financially. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can improve your financial situation when you don’t increase your lifestyle everytime you get a raise. It’s true that you really can spend everything you make if you don’t practice discipline.

So, what are your thoughts about these habits? I think all of these habits are important and I pretty much practice all of them. What about you?

10 thoughts on “Laura Rowley’s Four Habits of Financially Peaceful People”

  1. I do all of the above except invest in job skills. How does someone with a poverty-level income invest in their job skills? Laura can be SO silly at times.

  2. All four points are very valid though they might be hard to get to immediately. I think revolving debt will be the biggest problem on a lot of peoples lists.

    Grumpy, you can invest in job skills with a poverty-level income by using the library, free classes at community centers and possibly getting subsided funding for schooling. If you happen to be in the Standford area I believe if your income is low enough they’ll cover cost of attendance. There are options out there for that point regardless of where you might be.

  3. Good habits.

    I do all of the above except for my employer invests in my job skills so I don’t have to. I took three courses this year at my work location; I can order work-related books for free; and we have a good library. Mostly I learn via self-study, though, by looking up information on the web, since when I really need to learn something for my project – which is most of the time – there is usually no time to look for a class.

    Grumpy, you cannot believe how much you can learn on the internet – totally free. At least in computer software, there is wealth of information out there – tutorials, open source software, code samples. I don’t know about other fields, obviously, but I’d imagine it is the case too. At least every time I need to find information about any area, technical, home improvement, anything, I find it on the web. Just choose the area you are interested in, and google for it. You need to be motivated and disciplined to learn via self-study, but it is something you can develop.

  4. No one is an island. Start helping each other.

    In this economy, people need to put aside their pride and be willing to sacrifice (and band together) in order to stay out of debt and survive.

    There ARE ways to cut costs in these difficult times. EVERYONE has a skill or talent that can help themselves or others.

    When I was earning 18k a year, I couldn’t afford my own place so I shared apartments or houses with friends. I eventually rented the upper half of a house for $200.00 from an elderly lady and walked to work. She gave me extra chores to earn more money. It helped us both.

    I NEVER spent my paycheck BEFORE I paid my bills. Even if I had to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I knew I needed light to run my fridge!

    Why are so many people living alone? Why doesn’t our government make arrangements for seniors to share ONE HOUSE and have a single care giver for 5 individuals like they do for the developmentally disabled?

    They would be able to live in decent neighborhoods (NOT nursing homes), be near a hospital, have company and be able to socialize if they like. If not, they could watch tv in their rooms or arrange outings with other friends and family. It would be easy to hire one or two care givers to always be there to help. They could get their OWN room and board for free in exchange for being at this home for X number of hours per week. This would enable seniors to be more independent, cut the costs of health care, and create a proper support group so one’s children don’t have to be around all the time.

    Cut expenses! Share food, buy in bulk, reduce car usage by having one vehicle for 5 people.

    Soo many ways to make ends meet if we just try….

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