It’s amazing how we can consider ourselves to be separate from our financial behaviors. We may think ourselves to be good, moral people, but still fail to manage our financial matters or to care for the obligations we get ourselves into. It’s a shame in some ways, but many of us are defined by our financial means in the moment. 

This doesn’t mean you have to be labeled by your financial situation forever, of course. Even a wealthy person can lose it all, nor does a wealthy person necessarily have money because they are a ‘better’ person. But the priorities we apply for our spending, the ability we have to curate our spending as a consumer, our ability to save, and our willingness to work will all define the quality of our lives and how comfortable we are. To that extent, while money never makes a moral statement as to how ‘good’ we are, the statement it makes is felt within the daily experience we have.

This in itself means that curating the healthiest financial attitudes could be as important a personality improvement as choosing to become less angry in tense situations. With the following advice, you’ll bring the best financial behaviors and aptitudes for this year and beyond:

Wanton Subscriptions Can Be A Drain

Many of us have found convenience in switching to subscription options offered by many companies looking to reach a wider audience. Subscriptions are now the dominant payment schedule for many entertainment services such as music and TV streaming, but also for necessary software packages, for certain care covers, and maybe for premium services such as Amazon’s Prime option, unlocking next day delivery as well as other benefits. It is very easy to get so used to these subscriptions that we ignore how they build up, and just how much we’re paying for them each week. This can be a problem, and it’s best that we recognize this, and read through the contracts to ensure we can limit services we no longer need.

Wanton subscriptions can be a real drain if we’re not careful, and so we would recommend checking just what you’re paying for at least once every three months. This can help you close or limit the accounts you’re not using, even if it’s something as simple as freezing your gym membership for a month while you travel. This way, you’ll be cutting the fat from your financial obligations.

Use Services That Have You In Mind

Why should we feel beholden to companies that seem predatory in their pricing or haven’t the consumer in mind? In 2020, shouldn’t we focus on using and supporting services that have the convenience of the consumer in mind? This is already being felt in some major industries such as telecommunications. Many SIM card packages now offer the ability to roll a monthly payment without being tied to a contract. With the chance to cancel at any time, this has helped us veer off from the two-year fixed terms we may be used to.

But these waves are also being felt in other, necessary industries. For example, Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance is revolutionizing how we regard our insurance premiums and just what cover you may be able to gain for a certain vehicle. In this way, the cost of driving a vehicle needn’t be quite so aggressively felt, allowing us to plan our financial commitments around how much we actually drive. It’s astonishing how it’s taken up to the current year for forward-thinking services to offer phenomenal options such as this, and so if this is a practice you hope to see become the norm, supporting pioneering companies could be a worthwhile use of your time and money.

Keep Everything Indexed & Tracked

Tracking your financial activity can be a revolution for some people. This might sound patronizing, but it’s true. It’s very easy to forget to go over your financial outgoings in the last month if you’re not exactly struggling for cash, or sometimes, you may find that a bad habit is draining your financial standing despite you living paycheck to paycheck each week.

You needn’t have to be shocked by impromptu and hidden purchases that have taken place over the last month to find value in this. Perhaps simply reading your statement despite having your online reports hidden in your email inbox somewhere can let you know you spent 300% over what you had planned to on video games. That in itself can come as a shock. 

Reading your statements and keeping them safe in your cloud storage can be of help, but using apps such as You Need A Budget, Excel or Evernote to keep on top of your financial management can also help you apply some personal forecasts or more adequately save for larger purchases. When you know exactly what’s going on in your accounts, down to the last penny or cent, a strange sense of comfort can take place. Even if you’re not in the best financial situation this can be the case. A problem you refuse to look at, or spending you refuse to track can often lead to a guilty sense of unease, and no one wants to open their bank account balance with anxiety when they finally get around to it.

Re-Assess Your QOL Means

Are you living within your means and finding the best quality of life? Or are you overspending on things that you simply do not need, such as luxury, ten-ply toilet paper that costs $5 more than necessary? When you can put into perspective what you actually need, you can help trim some of the fat of your spending and purchase higher-quality considerations that actually matter. A little healthy dose of reality and how that equates to our quality of life can be worthwhile for many, no matter how affluent or humble their bank balance suggests they should feel.

With this advice, we hope you can curate some of the best financial attitudes in the next decade. As evidenced, the most effective methods are usually the most simple.