Personal finance is full of achievements you need to unlock. The more you unlock the more success you’ll have building wealth.
To ‘win’ the money game you need to hit certain milestones along the way. Some achievements are necessary before you can move forward in the game. Others enable you to accelerate your wealth even faster. And then there are some achievements that are just interesting check points along the way.
Here are 30 personal finance achievements you need to unlock!
How many have you unlocked already?
There are certain habits that make things way easier, these habits are more important than others, these habits are called keystone habits. Keystone habits create a foundation from which you can make even bigger and more positive changes. Mastering the right keystone habit can transform your life.
We have habits everywhere in our lives and we build new habits all the time (both good and bad!). We use these habits to support our daily lives. These habits make our lives easier, you don’t have to think about what you’re doing, it just comes naturally.
Having a solid keystone habit will create a foundation from which you can make even bigger changes. Eating right, getting regular exercise, sleeping eight hours per night, these are all keystone habits that create a solid foundation from which you can make even more positive changes in your life.
The best part about keystone habits is that once they’re established they don’t take much effort to maintain.
When it comes to personal finance there are 4 important keystone habits. Once these habits are established they create a ripple effect through the rest of your personal finances.
If you practice these four keystone habits then there is nothing you can’t achieve with your personal finances!
Habits drive a lot of what we do. Habits are subconscious and they form in weird ways. Did you know that a lot of our spending is driven by past decisions?
We all have this weird desire for coherence. We want things to be consistent. We judge current spending decisions based on past spending decisions. We want to keep things consistent so we make decisions based on what we did in the past (or what we’ve seen other people do).
We’d like to think we’re in control of our spending but that’s not really the case. We’re influenced by things we purchased in the past, or things friends have purchase, or co-workers, or even our family. We’re even influenced by random people we have no relationship with like the people in advertisements.
Arbitrary coherence is the idea that the first decision we make, or the first piece of information we receive regarding a decision, is arbitrary, we don’t have any reference point or anchor to evaluate this new piece of information so it’s very arbitrary. But after we get that initial piece of information we start to use it as a reference point, and subsequent decisions are made using it as a reference.
Have you ever had a project that just seems to last forever? Or maybe a chore that seems to take all weekend?
You may have never heard of Parkinson’s Law but you’ve probably experienced it. Parkinson’s Law is when “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”.
Simply put, if you have 3 hours to complete a task then it’s probably going to take 3 hours. If you have 3 days to complete a task then it’s probably going to take 3 days. The work expands to fill the time you have available.
Parkinson’s law applies to finances too. Lifestyle inflation is a great example of this. You get a raise and your lifestyle expands to match it. You spending increases until you’ve used up all your raise. Not necessarily because you needed it, not even because you wanted it, but because it was available.
Another good example is lottery winners. Lottery winners expand their spending to match the amount of money they have available. Whether thats $1,000 or $100 million. Lottery winners are notoriously spendthrift and that might be due to Parkinson’s Law (among other factors).
Thankfully you can use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage and if you struggle with budgeting then this is one simple budgeting trick you have to try.
The problem with financial goals is that they’re not very tangible. They’re just numbers, they take time, they seem impossibly huge.
When it comes to intangible financial goals it’s very easy to push those goals onto your “future self”.
“That’s not something “Owen of Today” needs to worry about, “Owen of The Future” can figure it out.”
When making money decisions there’s always a bit of tension between your “present self” and your “future self”.
“Owen of Today” wants to make today the best day possible and doesn’t care much about the future, while “Owen of The Future” wants to think about the future, even if that means sacrificing a bit today.
“Owen of Today” wants to buy a motorcycle and ride around the countryside all afternoon, but “Owen of The Future” says we need to save for financial independence, RESPs, and a new roof.
Which version of myself wins? It all comes down to how well I’ve set my goals. Without a powerful financial goal “Owen of Today” will win every time, and that’s not very healthy.
Sometimes “Owen of Today” needs to win, and sometimes “Owen of The Future” needs to win, obviously there needs to be a balance. But without a powerful financial goal “Owen of Today” will win every… single… time…
Setting a powerful financial goal can make all the difference. Setting a POWERFUL financial goal helps you easily weigh decisions between your “current self” and your “future self”.
In this post I’m going to break away from the typical personal finance blog post. I’m not going to share a tip. This isn’t going to be some humble brag about how much money I’ve saved. It’s going to be quite the opposite actually. In this post I’m going to share with you my biggest financial mistake. One that cost me over 5-figures.
As a fee-for-service financial planner it’s somewhat embarrassing. Not many people know this story. This happened almost ten years ago, before I learnt everything I know about personal finance. I could have saved myself a lot of stress had I known what I know now. For that reason, I’m going to share my big secrete with you and I hope it inspires you to learn more about personal finance.
I’m going to share with you my biggest financial mistake and then I’m going to break down each of the mistakes I made… because like any BIG mistake there was more than one.