9. Draft a financial vision board. You need motivation to start adopting better money habits, and if you craft a vision board, it can help remind you to stay on track with your financial goals. Here’s how to create one.
10. Set specific financial goals. Use numbers and dates, not just words, to describe what you want to accomplish with your money. How much debt do you want to pay off—and when? How much do you want saved, and by what date? It’s a method that helped this couple pay down $40,000 of debt.
11. Adopt a spending mantra. Pick out a positive phrase that acts like a mini rule of thumb for how you spend. For example, ask yourself, “Is this [fill in purchase here] better than Bali next year?” or “I only charge items that are $30 or more.” Read more about this and nine other good money habits.
12. Love yourself. Sure, it may sound corny, but it works. Just ask this author, who paid off $20,000 of debt after realizing that taking control of her finances was a way to value herself.
13. Make bite-size money goals. One study showed that the farther away a goal seems, and the less sure we are about when it will happen, the more likely we are to give up. So in addition to focusing on big goals (say, buying a home), aim to also set smaller, short-term goals along the way that will reap quicker results—like saving some money each week in order to take a trip in six months.
14. Banish toxic money thoughts. Hello, self-fulfilling prophecy! If you psych yourself out before you even get started (“I’ll never pay off debt!”), then you’re setting yourself up to fail. So don’t be a fatalist, and switch to more positive mantras.
15. Get your finances–and body—in shape. One study showed that more exercise leads to higher pay because you tend to be more productive after you’ve worked up a sweat. So taking up running may help amp up your financial game. Plus, all the habits and discipline associated with, say, running marathons are also associated with managing your money well.
16. Learn how to savor. Savoring means appreciating what you have now, instead of trying to get happy by acquiring more things. Check out these five tips for making savoring work for you.