6 financial microhabits that can make you rich

Daily habits lay the foundation for success with your health, wealth and happiness. They either move you closer to or further away from your goals. Therefore, it’s critical to carefully examine the actions and thoughts you repeat.

Breaking old bad habits and forming new positive ones isn’t easy. But one strategy to create more financial success is to build simple microhabits into your daily routine.

A microhabit is any small step you force yourself to do. It allows you to stop a negative habit or start a beneficial one. It’s an action that requires minimal time, effort and motivation but is deceptively powerful.

To improve your financial life, consider trying these six microhabits that can make you rich.

[See: Dear Younger Me: 12 Financial Truths We Wish We Knew Earlier.]

Read one page of a personal finance book. While this might seem like a ridiculously tiny goal, that’s the point. If you read one page, it’s likely that you’ll read several — but it’s okay if you don’t.

Try building this microhabit into your early morning or nighttime routine. Pick a personal finance topic that you don’t know much about, such as building credit, planning for retirement or getting out of debt.

Create a microhabit to read just one book page a day. Taking a long time to read a financial book is better than not reading one at all.

Listen to 15 minutes of audio. Everyone has 15 minutes of daily downtime, such as when you get dressed, commute, take a lunch break or do chores. That’s the perfect opportunity to listen to audio that improves your finances.

With podcasts and audiobooks, you can listen for short periods and pick up right where you left off. Start by listening to something that interests you for just 15 minutes and see how you can incorporate it into your day on a regular basis.

Listening is a fun way to incorporate small, incremental life changes that make you a little bit better every day. Plus, many podcasts are free to download.

[See: 10 Social Media Posts That Can Endanger Your Finances.]

Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. If you’re not taking care of your body, your mind and finances can also suffer. In addition to maintaining a good diet and regular exercise, try going to bed at least 30 minutes earlier than you do now.

That extra time might allow you to read a book before drifting off or get a better night’s sleep. As fun as staying up late can be, unless you’re productive late into the evening, it’s probably not helping you achieve your financial goals.

Instead, begin your bedtime routine a little earlier, so you can wake up feeling recharged, focused and able to accomplish more. You only have one life, so don’t make a habit of wasting time.

Automate your savings. A microhabit that you can almost “set-and-forget” is automating savings for financial goals, such as retirement, education expenses or a house down payment. Automation is so powerful because you can’t spend what you don’t see in your bank account.

Workplace retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, require automatic payroll deductions. So contribute as much as you can at work, or create a recurring transfer to move money from your checking to an IRA or a bank savings account as soon as you’re paid.

It’s OK to start small. Even investing $50 a month is better than nothing. If you invested that much for 40 years and earned a 6 percent average return, you’d have $100,000.

[Read: Why Your Long-Term Relationship May Be Harming Your Financial Literacy.]

Buy quality instead of quantity. It’s easy to get in the trap of buying lots of clothes, shoes or home furnishings simply because they’re on sale or seem like an irresistible bargain in the moment. Instead, start a microhabit to buy less, but to choose higher quality items that last longer.

You might also create a “one-in-one-out” rule that forces you to sacrifice a similar item when you buy something new. For example, if you buy a new kitchen gadget or a coat, you donate at least one old one. This shift in your mindset can transform the way you spend.

Set a waiting period for buying. In addition to buying less, creating a rule that you must wait a minimum of 24 hours before buying anything over a certain dollar amount is a key microhabit for financial success.

By “sleeping on it,” you decide with a clear mind whether you really need something. Often, you’ll have a change of heart and realize you didn’t need or want it anyway.

More from U.S. News

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6 Financial Microhabits That Can Make You Rich originally appeared on usnews.com

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