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Life Planning

Spring-clean your money habits


Kim Potgieter

Kim Potgieter

September 26, 2021
Your money needs your attention to grow. Just as springtime flowers need the right mix of sunshine, water, love, and attention to bloom – money does not flourish without care. Relationships don’t grow without attention either. So with spring in the air – the season of growth, new life, abundant colour and light – you may feel a little more energised to give attention to your money.

I started off my season by spring-cleaning some of my own money habits. But what I’m most excited about is the new money habit that I have put in place. I do feel a little lighter, somewhat more hopeful and a bit more prepared to implement something new in my life. It gives you a boost to know that you are putting small steps in place to ensure that your money is working for you. Why not have a look at your money habits and decide if they are serving you? You may find some that you’re ready to throw out and hopefully implement some new ones that excite you.

I have put together Money Makeover Reflection exercises to guide you and make it a little easier. Have a look at Reflection 22 and rate the current habits you have with money. Don’t rush this exercise. Take your time to make a full list of all the habits you have around money.

Once you have it all written down, look at each behaviour or habit and rate it. Decide if it’s a good habit, a bad habit or a neutral habit. Sometimes it is difficult to rate a specific habit, so when you come across one that you are struggling with, ask yourself it helps you become the type of person you would like to be. Does it align with your values?

Now choose ONE new money habit that you could implement right now. It is springtime, so choose one that will grow and flourish immediately. Sometimes small rewards give us an extra boost of energy to tackle larger habits to change, implement or get rid of.

My new springtime money habit is to teach my housekeeper Patience how to invest for her future. Even though Patience has just turned thirty-one years old, she is eager to learn about savings, investing and making monthly contributions towards her retirement. We help each other stick to the routine of me helping and guiding her regularly and Patience putting money away every month.

Here are four tips on how to make good habits stick:

  1. Be consistent and practise your habits regularly.
    James Clear in his book Atomic Habits says that habits, if you practise them long enough, become part of your identity. And this is how you reach big goals. For Patience, the goal will not be to save a lump sum. Her goal will be to make monthly contributions to her retirement fund a habit.
  2. Good habits are rooted in delayed gratification
    Bad habits may feel good, but they will cost you in the future. Good habits may not give you immediate joy, but the ultimate outcome feels good. Make sure your habits align with the vision you have for your future self.
  3. Reward yourself for sticking to good habits
    Good habits are rooted in delayed gratification. Why not add a dose of immediate pleasure to your new habit that will make you feel good about achieving them – think of self-rewards to spoil yourself.
  4. Take small steps
    People who put in place smaller, easier habits and apply them consistently – succeed. Don’t overwhelm yourself with audacious goals that are just too hard to stick to.

Always remember, when it comes to your money, be inspired, be brave and be on purpose,


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