Personal Financial Discipline- Do You Have It?

Personal discipline.  Do you have it?  Or do you lack it?

Signs of personal discipline in personal financial management:

  • Waiting at least overnight before making a large purchase decision
  • Balanced checkbook
  • Monthly spending plan
  • Saving every paycheck
  • Giving every paycheck
  • Organized financial documents – including insurance EOBs
  • Credit cards paid off in full every month
  • Regularly obtain credit report to ensure it is accurate
  • Married couples – both know where the money goes and how much they have saved
  • Singles – established accountability

Signs of poor personal discipline:

  • Overdrafts
  • Disorganized records
  • Late payments
  • Credit cards balances not paid off every month
  • Spouses not working together
  • Impulsive spending decisions
  • Little or no saved money
  • No giving

What would you add to either list?

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  1. Stephen at SE on April 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I think having a short or long term game plan is also a really important step. Having a monthly budget is quite useful but also thinking about what you want your finances to look like a year from now or further down the road can be really important too. I think if you are married or have children this is even more important.

  2. jsangl on April 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Stephen- that is a great point! It is important to have big-picture thinking.

  3. Jonathan Bodey on April 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    When someone has poor financial discipline, every unexpected event is a crisis. It could be something as simple as a flat tire, or a small medical expense, but it results in a mad emotional scrambling for any possible answer.

    And because of that, when you talk to people with poor financial discipline about money, they sound drained and frustrated. When you talk to people that have good financial discipline about money, they’re just the opposite. They abound with energy and vision.

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