Are Your Money Habits Helping or Hurting You?

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Today we’re excited to release the first excerpt from national best-selling author Rachel Cruze’s new book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want.

Her new book, which releases in October, will help you quit comparing your life to others and start putting your time and energy into living the life you want. This first excerpt focuses on recognizing the money habits we’ve created and making a plan to change them when needed.

Facing Our Money Habits

Habits affect every area of our lives, including our health, careers, relationships, and especially our money. We all have money habits. Some are good, and some are bad. Some take us closer to where we want to be, while others take us further and further away.

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You may be in the habit of using cash for purchases, or you may instinctively grab a credit card from your wallet whenever you’re in a checkout line. You may have a habit of talking to your spouse before making major purchases, or you may have an impulsive habit of hiding your purchases when you get home. Like it or not, our money habits impact our financial lives every single day. And because of this, we’ve got to figure out how to harness the power of habit in order to live the lives we want.

That doesn’t mean I always enjoy it when a healthy habit kicks in. I’m a natural spender. We’ll talk more about that later, but for now, I’ll just admit that I love spending money. That’s my natural bent. However, I have some healthy money habits that keep my spending in check. So, when I walk through the doors of J.Crew and my natural impulse is to buy everything in sight, those instincts crash against my habits of not using debt, planning my spending, and talking to my husband about my purchases. Those are habits Winston and I have carefully added to our lives, and they’re setting us up to live the life we want and do the things we value over the long term. So if occasionally feeling a little tension in J.Crew enables us to hit the goals we’ve set for ourselves, then sign me up!

The truth is, though, breaking bad money habits and replacing them with good ones is often easier said than done—especially if you don’t realize how much your bad money habits are wrecking your life. I’ve talked to people who went years—even decades—going deeper and deeper into debt. When they wanted something, they just charged it to their credit card. It was an automatic response for them. They had no concept of the damage it was doing in their lives. Even if they suspected that there was a problem with their spending habits, they hadn’t felt the pain to change. And without that little push, it can be incredibly difficult to come up with the emotional energy to change a longstanding habit.

But if you want to change your life, if you want to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, buy the things you’ve always wanted to buy, and go to the places you’ve always wanted to go to, then you’re going to have to find that motivation to change your money habits. You need to aim the power of habit at the behaviors that will make your life better instead of tearing it apart one mistake at a time.

And don’t worry about the mistakes you’ve made in the past. I’m not interested in beating you up for past mistakes. I want to encourage you to make wise choices—and to build healthy habits—moving forward. I can’t promise it’ll be easy, but I can promise it will lead to a happier, healthier, more peaceful life—a life without all the debt, stress, and worry that so many of our friends and family members are dealing with right now.

Build better money habits by preordering Rachel Cruze’s new book today! For a limited time, we are offering $70 worth of free bonus material when you preorder the book. Or, you can learn more information by visiting RachelCruze.com.

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