58 Savvy Money Habits For Financial Freedom

22 Jan 2018 - Michael Frigger - 11 minutes

58 Savvy Money Habits For Financial Freedom

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Whether conscious or not, and whether you like it or not, your habits make up 40 percent of your daily activities.

Don’t take my word for it though - It's been scientifically researched.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.


What does this tell us? Much of your financial success comes down to your financial habits.

So what should you do? Get some bloody good financial habits. Lucky you - you've come to the right place.

Hear from 20 of Australia's wisest, sharing their habits and bringing you closer to financial freedom.

Let's get into it.

**Thank you to those who contributed. You've created a wealth of knowledge, freely available to Aussies looking to better themselves - and that's truly wonderful.

Bessie Hassan is the Money Expert at Finder, the site that compares virtually everything. She regularly appears on national TV, radio, and throughout online publications sharing her best money-saving tips and property advice. Bessie is passionate about helping Australians make more informed decisions, no matter what it is they're looking for.
Bessie Hassan Money Expert

Adopting a frugal mindset

  • When applying for a credit card, don’t be put off by the prospect of asking for a better interest rate. Banks need you more as a customer than you need them. As the customer, you always have the option to shop around. Entering the negotiation with the mindset that you can leave at any time means you’ll be more confident when asking for a better rate.
  • Balance transfers are an excellent way to pay back credit card debt faster as the promotional 0% rates mean you’ll pay more towards the principal balance. Be aware that the promotional rate is only available for new cards with different issuers and that many issuers can be owned by the same brand negating your ability to take advantage of the promotional period.

Be willing to learn

  • Keeping up to date on new financial products or services is imperative to maintaining financial well-being. It doesn’t [take] much time, you’ll be able to catch up once a week on your daily commute. Sign up for a financial e-newsletter or podcast and spend about 15 mins getting updated.
  • Tracking your finances and understanding where it goes when you spend provides you with insight into your spending habits and where you could improve to save. There are a variety of apps available to suit every investor that present the data in an easy to read interface and you can even filter it by category.

Over the past 22 years Jodi has carved a niche for herself within the financial planning community with a reputation for professionalism and sound advice. Since joining Financial Aspects in 2003, Jodi has specialised in superannuation and retirement planning, Centrelink advice, estate planning and aged care advice. With husband, Guy and young children, Neyha & Decha, Jodi enjoys the natural beauty of Australia with camping and 4WDing regular activities.
Jodi Smith Financial Adviser

Plan Early

  • Plan your financial freedom journey as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to be able to take advantage of the wonderful compound interest.

Seek Professional Advice

  • Professionals are professionals for a reason. They’re good at what they do and they can fast-track your financial success in ways you haven’t even thought of.

Establish a budget

  • Budgets are a great tool for tracking the in flow and out flow of your money. A well rounded budget can give you a clear overview of your finances and sticking to it will be a key tool for your financial success.

As a financial advisor, Tingting is qualified to assist in savings plans, debt management, budgets, estate management, margin lending and investment advice. Her area of expertise also extends to superannuation – including self-managed super funds – and insurance.

Prepare Yourself

  • For success. Dedicating time to prepare yourself before you head off on your journey to achieve your financial dreams will make actually achieving them far more attainable.
  • Construct a detailed plan covering your short, medium, and long term financial goals - these will help keep you motivated throughout.

Ask for Help

  • You can DIY, but why would you when there are knowledgeable people willing to help?
  • You have people helping you in other areas of your life, such as fixing the drain - so why not have people helping you in a far more important area of your life?

Your Routine

  • It’s easier said than done - but remaining disciplined throughout your financial journey will not only dramatically improve your finances, but also enhance your overall quality of life.

Rachel Smith is Underspent. She didn’t buy anything new or 2nd hand in 2014 and saved $52,580. She quit impulse shopping and saved her money. She’s the Author of Underspent and helps men & women break the habit of impulse shopping and save their money with her book, workshops and blog.
Cycling Rachel Smith Money

7 Essential Habits For Financial Success

  • Always be mindful of your passions and priorities.
  • Make a budget, stick to it, and sort out your banking.
  • Get people in place to provide you with consistent advice.
  • Inspect, assess, and organise your belongings.
  • Get into swapping, shopping, and the sharing culture.
  • Make sure to use everything you own instead of buying new.
  • Go out and enjoy your life.

Michal Bodi – Financial Planner and Money Behaviour Coach: I specialise in practical hands-on coaching of clients, addressing the variable we can fully control together – their money behaviour.
Michal Body Financial Planner

5 Financial Habits of my Most Successful Clients

  • Starting early - time is our most valuable assets and the only real luxury. The earlier you start, the more options you'll have down the track.
  • Cutting through the noise and focusing on what matters to you. If you keep looking around to see what everyone else is doing, you will end up chasing someone else's dreams.
  • Being patient - watching the grass grow can be boring, but have you noticed how much grass grows in a month?
  • Having a plan and time and dollar specific goals - so you know when you start smashing them one by one.
  • Sticking to the plan - hiring a third party coach will ensure you commit to your plan and you don't procrastinate.

Jane Slack-Smith has been awarded Australian mortgage broker of the year on numerous occasions. She is the Director of Australia wide Investors Choice Mortgages, and host of Your Property Success Podcast and Founder of Your Property Success online education teaching homeowners and investors to find the right property at the right price.
Jane Slack-Smith Investorschoice


  • They set goals with timeframes and chuck them down to milestones.
  • They identify barriers and issues and workout solutions.
  • They have [an] accountability partner or friend to keep them on track.
  • They share their goals but they achieve quietly.
  • They are often humble.
  • They are disciplined.
  • They are happy to have the old car as they know what they are sacrificing for.
  • They are everyday people doing extraordinary things.

Amanda Cassar is a financial adviser based on the Gold Coast who loves assisting her clients to ‘Secure, Build and Succeed’ in their financial lives. She holds a Master of Financial Planning and has again been voted as one of the Financial Standard Power50 Most Influential Advisers in Australia.
Amanda Cassar Wealth Planning

One of the best ways to choose success in your life

  • Making sure when you ‘save money’ on something, i.e. fore-going the latte – that you transfer the $5 immediately to your superannuation or mortgage offset or credit card. If you do that once or twice a week, it adds up over time.

Andrew Smith is a CPA who’s worked for the last 20 years across ASX 100, FTSE 100 and international businesses as a leader in Finance, Operations and Strategy. Andrew is a co-founder of Evenground - a digital mortgage broker based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Andrew Smith Digital Mortgage Broker


  • With the introduction of comprehensive credit scoring it's more important than ever to make sure you always pay your bills on time and limit credit spend where you don't have a good plan to pay it off on time.
  • The advantages of keeping your credit score clean translate into real savings on interest rates and also mean you are well positioned to borrow when you need to.
  • Even clients who have a great salary and asset base but have not managed their credit score well are finding getting a loan harder and are at times paying higher interest than someone in a lesser net assets or income position (but with a great credit score).
  • Particularly at Christmas we'd advise that if you are thinking of lending or refinancing in the next 2-3 months, take care and make sure to keep your credit clean over the break.

Kay Bayly is a money and mindset mentor for heart centered and passion fuelled entrepreneurs who want to create a business and life on their own terms. Using the power of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or commonly known as tapping) she helps you to rewire your thought patterns, remove limiting beliefs and create success and money beyond imagination.
Kay Bayly Money Mindset Mentor

Habits for Financial Success

  • Achieving success is about the habits you develop around money, but even more the belief you have about yourself. The old saying, "if you think you can or you think you can’t - your right”. The beliefs that you have about yourself, and the beliefs about money.
  • For example if you feel that you are not good with money, then no matter what you do, you will find that you are not able to accumulate money.
  • I actually had a client this morning who said that her clients are not able to buy because of lack of money, and surprise that is the exact client that she is attracting. Change her beliefs and she will find that there are clients happy to pay.

Peter is the founder of SMARTadvice, a boutique financial planning business that specialises in helping you become financially independent sooner. Especially important to clients is the freedom to do what they want, with whom they want, when they want, wherever they want, however they want.
Peter Horsfield Certified Financial Planner

Simply...do the work.

  • That is - live your champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.
  • Then continue to save and invest (minimum 40% of your earnings), keep abreast of the changes in tax, laws, and asset classes, until you have achieved your financial independence.

Dominic is a financial expert and former adviser who's mission is show people money doesn't have to be hard. With this in mind, he founded Make The Most Of Your Money, the only place to get all your money sorted with no BS, no product selling and be able to make the changes yourself.
Dominic Aarsen Moneyvest

Think about why you spend

  • Next time you go to buy something think about 'why' you are doing it. If you can justify why you needed it then great. What you will probably find is 'do I need that coffee' or 'did I need those new gym tights' often the answer is no. Think before you buy!.

Goals, goals, goals

  • Sounds so simple yet we don't write them down. Sit down and write out what you want to achieve in 6mths, 1yr, 3yrs and 5yrs. Just by writing it down, you are 42% more likely to achieve them.

Get started

  • I always hear 'I'm going to do that' particularly when it comes to money. The longer you wait, the bigger the 'I wish I started earlier' becomes. Start today, you will only thank yourself later.

Dale is the Co-founder and Chief analyst of Wealth Within - a share market education company that provides genuine and informed advice to traders and investors, helping customers achieve their financial goals. Dale has over 20 years of experience, working in banking, financial planning, share market education and professional trading.
Dale Gillham Share Market Education


  • Set goals for their life, not just for financial success. These people are clear about their ‘WHY’ and this gives them the drive to achieve their goals. When something doesn’t go according to plan this drives them back on track for success.

Investing & Business

  • Gain the right knowledge and invest in themselves with a quality education to provide the right foundation for their success.
  • They approach trading like it’s their business and have a business plan with a proven risk management strategy.

Mentor & Work Ethic

  • They have a mentor and are prepared to listen and ask for support when they need it.
  • Last but by no means least, they are prepared to put in the hard work to develop their skills and experience until they are successful.

Wooosh. You scroll fast.

Take 6 seconds - realise what you're reading.

Then go on.

Drew is one of the original founders of Wattle Partners, an independently owned and licensed financial advisory firm. He has a decade of experience and is a Certified Financial Planner. Drew was drawn to financial advice due to the poor experiences of his parents during the GFC and seeks to implement a more tailored approach.
Drew Meredith Wattle Partners


  • Most people fail because because they don’t make the simplest parts of their business strategy or finances a habit!
  • Whether it is paying off your credit card on time and in full every month, following up potential customers/clients or taking the time to review your spending against your budget once a month; the key is putting in place a process and making it part of your routine. This breeds consistency and undoubtedly success.

Be patient

  • As a financial adviser we see first-hand people taking incredibly short-term views or trying to micro-manage performance. Whether its in business or investing, wealth and success are not built overnight.
  • A lot of people make snap judgements based on short-term trends, rather than taking an objective long-term view. It’s been proven consistently that the key to building wealth is to put in place a strategy suited to your objectives and managing to a long-term goal.
  • Short term changes of strategy, in business and investing, are generally a waste of time.


  • As much as we tend to think we are the best at everything, there comes a point where your time is simply better used focusing on what you are good at. In our experience, the most successful people are the ones that learn early the need to outsource and the value in paying professionals.
  • This can apply to every aspect of your life, whether it is using a painter rather than doing it yourself, engaging an accountant to prepare your tax returns, employing a marketing or social-media specialist to grow your business.
  • In our experience, outsourcing specialised tasks to professionals can save substantial time, money and stress. As a bonus, a lot of their fees can be tax deductible!

Sandy is the Founder and CEO of Career Money Life, a disruptive and innovative new marketplace business providing employees and organisations the power of choice in career development and transition, health and wellbeing services and financial advice.
Sandy Hutchison Career Money Life

Your Understanding

  • Take the time to understand the terms and details of your credit card. Know the interest rate you will be charged, and if you can't pay your bill off in full every month, think about how long it will take you to pay it off, and add the cost of the interest to the purchase price of the item you want to buy.
  • By doing this you will realise the "bargain item that's on sale for half price" may not actually be such a bargain at all once you pay all the interest fees. Use your credit cards to manage your cash flow and keep your money earning interest for longer in your bank, not as an ongoing loan plan. It can make a massive difference to your spending.

Your Super

  • As soon as you can afford it, start putting money into superannuation, most people don't have enough and won't have enough when they retire.
  • On top of that, we are all living longer, but finding it hard to stay in roles post age 50 -55, so maximise your super during your big earning years.

Your Buffer

  • Have a savings buffer "Rainy Day" account, ideally enough to last for 3-4 months. If you get made redundant, you need to still pay your rent/mortgage, pay your bills, and living expenses until you find a new job.
  • This can take anywhere from 1 to 12 months or more, if you are in a senior role. If you don't have any sort of savings to carry you, it can cause severe financial stress, which can also impact your health both physical and mental.

Your Life

  • Finally, research shows people who have experiences are happier than those who buy material things. .
  • Think about ways to enjoy yourself without spending money, such as going on a bike ride, a trip to the beach, cooking, spending time with friends, playing sports etc

Marion Mays launched Thalia Stanley Group in 2014. Her breadth of expertise and experience comes from 20 years in banking, lending, debt and asset recovery, financial planning and real estate. Marion holds qualifications in marketing/commerce, financial planning, professional coaching and real estate.

Most Important

  • Pre-determine the outcome and reverse engineer the results, using automation. An example of this would be to decide that as a couple we wish to buy a house in 12 months, so we decide to bank 1 wage and give off the other.
  • We would automate the salary being saved to go into an account that cannot be accessed or withdrawn easily.
  • We would then create a budget and using a money managing app to ensure we could actually live off one wage. 
  • The end result is in 12 months by default of pre-deciding, we would have a full deposit easily saved.

Money Mindset

  • I’ve had hundreds of potential clients come to me asking for my help. But the ones that have really thrived and achieved positive outcomes are the ones who are ready to make changes and engage in their own wealth creation for bigger reasons. They have a solid ‘why’.
  • Maybe it’s funding their kids education, maybe it’s they only have 10 years to retirement, maybe it’s they are about to divorce and need to take care of themselves for the first time financially.
  • Much like brushing your teeth, you should think about money and finances habitually.
  • Therefore, those looking to achieve financial success need to partake in conversation about money, read about it and educate themselves by seeking out professionals who can help them enhance their level of financial literacy.


  • Saving can be difficult and it’s often hard for people to achieve regularly.
  • A good rule of thumb to overcome this is always put away 10% of income into a separate savings account - and automate the process so you don’t see the money.
  • As the saying goes “you don’t miss what you never had”.
  • I cover this with all my clients and the ones who implement this strategy are much better off financially and mentally than those that don’t.

Stacey Price is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a self-confessed numbers nerd – specialising in helping people to understand their financial information. But no boring, traditional accountant. Embracing cloud technology, running a remote Aussie team and a paperless office, she loves training and educating clients, and streamlining their processes.
Stacey Price Healthy Business Finances

Start small

  • We see a lot of clients get excited to overhaul their entire financial habits, but they try and do everything at once and generally within 3-4 weeks, they burn out having not achieved anything as there is just too much going on.
  • Pick one area to focus on - saving, streamlining, increasing knowledge, processes - whichever is easiest and focus on implementing that change and nailing it. Only once you have nailed that first new habit, then you can move on to the next new habit. A little bit of confidence goes a long way.

Segregating your money

  • Now this can seem strange to many who think "but what if", but the old saying of "don't leave all your eggs in one basket" is so true. We believe in having separate bank accounts for things like income tax and savings, which are separate accounts to our everyday bank account. We move money out of our everyday account each month to those separate bank accounts.
  • Again, start small and allocating some of your business cash to these "secondary" accounts means you learn to run your business lean. You learn to do without. You don't run the risk of using money for the government (such as tax money, super money or GST money).

Set a goal

  • One that you actually want to achieve - something with purpose. Saying "I want to save money" doesn't really inspire anyone. But saying "I want to book a holiday to Fiji in September next year", well already I can picture myself having cocktails by the pool. So I am already excited to be putting some money aside so I can reach that goal.
  • However just saying the goal is not enough, make a vision board or put a picture of a tropical island somewhere you can see it every day. Visualisation is a proven method to helping you achieve goals even when the going gets tough.

Helia Singh is a successful entrepreneur. Migrated to Australia in 1996, she is a post graduate from UTS then followed the path of financial planning & credit advise. With a burning passion of educating her clients to make an informed financial decision she started her community program to run a financial workshop.
Helia Singh Financial Adviser

Budget & Diet

  • These two words provoke similar emotions! Hungry, starving, no fun, restrain…It’s all our perception!
  • Now imagine replacing “Diet” with “loving yourself enough to watch what you eat to feel good, become healthy and look fit”!
  • This is empowering as you have a beautiful goal to reach.
  • Now let’s find a more empowering word to replace the dreadful “Budget “.
  • “Addressing your overall habits to realise where the extra expenses are gone! And use the extras you have found for a greater goal you have always desired, just because you are worth the love and attention of yourself before anyone else!”

Top 3 Habits

  • Habit 1: Follow S.M.A.R.T goal setting process:(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound). Without a goal it’s almost impossible to achieve anything worthwhile!
  • Habit 2: Whenever you shop make it your habit to ask yourself “Do I need this, or Do I want this?!” You will be surprised how you can live happy with less things.
  • Habit 3: Review your progress at least on weekly basis, if you have hit your target you must reward yourself and if not, look for patterns that led to not keeping up with saving activities.
  • No need to go overboard and spend your savings to celebrate :) a nice coffee at your favourite coffee shop could be your reward and secret pleasure too!
  • Remember this is your journey and you should choose a plan that resonates with you!

Robert holds a Degree with Majors in Economics and Political Science and a Diploma of Financial Planning. Robert is a recognised as an SMSF Specialist AdvisorTM and a Certified Financial Planner®. Unlike other advisors, Robert has been a fee-for-service advice provider for more than 29 years.
Robert Snell Housing Expert


  • It’s a dreary winter morning, you can hear the rain hitting your window, it’s 5am and the sun’s yet to break the horizon - how likely do you think it is you’re going to wiggle your way out of your warm bed to go for a run? Unlikely.
  • But if you have an accountability partner and/or coach hounding away at you? Likely.
  • A coach is there to motivate you to stick to your goals when the times are good, and more importantly, when they aren’t.

Learn to Cook

  • Cooking your own meals is one of, if not the, quickest and easiest way to instantly save on your daily living expenses.
  • Get yourself a cookbook, get yourself the appropriate tools, and you’ll start making delicious creations (and save a tonne of money) in no time.
If you’re interested in learning a bit more about the housing affordability situation in Australia, visit Robert’s blog here.

Peter Campbell is a Certified Financial Planner who is passionate about Australians having access to good financial advice. He leads a team of Private Wealth advisers in South Perth who share his passion. Cash flow advice is the cornerstone of every good plan and must be treated with respect accordingly.

Short Term Goals

  • Acquiring wealth is a marathon and not a sprint, made possible through multiple achievements. Be realistic in your goal setting.
  • Consider your expenditure for “fixed” living costs, before looking at lifestyle goals such as vehicles and property.

Contribute Early and Often

  • Once you have bedded down goals, ensure that you are making regular contributions to them and start as early as possible.
  • Consider using multiple accounts to ensure that the different aspects of your expenditure are met in regular contributions.

Monitor Your Performance and be Flexible

  • You will not ensure that you are maximising your wealth accumulation ability unless you monitor it – you can’t manage what you can’t measure.
  • Consider tracking yourself using ledgers, spreadsheets or online automated tracking solutions.
  • Be sure that whatever you use, it suits your needs and you can control it. Be flexible in your goals, agile enough to react to unexpected expenditure or loss of income.

Stan Tan is the digital marketing manager at Selby’s and the founder of OwlGuru.
Stanley Tan Digital Marketing

Successful habits

  • Most people's mindset is to save then invest.
  • Most financially successful people invest first then save.

Feel good? So do I.

We just took in abundance of information which could impact our lives dramatically.

Keyword - could.

All the valuable advice above is completely useless unless you take action.

There are many methods helping you stick to your habits, and Youtube has more tutorials than you could watch in a year.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Making Habits Stick

  • A Simple Trick To Develop Good Habits - link
  • How To Form A Habit - link
  • How To Create A Habit That Sticks - link

Good luck.

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Michael Frigger

Michael Frigger


Michael enjoys long walks along the beach accompanied by a glass of fine wine with a side of vegemite and crackers. Whilst he's not doing that, he's doing his part to help Australians better their personal finances through CashMaster.