Are you ready to move from financially sound to financially stable?
Well, the good news is this is something you can easily accomplish and we are going to show you exactly how to do it in this post. Learn over thirty simple traits to prove to yourself that you are financially stable.
One of the great things about being money financially stable is it means that you are less worried about money. You are established with your finances and you are consistent on how you spend and save your money.
It is a great feeling to be financially stable because you know that your bills are taken care of and everything that you want to spend money on that you actually can!
The Money Bliss Steps for Financial Freedom is a guide that will help you become financially independent. Along your path, you will go through many different journeys and many different seasons, but it is a great feeling to know that you are in a good place financially.
Becoming financially stable is something that anybody is capable of doing.
It just takes determination, a growth mindset, and a desire to be wise with your money.
What does Financial Stability Mean?
Financial stability is when you are confident in your personal financial situation. You have money to pay monthly bills, set aside for big purchases, invest in your future, and be able to sleep at night.
When you are able to do these above things, that is when we can say that a person is financially stable.
When you define financial stability, the definition should motivate you to improve your money situation because the more you work towards becoming financially stable, the better the opportunities present themselves.
It is one step up from being financially sound and moving closer to financial security.
Another way of saying financially stable is of good financial standing.
Overall, the financially stable meaning is you have made the wise decisions that will ultimately let you live the life you want. One step closer to financial freedom.
How to Be Financially Stable
The good news is you only need to do three steps to become financially stable plus they are not complicated.
This is exactly how do you become financially stable…
It is just a habit that you need to start doing.
If you have bad habits with money, then you are not going to have the success with money that you need. If you have good habits with money, then you will end up becoming financially stable.
Just a side note, If you need a good book on changing bad habits into good habits. I highly recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear. It is a great book to help you change the habits that need to change, and start to live the life that you want.
Now, back to the three steps to becoming financially stable.
If you want to learn how to become financially stable, then this is what you need to do.
1. Pay Yourself First
This is the most important habit that you can do to become financially stable.
Many times, I feel like I sound like a broken record about the importance of how you need to pay yourself first. It doesn’t matter if it is your very first job in high school, starting out at 21, or quickly approaching your 50s, you need to pay yourself first today.
Take your paycheck and automatically save a certain percentage.
- If you have never saved before start with 10%.
- If you know that your spending is out of control plus you have the income to save a higher percentage, then plan to save 20-25% ot your income.
When you first begin to save, the goal is not the amount you save; it is about the first time that you begin to save.
It is about proving to yourself that you are capable of saving and seeing that account, increase over time will continue to motivate you.
2. No Debt
Second, no debt. Period.
If you cannot buy something in cash, then wait until you have the cash available to make the purchase. Do not use debt just because you have access to credit.
If you want to get to be financially stable over the long term, that means you must eliminate consumer debts.
Now, before you freak out and say, “I can’t be financially stable because I have so much debt that is dragging behind me and holding me back.” Don’t freak out. You can make a plan to get out of debt.
By getting out of debt, you are proving that you are on the path to becoming financially stable.
In the meantime, you just don’t go into any more debt.
If you are in your 20s, steer clear from debt and do not get into the debt trap.
The Trickly Mortgage Debt Conversation….
Because owning a house comes with a price and it comes with a premium since there is a cost to upgrade it, pay property taxes, and so much more. Plus this varies greatly in an HCOL vs LCOL area.
Do your research and figure out is it more cost-effective for you to purchase a home and pay the mortgage payment or is it better to rent and not have the responsibilities of being a homeowner. This is a personal situation that you must determine what works best for you and it is very location and market driven.
For example, we bought in a high cost of living area before the prices skyrocketed. Thus, our mortgage is way less than the cost of rent. So for us, we are still financially stable because we have a mortgage because it is cheaper than rent (and by a lot).
On the flip side, if you are just starting out and trying to purchase a home, it may be more cost-effective for you to keep renting to stay out of debt and become financially stable quicker. Then you will be able to reach financial independence faster.
3. Invest Your Money
The last piece to becoming financially stable is you must invest your money.
This is not the time or place just to be stuffing money under the couch or in a savings account that is earning .02%. You need to invest your money in the stock market.
The best way to do invest is on a consistent basis. Every paycheck you invest a certain amount consistently. It does not matter if the market is up or the market is down.
The returns from investing will be greater than doing nothing with your money.
Doing nothing with your money means that you are actually losing money when you account for the cost of inflation.
So, you must invest your money.
One of the types of income is passive income, and you can earn passive income through investing.
A huge step to becoming financially stable is to diversify your income. This may not be as important to you today, but if you are in that category of “I don’t want to work anymore” or retirement is on the horizon.
Your financial future can be secured through investing in your portfolio.
Recap – How to be Financially Stable at any Age
You can become financially stable at any age – 20, 25, 30s, without college, or even in your teens at 17 or 19. You can even be financially stable with a low income.
The formula is still the same for everyone.
These are the three things you must do for financial stability:
- Pay Yourself First
- No Debt
If you are serious about wanting to be financially stable, these are the three steps that you need to take. It is not rocket science.
It is very simple, clear steps to make sure that you are successful in the long term with money.
Now, let’s dig into the habits and traits of someone who is financially stable.
Traits of someone who is financially stable
This is when we can say that a person is financially stable.
In this section, we are going to dive into the qualities, traits, and habits of people that are financially secure.
These are things that you can start working on today. Over time you will begin to make better solid money choices going forward.
These are solid money habits that will transform your financial future.
These are simple and easy ways for you to become financially secure.
1. Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is the backbone of financial security – there is absolutely no way around it.
The goal is for you to never use your emergency fund. But let’s be real, there will be a time or a place that you will have to dig into your emergency fund because an actual true emergency exists.
A financially stable person has an emergency fund to fall back on when times get tough.
Here is more information on how to build an emergency fund and the steps that you need to build one fast:
- Emergency Fund – Everything You Need to Know
- Quickstart your Emergency Fund Challenge in Less than 60 Days
- What Comes First? Emergency Fund or Pay Off Debt?
2. Plan to Be Debt Free
Like we said earlier, one of the basic steps of how to become financially free is to have no debt.
However, for too many people that would automatically say that is not in the cards for me. Paying off my debt is way too difficult. But, not for the financially stable person!
I am here to tell you that you can become financially stable by creating a plan to becoming debt free and actually stick to it.
That means your debt balance is going down each and every month. Plus you know your debt payoff date because that paying off debt is one of the best decisions that we ever personally made.
Also, it does not matter if good debt and bad debt – the concept promoted by many financial gurus. Debt is debt.
Debt means that you owe somebody else and you are going to have to pay it back at some point for a premium. So, the sooner you pay off your debt, the better of you will be.
3. Save 20% of Income
Do you save at least 20% of your paycheck? If so, then you know what financial stability means.
When you are financially stable, you are not living paycheck to paycheck and you automatically save money at the beginning of the month when your paycheck comes in.
The best place to start is to start saving at least 20% of your income.
If you are not quite there (yet), then look at one of our main money saving challenges. They are plenty of savings numbers to start small and then work on the bigger challenges. Prove to yourself that you save money.
Since saving money is easy for them, they work on increasing their savings percentage each year. Personally, I find it a better challenge to increase that savings percentage more than anything else.
4. Spend Less Than You Make
In order to make progress, your expenses are less than the money that is coming in.
That does not mean the amount of money coming in is the same amount that you can be spending. The reason why is you have to account for the money saved adn invested.
This may mean giving up a coffee, a trip to the salon, happy hour, or something you do out of habit in order to start saving money.
Remember, the goal for this type of person who is financially stable is they spend less than they make. They may spend on the little luxuries here and there because they are able to do since they have set money aside and they are not overspending.
5. Mastering Money management Skills
The best trait of somebody that is financially stable is they understand the basics of money management.
This does not necessary mean the person is in love with spreadsheets, budgets, numbers, and reads money management books every single second. This means they understand the basics.
You earn, you save, you spend.
You save more, spend less, and you prioritize your money goals to make sure you are making the progress on your financial journey that you want to do.
Many times financially stable people start to enjoy learning about money management and tend to dive into their finances even further. Once they get started, they want to learn more about their money situation, and how they can improve their finances quicker by making a few more changes.
6. Their Finances are Exciting
You don’t have to be an Excel spreadsheet nerd to find that your finances are exciting.
This type of person enjoys waking up checking their balances and seeing a positive increase in their net worth.
They find it exciting, they find it motivating. It makes them realize all of their sacrifices is making a difference in the long term. They look at the greater picture and saying I’m not going to work till I am 65; I may look at retiring when I am 50.
They are working hard today and enjoy finding ways to improve their money situation; which they find exciting and fun.
7. Month or More Ahead on Bills
A financially stable person uses their income from this month to pay for the next month. They are not living behind where the income coming in is going is paying for the current expenses.
They are actually a full month, maybe even two, maybe even three months ahead of their bills.
For example, their paycheck from July will be their August spending. For some that want an even bigger cushion, their money earned in July is actually going to be for their September spending.
That is a sign that somebody is financially stable and has the ability to avoid temptation and not to spend the extra money.
8. Sinking Funds are a Priority
A financially stable person sets aside money regularly for expenses in the future. These are called sinking funds.
These buckets of money is money allocated for a certain purpose.
One of the most popular sinking funds that most people have is for vacations, kids activities, home repair, or car repair. Those are probably the most common.
You can have as many sinking funds as you want as a financially stable person. Another option is just to have one big sinking fund that will cover whatever is needed in case something be happens. A wise person knows how much money they need to cover these expenses.
A financially stable person utilizes sinking funds to make sure they are able to meet unexpected expenses when they happen.
9. Invest in Stock Market Consistently
In the last two years, the stock market on average typically earns 13.9% each year (source).
The reason that this is important is your money can make you money without you doing anything.
Once you have your investment account set up and automatically contribute a slice of your paycheck, then you select a fund or a few stocks of companies you believe in. Starting your investing system is not as bad as you would think.
By investing in the stock market consistently, you are more likely to have higher returns than somebody who invest once a year, twice a year, or three times a year.
By investing either every week or every month, the likelihood that your account size will increase is greater than when you try and time the market.
I’ll be very honest…the average person has no idea how the stock market is going to react and even most experts. However, you can take an investing course, like Invest with Teri, and learn about buyers zones and seller zones. This is the best financial knowledge someone can have and you probably will not lose money by attempting to figure it out yourself.
Because the amount of the course is eye-opening, I can pretty much guarantee it will be less than the amount that you can lose in the stock market by yourself.
That is what a savvy person would do – invest in the course and then invest in the stock market.
10. Focused on Next Money Goal
A financially stable person knows exactly what they have done to get where they are today. Plus they know exactly where they are headed to in the future.
They don’t waver on their next money goal.
They have short term financial goals that they are determined to make happen. That is their number one or two priority in their life because they know that by reaching their money goals, they will have more time freedom in life.
At the end of the day, having money equates to freedom.
This is not the same as having money does not equate to success. There will always be the age-old debt on whether is money everything.
The answer may surprise you, but at the end of the day… money does equal freedom.
11. Saving for Retirement
If I don’t save for my retirement, then who else will help me in my older golden years? That is exactly what a financially stable person would ask.
They know that social security and all the government programs might run out of funding, so they are focused on saving for their retirement and most financial state. They are in control of what they are able to control. You cannot control future government programs or tax rates.
In addition, they are using a Roth IRA to get the maximum contributions that they can have each year for retirement. They are savvy enough to get the maximum contribution from their employer’s 401K match.
This type of person won’t be wondering… What Happens If you Don’t Save for Retirement?
12. Able to Vacation When They want
These are the people that you probably envy the most because they paid cash for the vacation that you financed.
A financially stable person is not worried about having to pay for the trip on the way home. They are savvy and use a vacation fund that they contribute to on a regular basis.
That right there helps them to go on vacation each and every year.
Don’t be jealous! Join the bandwagon and start traveling the world today.
13. Money Set Aside for a Rainy Day
As much as we like to think we can predict the future, in reality, we do not know what the next day, week, month, or even year can bring. And in many circumstances, you may be caught off guard when difficulties come.
If you have a loss of income and still have bills to pay today, that is where having a rainy day fund set aside will help you be prepared.
This is a step to becoming financially secure and a long-term habit to embrace.
A person who has a rainy day fund that will cover at least six months of living expenses is somebody that is financially secure.
They know that hopefully, they will not have to use that money, but in case they do, the money is available to them.
14. Don’t Cry When Something Breaks
When you’re financially secure, you know things that are going to break.
And as much as it sucks, you are not going to be in tears, trying to figure out how to pay to replace that item. You understand the concept of… It is what it is you move on.
Replace the item and you go on with your day.
Since you know you have money set aside for various purposes, there is no reason to cry. It may not be how you feel like spending money, but that is just part of life.
When you are financially insecure and a light comes on in your car, that is a red flag that something is wrong. Many people freak out because they don’t have the money set aside for a $500 or $1,000 repair.
So you know when you are financially secure when you can laugh it off, shake it off and move on with your day.
15. Fun Spending Can Happen
This is one of the best reasons for being financially secure…you can spend money!
When you decrease your other expenses, you are able to increase the amount of fun spending. There are great benefits to becoming aware of your financial situation.
Too many times, people give up to their money situation. Instead of saying, no, no, no all the time, you will get to a position where you are able to say yes yes yes! I want to do this and this!
You do not feel guilty about spending extra money!
At this point, you know you have earned whatever it is you want to spend money on.
16. You Can Sleep at Night
This is one of the best traits of a financially secure person! Their finances are NOT waking them up in the middle of the night wondering “oh my gosh, how am I gonna pay my bills, how am I going to pay my rent, how am I going to pay my car payment, I am sick of my job, etc.”
You quit worrying about do I have enough money to make it to the end of the month. That is financially security right there.
When you can sleep at night knowing all of your bills, expenses, and saving are taken care of. You know deep down that you are on track of your financial future.
That is financial security at its best.
If you are in a situation right now where you can’t sleep at night, then you need to learn how to drastically cut expenses. You must get a hold of your situation before it spirals any further out of control.
17. No Frivalious Spending
Financially, even though a financially secure person can spend money when they want. They have the money to be able to spend, right?
Most choose not to be frivolous with their money.
(Hint: that is why they stay financially stable.)
They tend to be a thrifty person knowing a good price to purchase an item. They know when something is overrated or overpriced.
Even if they can afford it, they are just not willing to spend money on it. That is okay because they are in the situation of being financially secure because of the solid money decisions they have made.
Spending frivolous money here and there can up quickly. Even something as low as $10 or $20 here or there may not impact your financial picture in one day. If you add it up over the course of a year, it can become $3,650 or $7,300. Just by frivolously spending a small amount each day.
18. Know Your FI Number
Your FI number will help you to make the jump to financial freedom.
You know what it will take for you to become financially independent – specifically the dollar amount needed.
In the FIRE community, it is typically known as your FI number, which is your financial independence number. The number is the amount of your net worth and the amount saved up, so you can start living off of your investment income.
This number will vary from person to person.
It is based on your personal situation. The variables that impact your FI number include:
- Your income today
- How much you plan to spend today
- Amount you save today
- How much you plan to spend in the future
- Your age now
- Age you want to quit working (aka retire)
Typically, most couples with kids can start looking at FI number in the $1.5 million range. The first reaction is that number is either WAY LOWER than they thought it would be. Yes, because we have been taught by “financial professionals” that you need so much more in assets in your retirement accounts than you actually do.
The time is now to become a financially secure person and learn your fi number today. Here’s a great resource to help you.
19. Diversify Your Income
Just as with as above and knowing your FI number, financial independence becomes more likely to happen once you start diversifying your income.
A financially stable person earns all three types of income.
Most people rely on earned income only. If you only rely on earned income, then you reach a max threshold of what you are able to earn.
So a financially secure person has multiple buckets of income; they are diversified in investments, real estate, or side hustle. The key to long term success is finding ways to make passive income.
20. Budget isn’t AS Important
A trait of a financially secure person is they know how much they are able to spend, how much they need to save, and the amount of money that they come in every single month.
They do not need to budget down to the very last line item. (thank goodness for many of you reading this!)
A financially secure person has an overall sense that income exceeds their spending and saving goals.
That is financial security.
While a budget may help them stay focused and a more detailed budget may help them reach their longer term goals.
It does not mean that a budget is necessary. You can still have a loose budget and know that you are still making ends meet because they have a system set up and a system set in place.
Budgeting is not as important as it was previously.
21. Splurging is Okay
This is one of the best feelings as a financially secure person is knowing that it is okay to splurge. It is okay to spend extra money. It is okay to stop cutting corners at every single turn.
You remember back to the days when each month was a struggle to make ends meet. That is not the life that you live anymore; you live a completely different life. And now, it is okay to splurge.
And to be very honest, for most people, once they become financially secure, it is actually really, really hard for them to loosen that tight fist on their money and actually start spending it.
22. Same Page with Finances with Spouse or Significant Other
They share the same money vision and together they set smart financial goals. All of their decisions are done together.
Did you get that keyword??? Together. Meaning with the other person.
While they may not agree on every single line item of their budget or how they spend money individually, they still set aside money for each of them to spend as they please. Around here at Money Bliss, we call this money a slush fund.
Because at the end of the day, as a couple, they know they are still making progress in the right direction for the long term. So, these couples do not worry about the short term of how you spend your $100 each month if you are reaching your goals and that happens once financial security sets in.
23. Net Worth Grows Significantly Each Year
If your net worth does not grow significantly each year, then you got a problem.
A financially secure person knows their net worth and has systems in place to keep it growing significantly each and every year.
It’s not just one or two percentage points typically, you can expect a much higher rate of growth of 8-10%. Once your net worth increases, the bigger the bucket for the percentage of growth.
24. Credit Cards are Paid in Full
Financial security means you were able to pay your credit card bill in full each and every month without blinking. This is a mantra of a financially secure person.
They chose to use their credit cards wisely so they can get points, cash back, and travel benefits.
But, they are also cognizant that each and every month that credit card is paid off in full; this type of person will not carry a credit card balance for any reason. Period.
25. Prepared for Large Purchases
Nothing states financial security more than being able to go out and replace $5000- $10,000 worth of appliances or home repairs or something similar.
A financially secure person realizes that they have to be prepared for large purchases since they are going to happen.
It is only a matter of when a big purchase will happen.
This person is consistently setting money aside in a sinking fund for those large purposes. In our house, we like to call it the big murph fund.
We know that it may be a small remodel project, an appliance that needs to get fixed or looking at replacing a car. There are many items that can fall under this big murph fund umbrella. For us, we do not set aside money for each of those purposes in their own sinking funds because then we would not able to maximize our investments.
Instead, we estimate how much money is likely needed and set aside for large purchases that are likely to happen in the next one to two years.
Ways to Save $5000:
- How to Save $5000 in 6 Months: Quick, Easy & Useful Tips for Saving
- Save 5000 in a Year with this Easy $5,000 Savings Challenge
26. Your Health Matters
Financial stability means that you are able to spend money on your health and it is a priority for you and your household.
You start realizing the benefits of taking care of your body, eating properly, and managing your health in better ways.
The light bulb starts going off and says slaving at my work for 60 to 80 hours a week may not be worth it. While the income may be great, a financially stable person may feel like they are killing themselves inside for the benefit of others.
A financially secure person knows that their health matters more than money does.
You are more likely to spend money on organic produce because you know it is better for your body. You consistently review to see if you are spending your time in ways that benefit your overall health.
27. Bad Money Habits Are a Thing of the Past
We have all had them.
We have all made stupid money mistakes.
And the best part is a financially secure person has learned from their bad money
habits and made changes so they never happen again.
All of the things that they used to do, they don’t do anymore. Bad habits are something that happened in the past. While they may regret it, which is absolutely okay and part of working through the process to make further progress.
Their past mistakes are not going to hold them back from their future self and building solid money habits.
28. Giving Money is Generous
When you are able to give 10% of your income and not be panicked about making ends meet, that is when you know that you have reached a higher level of financial security.
Giving money is generous.
It is something that helps society come together and as a community making the world a better place.
By you being able to give money will help somebody else become a better version of themselves. We have all had others that have helped us.
By giving money, you are able to pay it forward. It can be something as simple as paying for the people behind you. It could be something grand like having a building named after you be because you made a massive donation.
The size of giving does not matter. It is the fact that you decided and made the conscious decision to start giving your money.
29. People Ask You about Money Questions
When others start looking towards what you have accomplished in your financial journey, that is when you know you have created an environment of solid money management skills.
People will start coming to you asking questions on how they can improve their money situation. And that is fabulous!
That means that others view you as being financially secure and stable in your
personal finances. You deserve a pat on the back and motivation to keep up the hard work.
30. Happy With Your Financial Path
Remember that saying, “If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands.” Well, as a financially secure person, it is when you wake up and look at your overall financial picture and say, “You know what, I’ve got this, I’m on the right path,” and you put a big grin on your face. And you pat yourself on the back.
As a financially stable person, you are proud of what you have overcome, the difficult challenges you faced, and now you are excited about where the next step is going to take you and your future.
It is not roses and happiness the entire way; there are ups and downs along your path that got you to a financially stable place.
But deep down you know that you are on a stable future with a solid path.
31. You Know You are In Control of Your Money
This type of person knows exactly where their money goes.
They are in control of their money; their money doesn’t control them.
They make the decisions on how, when, why, and where they spend money.
They are not told by outsiders how to manage their money. A financially stable person has control over their money and in the long run, it opens up the doors of opportunity.
How Much Money is Financially Stable?
How much money do you need to be financially stable?
This will depend on everybody’s personal situation.
If you are single and only providing for your one household, the amount of money that you need is much less than a family of six to eight people. In view of that fact, the more people that you’re responsible for, the more money that you need to become financially secure.
Let’s put some number on the question of how much money is financially stable.
- 3-6 months of expenses
- Positive net worth
- No debt (or a solid plan to get out of debt)
- Able to give 5% of your income
- Saving at least 20% of your income
- Increasing saving percentage each year
At a bare minimum, you could estimate to need at least $25,000 for a single person or $100,000 for a family of four.
Obviously, these assumptions include you continuing to live below your means and not regress from the progress you made.
However, most people feel more financially secure when their net worth hits $250,000 or $500,000. Once you hit millionaire status, you are financially secure.
Are you Ready to Move from Not Financially Stable to Financial Stability?
You are in charge of your destiny.
You are able to go from one place to another, but you have to be willing to take the jump, take the risks, and seize the opportunities.
So if you are not sure that you are ready to move on to financially stable, you need to be financially sound first. For now, save this post and come back once you are ready to move to the next step of becoming financially stable.
If you are ready to move to financial stability, then you need to start today and make all of these habits of somebody who is financially stable a part of your life.
There is no “Oh, I’m gonna wait till tomorrow.” Because then you are just going to keep putting it off. Tomorrow needs to become today.
The sooner that you can become financially stable, the better off that you will be.
Procrastination is just like having a plan, but not setting it into motion. You actually need to take action and start today. Enough planning, enough procrastination.
Start slow with easy habits. A good habit here and there. Keep building on those habits and you will slowly step-by-step learn how to become a financially stable person.
It does not take a huge monumental stream of income to achieve financial stability. All it takes is perseverance to make a better yourself.