Financial Fitness: 5 Simple Disciplines for Financial Success

Tax time is a good time of year to consider your financial state and develop a plan to move in the right direction over the year ahead. Building wealth is not something that happens overnight; unless you win the lotto. It takes discipline. Discipline is simple actions taken consistently over time. Discipline in your financial life will make a huge difference in your level of financial well-being.

Pink piggy bank with glasses standing on books next to a blackboard with simple spend and save message. Sharp focus on the piggy bank with blackboard message slightly blurred.

Here are five simple financial disciplines to start doing today:

1. Use your opportunities

One of the greatest things about jobs where you can make commission is that you are provided with an opportunity, not a guarantee. Sure a guarantee has a floor, but it also usually has a pretty low ceiling. Many times there are no limitations to what you can achieve or what you can earn through commissions.

Make sure that you are using your time productively and maximizing your sales results on a weekly basis. Set some goals for sales and corresponding earnings, and find ways to keep yourself on track with those goals.

At the end of this year, you should be able to look back and know that you earned what you wanted to earn for the year, not less.

2. Educate yourself

In order to reach a level of financial independence, you need at least some rudimentary knowledge of basic financial principles. There are many places to get a solid financial education. Start by talking with people you know who are financially successful, and model what they are doing right.

Read books about financial success. Start with one called The Richest Man in Babylon and you'll learn some great principles on which you can build. Then move on to more specific books and teachings. Keep learning in this area, and it will keep you motivated to do what you are learning.

3. Spend LESS than you make

This is the #1 key to all financial planning success. You must learn to live well within your means, and you can never spend 100% of what you make, ever. The key to making this happen efficiently is to develop an automatic savings program.

At Vector Marketing, reps above $20,000 in career CUTCO® Cutlery sales can take advantage of the Smith Barney program and have a portion of your paycheck withheld every week.

If you're not a CUTCO sales rep, your bank can probably create a program where you have a specific amount deducted from your checking account and moved over to a savings account. Start with $25 per month, or whatever you can afford. Just do something that gets you in the habit of saving and investing.

4. Make your money multiply

There's a simple financial concept called the Law of 72. This basically means that if you take 72 and divide that by the interest rate your invested money is earning, that's how many years it takes your investment to double. Therefore, money invested at 8% interest will double every nine years. Money invested at 12% interest will double every six years! That's the power of compounding interest.

Growth-oriented Mutual Funds are a great way to gain a high rate of return without having much risk. The Smith Barney program offers a mutual fund called Growth Fund of America (AGTHX) which has returned an average of over 13% over its 40+ year lifetime.

Your goal should be to eventually make the greater part of your income result from your money making money. That's when you are financially free.

5. Increase your ability to earn.

Earning ability is based on the value you bring to the marketplace. What affects that? Your level of education, your experience, your skills, etc. This is why education (both formal and self-education) is so important.

For those working at Vector Marketing already, this is also why your experience is such a great resource in your life, because it is building your skills and credentials way beyond most people your age. You are also increasing your ability to earn as you advance within the company. If you're not a Field Sales Manager yet, set a goal for what date you will get there!

Open up the doors of management, as leadership is what pays the big bucks in life.

Keep this list handy, and consistently practice these five disciplines. You'll find your level of financial well-being growing and growing. Through disciplined progress over an extended amount of time, you can set yourself on the road to financial independence.

  1. Use your opportunities
  2. Educate yourself
  3. Spend less than you make
  4. Make your money multiply
  5. Increase your ability to earn

Image courtesy of

The contents of this post are the explicit opinions of its author, who is an independent contractor for Vector Marketing. CUTCO Corporation and Vector Marketing are not financial advisory institutions and recommend consulting with a professional before making any investment decisions.