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You know, money is a funny thing. We all tend to believe that if we just had more of it, everything in our lives would be better. In reality, though, money is a tool that has the potential to make things better, but it also has the potential to make things worse.

There’s an interesting statistic that gets thrown around from time to time, that suggests that the majority of lottery winners actually end up bankrupt within a few years of their moment of triumph.

The reason? Personal vices, and bad financial habits, mostly.

If you are concerned with living a financially responsible life, or if you are about to commit to something such as taking out a £10,000 secured loan from Evolution Money, you’ll want to guarantee that your money is serving your virtues, rather than your vices.

Here are some tips for doing that.

Practice good financial management and make it an established habit today, no matter how much or how little you have

Good financial management isn’t the kind of thing that you just “do” spontaneously. It’s a habit – you develop it, and then you become better at it, and then it becomes your default way of behaving.

If you want to ensure that you are good with money – especially with large amounts of money – you’ve got to begin practising good financial management today, right now, no matter how much or how little you have.

Take steps to prevent impulse buying, and to be mindful of what you’re doing with your financial resources.

Have a plan for what you are going to spend your money on – budget meticulously

If you don’t have a specific plan for what to do with every penny of your money, it’s highly likely that you’re going to end up spending frivolously, and being financially wasteful.

Zero-based budgeting systems a very popular these days, because they emphasise assigning all of your money to particular purposes.

The highly popular personal budgeting service “You Need a Budget” is largely based on this principle of “giving every dollar a job.”

Whatever budgeting system you use, begin to budget meticulously, and be sure to allocate a “purpose” to all of your money.

Work on mastering and balancing your own habits, and reducing your vices

Habits rule us all, to a startlingly high degree. You might think that you are in the driver’s seat in each given moment, but mostly you’re actually acting on autopilot.

One thing this means is that it’s essential for you to work on mastering and balancing your own habits, and reducing your vices, if you want to behave in a reasonable and responsible manner with money.

The books “The Power of Habit,” and “Atomic Habits,” give a good overview of how you can begin to master your habits.

The key is starting small, and replacing your negative habits with positive habits that grant you the same “reward.”

*Collaborative post