Being financially prudent is more a thing of habit than anything else. There are certain ways (habits) people who desire financial independence and freedom live to ensure they achieve this desire.
They Have a Budget
The concept of budgeting might be daunting but it is extremely important to help efficiently and effectively manage your finances. Without a budget, you are going to end up falling into the pit of financial irresponsibility. A budget is just too important to be ignored. Having a budget will make it easier for you to see where your money is going and help you better direct it to where you want it to go. Just be sure to be disciplined with your budget and actually let it guide your spending, as opposed to it just being drawn up for decoration.
They Avoid Impulse or Emotional Purchases
Impulsive purchases might indeed be very tempting but financially smart people have mastered the art of overcoming these temptations and delaying purchase until they're sure that they really want the item (s) and can afford it. Typically, they apply the 24-hour rule (which is one of the best ways to combat the habit of impulsive purchases) when they want to make such impulsive or emotional purchases. Before making the purchase, they go home, think about the item and if they really need it, and then they check their budget to be sure they can afford it before they eventually return the next day to make the purchase or decide it is unnecessary and not make the purchase.
They Don't Take Their Debit Cards Along With Them Everywhere They Go
This is one of the smartest financial moves that you can make to ensure that you restrict your spending to what your budget stipulates. It is just way to easy to spend more than anticipated when you carry your debit cards. However, if you stick to carrying cash most of the time, it will be easier for you to restrict your spending to the amount you have on yourself at that moment.
They Live Within Their Means
This can really not be overemphasized. Living within your means is such an easy concept that is unfortunately so hard for most of us to employ, mainly because it requires a lot discipline. There is simply no better mark of financial smartness than being able to successfully live within your means. Living outside your means is actually a bad habit that can end up drowning your finances and leaving you in a financial mess. Financially smart people know to ensure that in all circumstances they live within their means, and within what they can conveniently afford.