"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." - Benjamin Franklin

Do you ever wish you could have more time? All of us get 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us to manage those hours.

Time management is closely related to our financial wellbeing. Our morning routine can be a great contributor to either our financial progress or our financial decline. Which one will it be?

Tom Corley, Financial Planner, dedicated five years to observing and tracking behaviors and habits of both the rich as well as the poor. What he found was that the morning routine is one habit that differentiates the wealthy from the poor.

Based on Corley’s findings, “rich folks often take advantage of those wee morning hours…44% wake up three hours before their 9-to-5 job. In those hours they focus on self improvement, reading educational material, like trade journals or industry blogs. They’ll also squeeze in a workout, which Corley says leads to a more productive day at work.”

Here is the best news for all of us who are ready to start transforming our finances. We can adopt the habit of an early morning routine and start reclaiming a few hours each day! All it takes is determination, discipline and consistency. Spend the next 30 days practicing this habit.

Here are few ideas on how you can start using your early morning hours to your financial advantage:

Review Yesterday’s Spending 

Knowing where you stand financially is key to making changes and adjustments to your money habits. After all, how can you change something if you are not aware of it first?

Take 15-30 minutes every morning and review your spending from the day before. Did you stick to your budget or a spending plan? Where did you “get off track?” Was every single purchase necessary or did you make some “off the cuff ”purchases?

Your numbers will tell you a great story, so use a few minutes every morning listening to your numbers, taking notes, journaling and making slight adjustments as needed. If you’re consistent, soon you’ll be able to not only detect and prevent bad spending decisions, but also discover financial opportunities!

Exercise 

During his research Corley also found that wealthy people pay attention to their health. By keeping their bodies in check they spend less money on health related expenses, they spend less time on sick days, and therefore have more time to dedicate to producing and growing income.  

Wealthy people also tend to be “calorie conscious” and are apparently big calorie counters. They eat less junk food and spend less of their calories on alcohol intake.

So what can you do to tap into this habit of the wealthy and transform your morning hours into health building time?

  • Dedicate 20-30 minutes of your morning time to a quick workout. You can find great FREE workout plans online. You can go for a quick run or a walk, or simply create a home workout routine. All at no cost!
  • Take 10 minutes of your morning time to prepare your breakfast and lunch. This will not only allow you to save money on buying fast food but will also help you make better food choices. Win-Win all the way!
  • Interested in counting calories to curb your bad eating habits? There are a few great FREE apps, like myfitnesspal that will make it easy and fun.

Read Something

For those of us who are at the beginning of our financial turn-around journey, learning sound financial habits is critical.

Morning is a great time to brush up on good financial blogs or read a good financial book. Even if it’s just one chapter or one article at a time, acquiring a habit of constant learning will help you become a much wiser consumer.