We all want to be financially secure. But many of us want to be financially successful and are prepared to put in the hard work to make it a reality.

Many people, however, seem to encounter roadblock after roadblock on their path to financial freedom and the main issue is often their own bad habits.

But it's never too late to turn your situation around if you're ready to accept some of the reasons why you're not already rich.

1. A failure to plan

Without clearly defined short, mid and long-term goals, becoming rich will seem as possible as walking on the moon. And that can turn into an excuse for why you shouldn't bother saving or why you don't stop overspending. As so many say in the wealth creation sector: those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Creating a financial plan may seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn't need to be. Whether you do it yourself or decide to work with a professional (which is usually advisable), the process simply starts with writing down your goals and referring to them regularly.

2. You think you're already rich

Access to easy credit is a recipe for disaster for many people. The proliferation of credit and store cards makes it easy for anyone to spend money they simply do not have.

For some people, it feels good to buy expensive things, whether it's a luxury car, designer clothes, a big house in the 'burbs or a tropical vacation. Even if you don't necessarily buy pricey items, if you consistently buy stuff you really don't need, it still adds up quickly.

As I written about before, destructive habits like these are one of the main reasons why you may never achieve the financial freedom you desire.
In fact in one of my studies I learned that the rich made a habit of tracking their spending in the early days of building their wealth.
We all know it’s easy to lose sight of where our money is going. And if you don’t have a lot of money you need to get into the habit of tracking every penny.

3. You started late

Like with so many things, the key to success is to actually start the journey. You're never going to attain what you desire financially if all you ever do is talk about it.

With every year or month that goes by without saving, your chances of becoming rich decreases. Time and compounding interest are your two best friends when it comes to growing money, so wasting them really hurts.

Even if you start saving late, you can still become rich if you're committed enough. But you need to start. Right now.

4. You'd rather complain than commit

This reason is also the bastion of the comments' section of online news websites –especially property investment stories!

So many of the commentators on the stories of successful property investors take aim at the price of property as the reason for not investing, saying "it's impossible" to do so.

Buying your first property has never been easy so you need to be prepared to make sacrifices to achieve your goal, including the type of property you can afford.

As long as the complaining, excuses and finger-pointing persist, so too will not becoming rich. Instead, take responsibility for your bad habits and focus on what you can do to change them. Then, like Nike says, just do it!

5. Automatic saving

There's a secret to saving and it's called automation. When you have a pre-planned savings component transferred from every pay, then it's kind of like a set and forget investment into your future.

Even the rich still consider saving as one of the major facets of their success. In fact, research shows that 88 per cent of the rich consider saving money is critical to financial success.

Even if it's a relatively small amount that you automatically save, those regular investments can make a big difference over time.

6. Not having a contingency fund

Experts say that to be prepared for any financial scenario, it's a good idea to have at least six months' worth of your income saved.

It might sound daunting but it can be achieved with diligence and adherence to a good budget.

Just ask yourself: If you were to get sick and couldn't work, lost your job or had a huge unexpected expense (perhaps like a significant repair at an investment property) how would you cope financially?

7. No urgency

There are a plethora of excuses that people use for putting off working towards their financial goals. Some think that a new job or an inheritance will save them financially.

The issue is that very little in life is certain. Who knows what will or won't actually happen, so why not focus on what you can control now? Save now and save yourself — just in case something, or someone, else doesn't.

8. You're prone to following the crowd

The world is very busy and there are a huge number of distractions every single day. Maybe it's your partner whose favourite thing to do is go shopping, or it's your addiction to reality television, but these unhelpful time-wasters prevent you from focusing on your financial goals.

The trick is not giving in to temptation. How? Some of it is making conscious choices to avoid putting yourself in unhelpful situations.

Most of all it's having the dedication to keep the goal of becoming rich in the front of your mind. Success is rarely handed to anyone on a golden platter.

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Michael Yardney

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.