8 Signs You're Doing Well Financially These Days (Even if It Doesn't Feel Like It)

You might be doing better than you think.

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Updated July 18, 2024
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You don’t need millions of dollars to be doing well financially in America. You may be doing well financially without hitting the seven-figure net worth mark.

Let’s explore some key signs that indicate you’re on the right track to build wealth, even if you might not feel like a rockstar.

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You’re paying your bills on time

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If you can pay all of your bills on time, that’s a big win. Unfortunately, many Americans are falling behind. Making late payments can lead to late fees and push people into a cycle of debt.

For anyone able to keep up with all of their bills, you’re already sitting on solid ground, and that’s something worth celebrating.

You’re not spending more than you make every month

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The ability to spend within your means is an incredibly powerful financial move. If you don’t spend more than you make every month, at the very least, you aren’t pulling yourself into debt. That’s a big win!

You have at least $500 in a high-yield savings account

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A recent survey found that 63% of workers can’t cover a $500 emergency expense. If you have at least $500 tucked away for emergencies, you’re doing better than many workers in America. If those funds are in a high-yield savings account, the relatively high interest rate puts you in an even better position.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

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You save toward spending goals

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If you’re saving money to spend on specific purchases, that’s a significant accomplishment. For example, Americans spend around $900 during the winter holiday season. That’s a significant chunk of change.

Unfortunately, for many Americans, they cover the cost of the holidays with a credit card. A year later, almost a quarter of Americans still have holiday debt from the prior year as they prepare to celebrate the next season.

If you’re setting aside funds throughout the year to cover big purchases, like holiday spending, then you’re ahead of the game. Of course, this isn’t limited to the holidays. You could save up to pay for a vacation or cover a home improvement project you’ve been hoping to complete.

You’re contributing to your 401(k) or other retirement plan consistently

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Retirement is an expensive goal, and many people aren’t on track for a comfortable retirement. But if you’re consistently contributing to a 401(k) or other retirement plan, you’re doing better than many.

A survey done in 2022 found that almost half of American households reported no savings in retirement accounts. Even if you think you aren’t setting aside enough, saving something is undeniably better than saving nothing.

You spend money on what matters to you

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It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of keeping up with the Joneses. While you might feel the pressure to buy the latest and greatest thing, choosing to spend money on what matters to you signals a level of financial responsibility.

One way to deviate from the Joneses is to continue driving a paid-off car. Although many people opt to upgrade their vehicle every few years, intentionally sticking with an older vehicle can free up room in your budget for other spending. For example, without a car payment, you might be able to spend more on a gym membership or travel.

You have time to spend money on what you love

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When you are caught in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle or weighed down by a mountain of debt, it can feel stressful.

Generally, this stress pushes people to spend more time at the office or looking for ways to earn more money. But if you have some financial breathing room, you often have the space to spend time on what you love.

For example, if you have the financial bandwidth to spend time and money on your hobbies, that’s a sign you’re doing better than most.

You track your net worth

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If you regularly monitor your financial situation, that’s a sign you’re taking your finances seriously. Your net worth represents a snapshot of your money by subtracting the sum of your liabilities from the sum of your assets.

As you track your net worth, you’re likely looking for ways to improve it. That puts you ahead of the game.

Bottom line

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The signals of financial success might be subtle. But if you’re moving your finances in a positive direction with a measure of control over your day-to-day, then you’re likely doing much better than most.

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Author Details

Sarah Sharkey

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys diving into the details to help readers make more informed decisions. She covers mortgages, insurance, money management, travel, and more.