Fiscal responsibility is essential. It’s tough, though, to know if you are responsible enough. The best way to figure out if you’ve learned to take responsibility for your finances is to stop and take a look at the qualities shared by those individuals who have proven themselves to be responsible with their money.

You Have an Understanding of Value

One of the big signs that you’re fiscally responsible (and that you’re heading towards financial freedom) is that you focus not just on dollars and cents but also on value. You spend money based on your budget and whether it lines up with what’s important to you.

Your Money Works

Another tell-tale sign is that your money is at work. You have a healthy emergency account, of course, but you also have your money in various investments. You’re putting money towards your future in ways that outstrip the interest you’d gain in a typical savings account, and that means you’re paying attention to what your money can do for you.

You’ve Gotten Past Impulse Purchases…

You’ve stopped buying things just to spend money. It’s not just the candy bar at the cash register that you’re skipping, either – you’re not shopping to make yourself feel better or because you are bored. You understand that patience is a vital part of financial security.

…and Status Purchases, Too

You’ve also stopped making status purchases. You’re not aiming for a fancy car that you can show off or a new pair of shoes that will make your friend jealous. Instead, you’re buying things because you need them and because they’re necessary for the way you want to live your life.

You Think About the Future

The final sign has to do with your attitude. Those who are fiscally responsible are individuals who look towards the future. You have a plan for your money, and you are taking steps to make sure that you get what you need in the future. Whether you want to retire early or you just know that you want to move to a new city in a few years, you’ve got your eyes on something beyond today.