There is a lot that has been said on how to win the financial game and become independent.

From using the best mobile apps to going for the best financial advisors, many Kenyans have been led to believe that financial freedom comes from external forces.

However, the game of reaching your full financial potential is 70% behaviour, a thing many don’t know yet.

Successful people practice good habits, every day, for their entire life. They are willing to do what others are not.

Successful people also live intentionally with their money – meaning they use their money to live life on their terms and conditions.

That’s really what the secret “formula” boils down to. How you behave, and the choices that you make every day. Those choices are what determines your success.

Here are 5 other factors that are important:

1. Spend less than you make.

This is probably the most important common-sense principle you can apply to your financial life. If you are constantly overspending and maxing out your lifestyle, you’ll never reach your full financial potential.

2. If you can’t pay for it in cash, you can’t afford it. 

A majority of Kenyans are drowning in debt because of their lifestyle.

This mantra is the best way to avoid drowning yourself in debt. Waiting to make large purchases until you have the money will always pay off more than spending money you don’t have.

3. Protect yourself. 

Stuff happens. And when it does, your financial foundation can quickly crumble if the proper defenses are not in place. You should seek to protect every aspect of your life’s work – from material assets like your home to your most important asset, you.

4. Pay your bills in full every month. 

If you want the second fool-proof way to avoid going into credit card debt, don’t charge more on them than you can afford to pay off every month.

5. Money doesn’t buy happiness. 

Having money doesn’t mean anything. It’s how you use your money that creates your emotional response. A lot of Kenyans will doubt this, but truth is, money is just a tool.

There’s plenty of research to prove you derive the highest degree of happiness when you spend your money on experiences, not things.