I’ve never been a morning person, but it wasn’t until I became a mother two years ago that I realized how much I needed to improve my routine. I was sick of not having time to myself and feeling frazzled over work and family to-do lists. Even though I was sleeping nine to 10 hours a night, I rarely felt rested when my alarm clock went off at 7 AM.
So when a friend recommended last April that I read The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM)—a book about how incorporating a few morning habits can improve your life—I decided to try waking up two hours earlier, at 5 AM.
In theory, that should have made me even more exhausted—except it didn’t. Thanks to the habits I began practicing, I slept better, had more energy, and was even in a better mood. The best part is that my morning routine didn’t just clear my head—it changed my money life, too.
I Stopped Spending So Much on Coffee and Food
One of the first habits I adopted from the book was daily exercise, hoping it’d boost my mental clarity, energy, and self-confidence. In the past, I’d attended regular yoga classes, but stopped going consistently after having my son.
After just two weeks of practicing yoga at home every morning, I no longer needed two cups of coffee to wake me up. I also stopped experiencing that 2 PM slump, which left me drained and craving takeout coffee and sugar (an old habit that cost me about $30 a week).
I started eating healthier, too. Simply buying whole ingredients instead of prepackaged foods saved me just under $100 per month.
Money Saved: About $2,000 ($1,300 from cutting out coffee and sugary foods, $700 at the grocery store)
I Don’t Go to the Doctor as Often
For years, I had terrible eczema breakouts and went to the doctor’s office ($20 copay) every month to load up on medication, which cost another $20. But after quitting coffee and cutting back on sugar, my eczema started to go away.
I realized my diet was likely contributing to my skin issues, and started eliminating other offending ingredients. In less than a year, my breakouts stopped altogether, and I haven’t visited the doctor since.
Money Saved: $240
I Picked Up a Lot of Frugal Habits
The book also recommends reading in the morning as a way to learn from experts who’ve done what you want to achieve. At first, I started out reading just 10 minutes a day, but quickly increased it to 30 minutes, then an hour. I ended up reading 100 books last year, 40 of which were related to money and frugality.
Thanks to one, I learned to cut my hair, saving the $30 salon bill every six weeks. (I now cut my family’s hair, too, for another $400 saved in a year!) Another book taught me to negotiate bills—which led to saving about $50 per month on my smartphone, internet, and car insurance bills combined. (You can read how to do that here.)
I also learned about investment fees, which can eat into returns, so I worked with my husband to select new, more cost-effective investments.
Money Saved: $1,000+
I Increased My Income
I also used my morning time to visualize new writing clients I’d like to work with—literally imagining the decision-makers loving my ideas and hiring me, which ultimately gave me confidence to pitch more. Within two months, I landed two new clients, which increased my monthly income by about $1,000.
Something else I started thinking about was owning rental properties. I’d visualize myself going to see houses, renovating, and interviewing potential tenants. While this hasn’t happened yet, I’ve connected with a lot of real estate investors who are willing to mentor me.
Money Earned: $6,000
To say that my new morning routine changed my financial life is an understatement. In less than a year’s time, waking up two hours earlier—and filling that time wisely—boosted my bottom line by $9,240, and counting.
Photo of person drinking coffee courtesy of Kevin C Moore/Getty Images.
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