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So you’ve decided that you want to get your money-sorted this year? Yay!! Go you!! But do you have what it takes to ACTUALLY follow through on this?
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been overspending for a long time. A coffee here, a takeaway there, an unplanned holiday or purchase. It really all adds up, and before you know it, you’re using your credit card to pay for food.
Don’t give up hope if your initial efforts failed. Go easy on yourself – celebrate the fact that you are TRYING and start all over again. Good money management is for life, not just for January, so it is inevitable that you will mess up along the way.
This is great, because this is how we learn.
So this post today is about 6 things you can do to keep you on track. Please let me know in the comments below what your money goal is, and what you’re willing to do to make it happen, NO MATTER WHAT!
Can You Do It?
Everybody wants to be able to save more money, but too often do people find themselves unwilling to separate themselves from their ordinary routine and habits, meaning that any money they could save ends ups being spent, and what’s the point in that? This “Millennial Spending Diary” publish in the Guardian Online gives such an illustration.
But even if you don’t want to give up the things that you really like buying or eating or doing, you can still save money; it might just be a bit more uncomfortable than usual methods. These are ways which you might not have considered before and may even look at with revulsion. But if you ever want to save more money, something’s got to give.
So here’s 6 things you could do to save money towards your goals:
1. Sharing is Caring
We have all envisioned a time where we can live on our own and be independent, but the problem with living alone is that you are responsible for everything that happens in your flat or house.
Therefore, finding a room in a house share will help curb these spending habits. Sharing the load when it comes to renting will make your finances easier to manage, even if it is at the cost of your privacy. House shares can be a useful temporary change to your living arrangements to help you save money.
Some houses have now really gone upmarket, and it is worth shopping around for so-called “Professional Standard” HMOs (houses of multiple occupancy). Some come with a private ensuite, fridge and kitchenette with amazing wifi access. Yes it will cost you £50 more than the bare-basics one down the street, but you’ll definitely feel better about life!
2. All Systems Go!
Developing a system for your money is an excellent way of deciding where the money goes and will allow you to better balance the cash and understand what you can cut down on that may be hindering your financial future.
This system can be anything from giving yourself a certain amount of money to spend each week or month and then having the discipline to stop yourself from thinking, ‘Well, another £10 won’t hurt,’. Spoiler alert: it does, and you will never manage your money correctly if you retain that attitude towards spending.
3. Resisting Instant Gratification
There will also be times where you believe that you can afford to splash out on something. Everyone has been guilty of this after a period of substantial saving. If you can’t spend the money you’ve saved, then what’s the point, right?
Wrong. While it can be all too tempting to treat yourself to some of life’s luxuries, whatever you feel they may be, giving in is the start of a slippery slope. Furthermore, these little treats are merely fleeting doses of happiness, and when your mind clears after a spree, you will regret it and feel like you have to work extra hard to get back on track.
4. Celebrate Small Wins
The times where you have to adapt to a new way of spending, or more not spending, your money can take a while to get used to. It can be challenging to make the shift from one type of lifestyle to another and so there will be times where you feel it isn’t worth it or you aren’t hitting your goals as quickly as possible.
This is only natural though. As long as you focus on giving yourself little rewards, such as hitting weekly goals as opposed to thinking too far into the future, you will be surprised how quickly you will adopt these habits, and after that, you may wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place.
FYI – you’re never too old for a sticker chart….
5. Have Fun
Living too frugally can be a little like dieting too much. Eventually you’re going to want to b-i-n-g-e. Use up to 10% of your income very month for doing the things in life that you really want to do. Be it getting your nails done, or having a girly weekend away, it will help you to keep the balance between saving really hard and spending really hard!
6. Involve Friends
There is a school of thought that says you are the average of the 5 people people you spend the most time with. This is great if the people you hang out with are leading lives that you aspire to have, but not so good if you’re the one dragging everyone else up.
Surround yourself with people that will help you reach your goals. If you think you don’t have anyone, then come and join my Private Facebook Group of amazing women (and a few men!) all trying to save money, make money and invest money. We’re supportive and celebrate every little win – I look forward to welcoming you!
So that’s it! I hope that has given you some food for thought.
Until next time,