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” published 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:
Sharing is Caring
Many of us have envisioned a time where we can live on our own and be independent, but the problem with living alone is that we are responsible for everything that happens in our flat or house.
There is no doubt that having a partner makes the burden of spending money on bills much easier – even holidays are cheaper because for some reason unknown to me, the travel companies penalise people for travelling solo!
I’m not suggesting that you run out and find a partner if you’re single, but looking into sharing a flat with someone may be a good way to save money if this is appropriate for your life at present.
Finding a room in a house share could also be another option. Some houses have now really gone upmarket, and it is worth shopping around for a “Professional Standard” HMOs (houses of multiple occupancy). Some come with a private ensuite, fridge and kitchenette with amazing wifi access. Gone are the days of grotty-student flats.
If you already live in your own home, could you consider renting out a room on air bnb, or playing host to foreign exchange students? These could be potentially great sources of extra income for you!
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.
Pick a way to budget and stick with it for at least 6 months. If you don’t get on with it, try something else. There are plenty of choices out there!
Remember Your Why
You have to ask yourself – what is your why?? Why are you doing all this saving, investing or paying off debt? Make your why HUGE and whenever you feel like giving up, go back to it.
My why is to be debt free when I start having babies and to be a good role-model for them. I want to teach them how to manage their money early in life and set them off on the right path.
I also want to financially free. I don’t want to worry about retirement or when my next payday is. I want to work if I choose to, not because I have to, and I want the same for my fiancé.
If I EVER think about giving up, I look at my dream board (basically a collage of pictures of all the things I want to achieve in life) and I remember why I started.
What’s your why?
Celebrate Small Wins
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.
It can be really disheartening when your credit score barely moves, or your loan seems to be taking forever to clear. Rest assured; it will! Money problems aren’t fixed overnight. It takes time and patience.
To get through it, 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….
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!
Fun should be a firm line in your budget – check out this post for more detail on using the money-pie method to budget.
There is a school of thought that says you are the average of the 5 people people you spend the most time with. This includes your money!! It’s 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,
If you enjoyed this post, why not try this one!