There’s lots of practical money advice out there – what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing and what you need to do etc. But sometimes in order for us to make lasting changes we need to change our mindset around money – and there’s a little more to that than just drawing up a budget in excel.
The thing is, we humans are complicated beings, and if it was as straightforward as following a checklist of do’s and don’t’s then no one would ever find themselves in any kind of troubled situation. We have emotions, we have feelings. And these emotions and feelings can often cloud our judgement and lead to impulse decisions. And it’s these emotions and feelings that lead us into situations of financial regret. So what pieces of money advice can we apply to these situations?
We need reminders, money mantras, a little prompt every now and again to check in with ourselves and lift our heads above the emotional fog. Someone to pat us on the back to say we’re doing good. Or someone to cheer us on and encourage us to keep going when the journey’s feeling tough. I want you to win. I want us all to win. So here are my 10 pieces of money advice you need to hear.
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Be grateful for what you have and save for what you don’t
A major part of getting your finances in order is training yourself out of the ‘need it now’ mindset.
We have access to absolutely everything we could possibly want and it doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it – because you can probably put it on credit.
I know friends and family members who have put sofas and beds on finance and even small electrical items… and when we needed a new boiler, the first thing the plumbing company did was offer us finance to pay for it.
I know saving and cash flowing takes longer and is harder work – of course it is, that’s why debt is the norm. But just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean we have to too.
Be grateful for what you have now, and you can save up to get what you don’t later.
A budget doesn’t mean you can’t spend
I know lots of people struggle with blowing the budget but I have the opposite problem – I feel guilty spending ANY money. Even if there’s room in the budget.
I tell myself, ‘I don’t really need it’ ‘the money could be better spent elsewhere’ or some other reason why I can’t have whatever it is.
Sometimes though, it’s okay to spend money.
Budgeted for and well thought out purchases ARE OKAY.
Ocassional spontaneous purchases are also okay, we’re only human after all!
It’s about finding the balance.
Note to self: budgeting doesn’t mean deprivation!
Don’t underestimate the power of small changes
It’s too easy sometimes to set crazy big goals at the start of the new month when we’re feeling motivated, only to quickly fall off track and burn out.
We don’t always need to make huge changes in order to feel like we’re succeeding.
Just small, positive changes everyday are all you need and I promise they’ll soon snowball.
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Be mindful of small expenses
I mention this a lot when it comes to side hustles – don’t underestimate the small amounts.
But the same is true the other way. How does the saying go? ‘A small leak will sink a great ship’.
It’s true for your budget too. You think those little amounts don’t matter, ‘it was only a few quid here and there’ …then you check your bank account after a bit of a spendy weekend and think ‘WTF happened?!’
If there’s one thing you should do to take control of your money it’s tracking your spending.
Try it, it’s a real eye opener.
Stop telling yourself you’re not good with money
Stop telling yourself you’re not good with money.
If we hear something enough we believe it to be true so instead of reinforcing negative beliefs switch it up and turn it into a positive affirmation.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I’m getting better at managing my money’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I’m taking control of my finances’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
‘I’m learning how to improve my financial wellbeing’
You don’t have to tell yourself you’re good with money… yet.
But remove the limiting opinion of yourself and you’ll be halfway there.⠀⠀
Be honest with your budget
When you’re trying to sort your money, it can be quite demotivating to see a budget that tells you you’re going to end the month in the red.
But don’t manipulate it to look better because you’ll end up self sabotaging and feeling even worse when you end up over budget anyway.
Instead, be honest and include every foreseeable event. Then challenge yourself to come in under budget or to side hustle the difference.
But if you know you can’t afford something, don’t be afraid to say no either.
Whatever situation you’re in, the end goal is not relying on credit to survive the month.
So do what you need to to ensure that downwards spiral doesn’t begin again.
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If you don’t need it, it’s not a bargain
It’s quite simple really yet we all fall into the trap.
If you don’t need it, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is, it’s not a bargain, it’s a waste of money.
Next time you divert from your shopping list because you’re tempted by the %%% off signs, remind yourself of this.
If financial freedom was easy, then no one would be in debt
Debt is easy.
Debt allows us to have everything we want to now and worry about the consequences later.
Society is lazy and impatient. It wants instant and minimal effort.
Financial freedom isn’t easy, but nothing worth having is.
Stop using credit. Start taking back control. It won’t be easy. But you can do it.
Change nothing and nothing changes
If you find yourself stuck in the cycle of wanting things to be different but not doing anything about it, then now is the time to act.
Want to start saving? Open a savings account and transfer some money across now, even if it’s only £1. It can all be done easily and quickly online, just do it!
Want to get your debts paid off? Sit down and confront them. List them all, the balances and APRs and make a plan of action. – start a fixed amount DD instead of the minimum payment, see if you can switch a high rate card to a 0% balance transfer deal. Get on it today.
Overwhelmed by clutter? Grab a bag or a box and go through one drawer. Throw away rubbish, maybe list that forgotten unused item on eBay or pack up some things for the charity shop.
You don’t have to move mountains. Just start. Once you get started the momentum will build, the motivation will kick in and before you know it you’ll be making massive inroads and wondering why you hadn’t started sooner.
It’s never too late to take control of your money
Whatever your situation it’s never too late, ignoring money won’t make it sort itself.
Make the decision to take back control today. It might be a long old road, but just get started.
Write down all your debts. Make a budget. And make a plan.
Follow me on Instagram @katiesaves for more.
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