At A Tidy Mind, we believe in being intentional about where we spend our money and sometimes that means decluttering finances. How you do is completely personal to you – but consider having a regular review of where you can shave off spending that is not adding value to you, as well as where you can save money. After all, any extra cash can buy you freedom or the ability to acquire something which is truly meaningful.
Isn’t it crazy how school can teach us what ‘pi’ means, but not how to actually handle our money? We tend to learn some things we don’t actually need to use in the real world at school, and not things that can make a positive difference, such as money management.
For this reason, many actually find money management tricky. It’s something we can learn, but because many haven’t had an early enough experience with it, it can take habit breaking and introspection to do it. Some people may be naturally good at it, and this is usually because their parents were and passed on. If your parents weren’t great at managing their money, then it’s likely you’re not either. More beliefs and habits are passed on from our parents than we realise. This, of course, isn’t our fault – but the first step in changing it is acknowledging it.
Starting a money management journey can be scary. Does it mean you can’t buy yourself a treat again? What about impulse buying and other splurges you like to make?
But it’s so important to still enjoy life. Money management doesn’t have to be restrictive in a bad way, or boring. Below, you’ll find some tricks that even beginners can use.
Work Out A Sensible Budget
The first step in any money management journey is working out a budget. Try not to look at the word ‘budget’ with a negative mindset. It doesn’t mean scrimping and saving and not having any fun. You’ll need to allocate money to the following things:
- The food shopping
- Your bills
When working out your budget, make sure you account for a buffer. Consider giving yourself some wiggle room. Give yourself a budget you can stick to with a little money left over, just in-case. Aim to also allocate some money to a savings fund if you can.
Another thing to think about is reducing your bills as much as you can. These are the ones that you have no choice but to pay, such as your mortgage or rent, for example. Finding the best deals for your mortgage payments by using a mortgage loan calculator could help you to make some big savings. While you have no choice on rental costs, you could look to see if you can get more for your money by moving. Other bills to consider reducing or getting a better deal include energy costs and insurance policies. Switching providers for these things can ensure that you get the best rates and only pay what you need to.
Try The Envelope Method
The envelope method can make sticking to a budget so much easier. If you’re guilty of online shopping too often, or spending too much money when you know you shouldn’t, the envelope method can deter you. You simply place the amount of money you have allocated into an envelope labelled with ‘clothing’ or whatever the category is, and then you take the corresponding envelope with you. You don’t carry all envelopes with you at once, and you don’t take money out of other envelopes to pay for different things. This forces you to think carefully about what you actually need to buy!
Use Discount Codes And Coupons
You should never shop without looking for a discount code or coupon. You’ll always find a John Lewis discount code or another code you can use when shopping online. Cashback sites are great, too!
Study Money Management
Make it your mission to learn as much as possible about money management. You can read books, listen to podcasts, and find all kinds of free resources out there.
Set Goals That You Can Stick To
Set goals that you can stick to. Consider ones that resonate with you on an emotional level, have a reasonable time-frame, and be measurable!